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Funding moral garbage

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Most state employees pay little attention to how their pension funds are invested. But a report that appeared in last week's edition gives good reason why these workers should take a second look.

According to the report, the state invested $2.8 billion from the pension fund in companies that market, distribute and sell "gangsta rap." Gangsta rap takes a popular art form already preoccupied with sex, violence and illegal drugs to new depths. Women are treated like and often referred to as "hos." Gang violence is glorified and singers spend a great deal of time bragging about their sexual prowess.

It is intellectual and moral garbage with sometimes clever rhymes. And it has enormous influence. The lyrics and their destructive message are protected by the First Amendment and that is the way it should be.

But those responsible for investing this money should be expected to take greater care in selecting companies in which to invest. At a forum hosted by the Hip-Hop Youth Council, local elected officials talked about the need to invest the pension funds in a more responsible manner.

One suggestion was to invest funds in the Housing Authority that would help to reopen a number of youth centers closed in recent times. Almost any investment would be better than gangsta rap.

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