…and what, really, is so bad about that?

From the comment section of a Houston Chronicle story about Walmart pulling a Mexican comic book containing a character that some saw as racially offensive:

They will however, continue to sell clothes made in sweatshops,
Rap CD’s (sic),and Guns.

To be honest I don’t know enough about the whole “clothes made in sweatshops” thing to make an informed comment on that — but if Walmart keeps selling rap cds and guns, well, so what? (Hey, guess what, smart guy? They’re gonna keep sellin’ ammunition, too!) I don’t understand what’s so bad about guns OR rap music. I can’t stand rap music, to be honest, but hey, maybe if people didn’t buy that shit Walmart wouldn’t sell it. To be sure it’s not the most wholesome thing in the world, but then again you’ll find artists in just about every other genre singing about not-so-wholesome topics too. To cite one of my favorite examples, all the Cross Canadian Ragweed cds in my collection, I picked up at Walmart (with the exception of the double live cd recorded in Tulsa). “I pulled out my Old Timer, I cut that boy from ear to ear…”
And if we advocate pulling some of that not-so-wholesome music from the shelves, the only fair thing to do would be to pull it all. And where would that leave us? Without a lot of great music, no doubt, none of which as far as I can tell had no discernibly negative impact on society. I know many might say that rap music has had a horrible effect on blacks in this country, but I think to say that is horribly condescending to black people. They have choices just like the rest of us. After all, how many Texas red-dirt country music fans do you see going out and robbing banks or killing lovers who did them wrong? Not that many, I would think, and certainly not enough to point to Texas/red-dirt music as a contributing factor to the decline in the region’s culture (if there was anything wrong with the culture, which, of course, there isn’t).
And the same, of course, can be said of the guns Walmart sells. That in itself is a bit of a flawed argument, as Walmart doesn’t even sell the kinds of guns favored by the drug dealers and gangs that are shooting each other down. But even if Walmart did sell personal defensive arms in the lower 48, well, so what? Once again, inner-city blacks have the same free will the rest of us do, no matter what certain people might think. And again, to deny that, to blame it on anyone or anything but the people doing the killing, is a racist cop-out. No matter what stupid assholes like Cam’ron might think.


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