Donald Sterling and the Music Industry

Posted on 05/12/2014 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation

Donald Sterling, the 80 year old owner of the LA Clippers was banned from the NBA, fined $2.5M and will be asked to sell his franchise. This punishment was delivered by the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, only days after a private tape of conversations showed him as a racist by the NBA and the media.

The Town Hall Foundation wholeheartedly agrees with the punishment as there is no room for hurtful racial speech in sports or any other venue. There are some who believe that private conversations remain private but in this case those comments became public leading to the ban. That said, again, his comments were offensive and hurtful, justifying the punishment.

Now how does this relate to the music industry? For too many years, the music industry has not self-regulated itself nor has a non-bias outside organization chosen to pressure the industry to adopt standards. Sterling’s comments were aimed at all African Americans regardless of age, but when all is said and done, victims of his horrific language are not likely to take to the streets with violence on their minds.

That is not true for the music industry. From the five studies we post on our Website, we can discern a direct correlation from offensive music lyrics and unacceptable behavior in children ages 5-17. This Cause and Effect has been established for years, yet no one except the Town Hall Foundation has taken up the pen and called out the artists that produce offensive lyrics.

Our certified staff of schoolteachers, after careful training, follow the THF’s protocol for reviewing all music. The reviews are peer reviewed to ensure that outcomes are consistent with our review criteria. This process takes approximately three hours per song.

Hiding under the umbrella of the first amendment to the Constitution, artists belch out vile lyrics that shock our children and create a new norm of behavior. With Smartphones and the like, our children listen to songs over and over and over creating a Brainwashing effect and they follow through with the behavior celebrated by the offending artists. All of this for the sake of making money.

The Town Hall Foundation Website displays reviewed songs and posts the offensive lyrics. As an example, the song, “Love Me” by Lil’ Wayne contains many specific lyrics that violate our review criteria. The review is available at and the offensive lyrics will be displayed when you click on the “Show Offensive Lyrics” button.

In context of the Donald Sterling racial comments, these lyrics aimed at children are completely reprehensible.

When will we ban together and fight the fight against these music artists. The infrastructure at the THF is complete. All we need to do to ensure the music distribution industry has a strong data base of offensive songs is time and money. When funded, we will review 5,000 songs released in 2014 and when funded we will go back ten years to ensure that already released offensive songs are pulled from the inventories.

The NBA rose up against Donald Sterling and correctly so. When will we; parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and yes even our children rise up and say enough is enough. Support the Town Hall Foundation at

That’s the message for today, more coming.