The Editor, Sir:Whether dancehall music has a negative influence on Jamaican youth is not the issue that ought to be discussed. The relevant issue is what determines if a song, from any genre of music, is unfit for airplay.
All this talk about whether the negative lyrical contents of certain dancehall songs have a negative effect on the psyche of the youth is a waste of valuable time and energy.
The answer to this question should not be used to determine whether to ban certain songs from airplay and/or to make it illegal for a local artiste to record a song that goes against the criteria established by the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica.
If we wish to maintain a civilised society, certain rules and regulations have to be implemented and enforced by the authorities and followed by civil society.
That said, I don't agree with the authorities banning the recording and commercial public consumption of songs that are deemed unfit for airplay.
Whereas media houses should maintain a zero tolerance for songs that are unfit for airplay, a Jamaican recording artiste ought to be able to record whatever song he/she desires and, as long as that CD or 45 is labelled 'explicit', it ought to be made available for public sale to adults.
If there is to be a complete ban put on the recording of any song deemed to promote violence against any person or group, then, by extension, a sale ban would have to be put on all CDs, local and foreign, that are deemed unfit for airplay and/or public consumption. To do otherwise would be selective, hypocritical and unfair.
Patrick A. Gallimore