Censorship, a controversial word that has been with us since who knows when. Ancient dictators would burn books because they didnt like them and force people to believe what he did. The question I ask myself though is if censorship in Libraries and schools is justified. My answer is no, and that is what I will try to convince you. Censorship is ridiculous, unfair and selfish, and censors are hypocritical, intolerant, and arrogant.
What I mean when I say censorship is ridiculous is exactly that. In Censorship Opposing Viewpoints, it states that the American Heritage Dictionary was banned from Anchorage, Alaska because of words dubbed obscene, like bed, tail, ball, and nut. At first we laugh at it, but we stop when we hear it has also been banned in Cedar City, Indiana, and Eldon, Missouri. % other dictionaries were banned in Texas. These people that ban them call themselves People for Better Education. I thought dictionaries help you learn? An article in Scholastic Update entitled The Case of the disappearing Books it says last year there were 338 cases of parents trying to remove books, among these was the classic Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. A teacher was fired because she assigned a book with a lesbian as a main character. A parent, Ruth Somoro, said this was being intolerant of religious beliefs, and schools arent supposed to promote religious beliefs. Hmm, I dont get it. The Supreme Court ruled books couldnt be removed because they dislike the ideas in them. A students says, They dont let me bring God into school, so I dont think they should be able to bring the devil into school. this boy thought homosexuals descended directly from the devil. This is a religious belief that he can keep at home and in church, but keep it away from school. Religious Right people seem to think that if you have a word in your vocabulary such as, academic freedom, analysis, career education, creative writing, human growth, identity, parenting, racism, world view, and self-understanding, there are others but I think this gets all of the human race, you are a secular humanist. This has now become known as anyone with other beliefs than the Religious Right, it is a code word for communism. These people are part of a conspiracy against America an dare also communists who shouldnt have a say in anything. This is from an essay in Censorship opposing viewpoint, by Michael Scott Cane. It is truly ridiculous.
The second aspect that censorship is unfair and selfish deals with our rights and the First Amendment. A quote from Nat Hentoff in The Case of the disappearing books, says, The First Amendment doesnt just give you the right to express ideas, theres also a right to receive them. We have the right to read any book we want and educate ourselves; the library plays a big part in this. Guess what, we also have the right to choice and we can choose not to read something if we dont like the content, that doesnt mean we have to force others not to read it. In Publishers Weekly an article, School Board Bans Acclaimed Gang-Life Memoir the Rockford, Illinois school district banned the book Always Running: A Memoir of LA Vida Loca, Gang Life in L.A. Kids from elsewhere poured in letters thanking for the book. This is not fair to the students in Rockford. The book just portrays life, and people have to learn to deal with what goes on in the world. The Religious Right seems to be forcing their beliefs on us, and we also have freedom of Religion. The Religious Right is trying to take over the libraries locally. The libraries would then be family friendly with parental advisory sections because they feel it is no longer safe for a little kid to walk through a library. This is according to Karen Jo Gounaud in an article from the Education Digest, The Religious Right Hits Libraries. The Religious Right doesnt agree with ALAs Bill of Rights, which is totally anticensorship. I think these people must be protecting themselves from the outside world, not watching news or reading newspapers to see what really happens and the horrors people have to go through every day, we learn about them sometime. I feel bad for their kids.
The last point is ever so true. Censors are the most arrogant, hypocritical, intolerant people ever. In Censorship Opposing Viewpoints the essay by Michael Scott Cane also says Secular humanism causes falling test scores, declining values, lack of Christian morals, poor grammar, situational ethics, and other things they disapprove of. It is destroying the family, wrecking society, and wiping out the minds of children. I dont see this happening. They also said how much better everything was when in Public School they taught praying and the bible, back in the old days. I dont think so. A problem is that there is no compromise; there are no neutral parties. In The Religious Right Hits Libraries Karen Jo Gounaud says there is too much material that undermines traditional values and traditional family. The term traditional is outdated, many families are single parents, or parents of the same sex, or have family problems. They cannot solve all problems by forcing beliefs on you. They think if you do not have their beliefs you will corrupt society, but look at me, I have no religious beliefs, do I corrupt society? The Religious Right also says the Liberal Left censors and undermines education, how hypocritical is that? Who is to say whose moral beliefs are correct, with censorship you are saying with absolute certainty that your are, and not being tolerant of others.
Throughout my speech I have proved censorship in libraries and schools is unjustified because it is ridiculous, unfair and selfish, and censors are hypocritical, arrogant, and intolerant. I hope you learn censorship is not a good thing, speak out against it.