Michael Foster
Michael Foster campaign leader


When people have tried to address the negative effects/affects of violent hateful lyrics in music a lot of arguments in defense of musical artist freedom bring up points like "It's our right to say or do what they please." "Our music doesn't cause problems in the world we just comment about what is real". Some of them have said "OUR MUSIC IS FOR ADULTS NOT KIDS". But when in the case of lil Wayne's guy Lil Mouse, a thirteen year old who say's all the denigrating things about women you could come up with and talks about shooting nigga's in his debut song GET SMOKED' . He is thirteen years old so who is the market that will listen and buy his music ? Teachers are telling me stories about their Jr. High school and High school students, attitudes ,comments to each other in their classes " calling each other bitches, hoes, and nigga's., quoting music lyrics that are not good. But the industry would have you believe their products don't impact young people at all. What we need are your stories or videos or photos as evidence of the truth of what is really going on. (shades of Marvin Gaye). please tell your stories and share insights and idea's.

I realized I have not done what I have been asking others to do, post your story or reasons why this work has value to you. so here goes. I am Michael W. Foster. I have worked as a life skills teacher for Five Keys Charter High School in the San Francisco Sheriffs department. I Have worked in Oakland Public Schools for over 15 years with young people from elementary school to high School as a crisis Intervention specialist and offering conflict mediation. I grew up in Gary Indiana under the curse of nigga, nigger how ever you want to spell it. I have experienced the harm that negative messages have on ones sense of self, outlook on life. I have experienced the stain of negative messages and walked with self destructive anger about being cheated from the life those on t.v. seemed to have. I have worked to overcome these issues from dominating my life and the lives of those also impacted. I have seen the rise of music that has made matters worst in communities across the nation. I have felt helpless and powerless to do anything about it until now!
I was on facebook and got a message to check out this music mix by lil Wayne where he introduced a young man called Lil Mouse who is thirteen on his debut song called GET SMOKED. I knew it would probably be a bit foul or rough but it was worst than I thought. But what moved me where the memories of inmates and former inmates who shared their experiences of listening to messages like Lil Mouse before they went to work,( robbing, shooting whatever) as get pumped up inspiration. Also I have a more than a few friends who are teachers and have shared how too many of their students are bumping this music and how it shapes how they communicate with each other and act in the classroom. ( negative!!)
We believe in people power. That the only reason the music industry puts out denigrating music is because it is profitable like porn and the only folks who have spoken out about the harmfulness of the glorification of violence in the music is the religious right. We believe it's time that" Those Who Are Aware Must Show They Care"!!!.
We have mounted a campaign to heighten awareness about the harm this type of music does to susceptible young people. We are using the vehicle of facebook to get people to sign our petition and get 100,000 signatures by January #, 2013 . We are also working to get people to tell their stories about why they feel this work has value. We call it evidence of harm. We feel too many young people are killing each other and harming each other in a culture that says nobody cares, you are just Nigga's, and nigga's ,bitches and hoes gotta do what they do. " We believe music with a negative commentary only adds to the problems our communities face. As Malcom X said "we are either part of the problem or part of the solution"
Will you help us pass our message on to your readers? We can be reached on facebook at PEOPLE FOR NON VIOLENCE IN MUSIC. . If People Like us it counts. If they sign our petition( hey I only restating what I said earlier in this communication to you.) thank you for your time and consideration ! People power!

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