Public images, and what our children get from them


 
 

By Ryan Salzwedel

Blogger, Parent Panelist

I often wonder what kind of image I am portraying to my son; what kind of image of a man am I portraying when he looks at me. Believe me, I make my mistakes and am not always proud of the words that come out of my mouth or the tone in my voice. I monitor not only what he watches on the television, but also what I click on when I think he may not be paying attention. Trust me, they are ALWAYS paying attention. My days of watching action films, South Park, and really anything over a PG-13 rating before 9pm are long gone. But what happens when the image of a man is skewed by circumstances out of your control?

I recently ventured out of Uptown, as I often do on business,

and came across this scene pictured in the attached photo. In my single days, an image like this would not have caused a second thought, but now as a parent I found it troubling and frightening. Luckily my son was not with me at the time, but this was in a high traffic, high crime area with many young children making their way to school. The images on these "rugs" depict a classic '80s movie character who happens to be a narcotics dealer holding a smoking machine gun, and a gunned down '90s gangster rapper with the message underneath "How long will they mourn me."

Don't get me wrong, I am not a "prude" when it comes to artistic integrity. My work as an actor has put me on many film sets with questionable material. I do believe in "artistic freedom." But what happens when that "artistic freedom" spills over to our street? What responsibility do we hold as a society to help shield our children from the images and the inevitable outcome of the characters on these "rugs?"

 
 





 
 
 
Copyright 2014 Wednesday Journal Inc. All rights reserved. Chicago web development by liQuidprint