Sending Kids to Concerts: Do You and the Obamas Have a Clue?

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Malia Obama
Malia Obama attended Lollapalooza in Chicago a few weeks ago. (Twitter)

Malia Obama has turned Sweet 16. Like many her age, a rite of passage is going to a concert or music festival with friends to enjoy the songs, atmosphere and just have some good, clean fun.

Picture President Obama and Michelle sitting in the Oval Office giving her some parting instructions: "Sweetie, your outfit is so cool, and I know you'll have a good time. Stay close with your friends and don't worry, the bodyguards won't embarrass you. Lollapalooza, Grant Park—Chicago's music festival has some of the biggest names, even though Beyoncé, our favorite, won't be there. The weekend is going to be a blast!"

A hug, a tender kiss on the forehead and off she goes like multitudes of teens today. Maybe the first lady brushes aside a salty tear and smiles faintly as her reassuring hubby gives her a wink and a nod telegraphing, "Everything's gonna be OK."

Twelve-year-old Sasha cuddles her teddy bear, watching admiringly in the background and thinks to herself, "It won't be long till I can go with Sis. She promised to bring me back some of the band's "merch"—maybe a CD, hoodie or a poster."

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What can be more wholesome than the above scene: the sweetness of a young lady's innocence; the adventure of exploring the musical landscape of the pop scene; and sentimental parents looking on approvingly?

Fast forward to Grant Park in the middle of 300,000 screaming, musical aficionados.

What Can Go On At These Events?

"C'mon you hot m----- f---ers! Give it up for the real Slim Shady ... EMINEM!!"

For the uninitiated, this Detroit rapper, from the duo "Bad Meets Evil," has sold 115 million albums. He's a headliner. His life is a tale of debauchery, drugs, assault, arrest, divorce and promotion of violence against women. His mother sued him. His best friend was shot in the head after killing someone. He's been addicted to drugs and alcohol, consuming 40 to 60 Valium in a day. He overdosed on methadone—the equivalent of four bags of heroin. He was two hours from dying. He's trying some rehab.

His songs are foul and profane, from the gutter. He peppers rhyming lyrics with the f-word and multitudes of obscenities while celebrating masturbation, violence and references to a woman's intimate parts.

  • "Kill You": "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore/vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?"
  • "We as Americans": "F--- money! I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead."

If this was one of his selections, I wonder how that went over with our impressionable young lady?

"I can't hear ya, Chicago! Outkast is in the house! They've got that social stigma so let's make 'em feel right at home you (expletive) monsters!"

Again, for those not so clued in, these X-rated hip hop "artists" with attitude roll out a degree of depravity not comprehended by scores of adults. Sample some of the titles from their explicit album overflowing with profanities, The Love Below:

  • "Hootie Hoo"
  • "She Lives in My Lap"
  • "Toilet Tisha"
  • "Gangsta Shxx"
  • "2 Dope Boyz"
  • "Where Are My Panties?"

Picture "you-know-who" plunged into the middle of this cesspool surrounded by partygoers galore, many of whom are drunk, high on drugs, groping each other out in the open while lacing their dialogue with profanities and suggestive remarks.

Not every band sinks this low, but these were the headliners. Not everybody is in an inebriated stupor, but it's all around. There's nudity along with sex; 21 felony arrests—most drug-related; cleanup of 250 tons of trash—drug paraphernalia, vomit and unmentionables. And all this in an atmosphere where police usually turn a deaf ear and are encouraged not to be aggressive but let people "have a good time." Last time Lady Gaga performed, she launched her near-naked body to crowd-surf the riotous crowd.

BREAKING NEWS: 'Rape and Sexual Assaults on the Rise at Concerts, Experts Say'

As I was working on this commentary, a friend sent me an article that could not have been more timely. You can read all the details on

As you read some of the excerpts, should it surprise us that what is conveyed on the platform is then carried out in the crowd?

Heather McKay opened her well-researched and documented article with these words: "Gone are the days when the worst thing a woman had to worry about at a concert was getting her purse snatched. Experts we talked to say sexual assaults at concerts and music festivals are on the rise, the product of lax security, drugs and alcohol."

She went on to survey what is happening. Here are some examples she cited:

  • Sexual battery at a Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert.
  • Teenager allegedly raped in broad daylight at Keith Urban concert while others watched. Attorney justifies behavior as "consensual."
  • At one event there was a woman raped and robbed; a teenager assaulted in a porta potty; a parking lot attendant raped a girl; etc.

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