« Previous | Main | Next »

Is it right to sing lyrics that are offensive?

Paul Vassallo | 14:56 UK time, Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The South African High Court has banned an ANC liberation song that has lyrics like, "shoot the boer" as inciting murder. The ANC are incensed and are saying this is trying to erase history.

Bujubanto.jpgCan a song's lyrics be dangerous and incite hatred? Should a song be banned because it might offensive?

In the past rap music has been attacked and even banned as glorifying violence and inciting attacks on gay people.


World football still has problems with racist and homophobic songs and chanting at matches. It seems impossible to stop despite campaigns like this.


Is it justified to ban such chants and music or would it be an attack on free speech?


Is freedom of speech so sacred a principle we have to accept that some will use language and lyrics in songs that are offensive?


This commentator thinks it is a price worth paying to protect this freedom.


Is this ban of an ANC freedom song just a ban too far?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.