Colorado Springs has apparently seen a rise in crime lately, and police officials in the city think they know why: Rap music. No, seriously. They're blaming rap music. As The Denver Post reports:
After a spate of shootings, and with a rising murder rate, the police here are saying gangsta rap is contributing to the violence, luring gang members and criminal activity to nightclubs. The police publicly condemned the music in a news release after a killing in July and are warning nightclub owners that their places might not be safe if they play gangsta rap. "We don't want to broad-brush hip-hop music altogether," said Lt. Skip Arms, a police spokesman, "but we're looking at a subcomponent that typically glorifies, promotes criminal behavior and demeans women." The actions of the police have angered the hip-hop community here, mostly blacks and Latinos, many of whom live in this city because of ties to the Army and Air Force bases here.
I love that quote from Lt. Arms. "We don't want to broad-brush hip-hop music altogether," he says, before proceeding to broad-brush hip-hop music altogether. That's like saying, "No offense, but you look really fat in that outfit," as if the "no offense" part makes the insult better. Colorado Springs is known as being a tight-collared religious conservative town, and stories like this certainly feed that image. The next thing you know they'll be saying that dancing sends the wrong message to kids, and we'll have to call Kevin Bacon to go all Footloose on them (speaking of "Footloose," I read somewhere that they are going to do a remake of the movie. Maybe they can do it in Colorado Springs). It's too bad that Colorado Springs is seeing an increase in crime, but blaming rap music is both silly and insulting. I'd be flat-out embarrassed to make that statement as a law enforcement official, because rap music doesn't make people criminals any more than dancing makes kids dangerous. If you are going to say that rap music causes crime, then how do you account for the other 80% of criminals who don't listen to rap music? I can think of a lot of things more dangerous than rap music, and Colorado Springs already has one of them: Intolerance.