Freedom: Not with the PMRC
There are so many people that stand for something I value. I choose Tom Morello. He is the guitar player for Rage Against the Machine, a political rock band that consists of two caucasians, a Chicano, and Tom, who has a white mother and an African-American father. This is a band that has many different views and beliefs that appeal to me, but Tom appeals to me the most because of his firm belief in freedom of speech and the elimination of censorship.Tom grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, and even though he was half-white, he was seen as being an African-American in a predominately white town. Tom’s father who was Kenya’s first ambassador to the United Nations and a leader of the Mau Mau uprising, left when Tom was only one. Tom’s life in Libertyville was filled with hate, racism, and censorship. Racial slurs were thrown at him, and on a few occasions nooses were hung from trees in his yard. When he would try to express his beliefs, he was told not to write these things by his teacher because he was into Marxism which was bad by his teachers’ standards. As a result, Tom found refuge in his music and in college, where he was able to express what he felt more openly. He graduated from Harvard with honors in 1986 with a degree in Political Science. Now he plays for a platinum selling band.Through the band, Tom has been able to bring to the attention of young people the problems of censorship in music, television, and the media. One of his big adversaries is the Parent’s Musical Resource Council (PMRC), which was founded by Tipper Gore. This council promotes the censorship of albums and other products by placing parental advisory stickers on them and using television rating systems.On the other hand, Tom’s mom, Mary Morello, formed an anti-censorship organization called Parents for Rock and Rap in 1987, with the help of her son. This organization was formed to stop censorship, especially in the music industry. In 1996 Mary won the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for work against censorship.On one occasion, Tom and Rage showed their firm stance against censorship. At the 1993 Lollapalooza stop in Philadelphia, they protested the PMRC in a way that no one there will ever forget.