Today the Ottawa Citizen published an opinion piece by our editor, Kevin Bourne, on the violence at Bluesfest. In this piece he stated that artists and parents bear some responsibility for the behaviour:

“…artists need to take responsibility. You can’t have artists talking about molly and Percocets, then act like they have no responsibility when young people are intoxicated at their shows. Young people are impressionable. Case in point: when I was a teenager I went through a brief gin and juice phase.

Third, parents need to take responsibility. There are some concerts you shouldn’t be bringing your kids to. There are some concerts your 13-year-old kid shouldn’t be going to on their own. And smoking weed with your young teenager at a concert just isn’t cool.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that both artists and parents – the people who have the biggest impact on our youth – aren’t taking responsibility for their respective roles in this mess. Maybe youth aren’t the culprit. Maybe they’re the victims. I find it hard to chalk this all up to these young people being bad, while placing no responsibility on the two groups who have the biggest impact on their lives.”

He also weighed in on the association between hip-hop and criminality:

“Responsibility needs to be taken on a few fronts. First, as black people, we need to take responsibility for the fact that we’ve probably contributed to furthering the negative stereotypes. Like any other genre, there are positive elements to hip-hop culture and there are negative ones, and at times we don’t always paint the best picture of ourselves in our music…”

Visit ottawacitizen.com to read the full article.

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