Jordan Candler / May 23, 2018

Wynton Marsalis on What’s ‘More Damaging Than a Statue’

“I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have … music talking about n—rs and b—es and hoes.”

Kanye West isn’t the only black celebrity to blow leftist minds as of late. Prodigious jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is yet another iconic minority to publicly break with the Democrat Party on at least one aspect of what harms us culturally. For the record, Marsalis isn’t entirely unconventional when it comes to enforcing the Left’s narrative on supposed culture ills: He helped purge Confederate statues from his hometown of New Orleans. Nevertheless, he recently reiterated what he rightly believes contributes to the plight of minorities.

As he explained to The Washington Post: “I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have … music talking about n—rs and b—es and hoes. It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee.” He added, “There’s more n—rs in [raunchy music] than there is in Robert E. Lee’s statue.”

Marsalis is absolutely right, though we’d contend that Robert E. Lee was in fact a man of honor. The old adage about reaping what we sow is applicable in every aspect of life, and most Americans spend hours a day listening to music. Our youth in particular listen to profanity- and garbage-laden lyrics that are especially pervasive in rap and hip-hop. Regarding the latter, Marsalis once said: “Listen, I don’t have to attack hip-hop. Hip-hop attacks itself.” And that’s where Kanye West could still learn a thing or two. For example, two songs in which he is featured are titled “N—rs in Paris” and “That’s My B—h.” Garbage in, garbage out.

Music professor Ethan Hein believes just the opposite. In a recent article, he opines, “Music educators teach what they learned, and what they learned is likely to be the musical expression of old-world whiteness.” He endorses the view that “musical standards of classically trained university faculty are unsurprisingly oriented toward the classical tradition, [and] that they are ‘listening for affirmations of Whiteness.’” After all, “While overt racism is no longer socially acceptable, the institutional structures and vocabulary terms created during a racist era survive intact into the present.”

Condemning raunchy lyrics is hardly what we would call “affirmations of Whiteness.” It’s simply the decent thing to do. Arguing that it’s “so important that music education embrace hip-hop,” as Professor Hein does, because America must “re-orient the mission, values and goals of music education away from the preservation of whiteness” lends credence to Marsalis’s point that repulsive lyrics are “more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee.” If you doubt that, ask yourself this: Is a criminal or pervert more likely to embrace hip-hop or classical music?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.