Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Loudly

Censorship: The use of the state and other legal or official means to restrict speech.

One of first reported incidents of Censorship was documented in 259 BC.  Someone, somewhere always has an opinion about what we should or shouldn't read.  Here are some examples...

259–210 B.C.: The Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti is said to have buried alive 460 Confucian scholars to control the writing of history in his time. In 212 B.C., he burned all the books in his kingdom, retaining only a single copy of each for the Royal Library—and those were destroyed before his death. With all previous historical records destroyed, he thought history could be said to begin with him.
1980s: During its examination of school learning materials, the London County Council in England banned the use of Beatrix Potter’s children’s classics The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny from all London schools. The reason: the stories portrayed only “middle-class rabbits.”

1983: Members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for the rejection of The Diary of Anne Frank because it was “a real downer.” It was also challenged for
offensive references to sexuality.

1987: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou was removed from the required reading list for Wake County, North Carolina, high school students because of a scene in which the author, at the age of seven and a half, is raped.

1997: In Ireland, a government censorship board banned at least 24 books and 90 periodicals.

1998: In Kenya the government banned 30 books and publications for “sedition and immorality,” including The Quotations of Chairman Mao and Salman Rushdie’s The
Satanic Verses.

2001: The U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, passed by the American Congress in response to terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, gave the FBI power to collect information about the library borrowings of any U.S. citizen. The act also empowered the federal agency to gain access to library patrons’ log-ons to Internet
Web sites—and protected the FBI from disclosing the identities of individuals being investigated.

(information sited from FREEDOM TO READ)

I think this is wrong.  Censorship is happening in our schools, churches, libraries, and within our community.  The book SPEAK by Laure Halse Anderson is being attacked saying the rape scenes are  pornographic.  The author of the article in trying to get SPEAK and several other titles removed from the school library's reading lists.  Books that address these tough issues should not be taken lightly, but they should be read.  Books like these give a voice to those who can't find theirs.  Books like these deserve a place on the shelf.

*I have not read this book, but I value my freedom to make my own choice.
So I am joining with the book community to SPEAK LOUDLY and say NO TO CENSORSHIP.


Marie said...

I haven't read this book either (but I will tonight!) but I agree with you, I value my freedom to make my own choice!

Thank you for this informative post!

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

awesome post! i hate this censorship crap, its just ridiculous.

practimom said...

i think it is a topic that makes people uncomfortable, but i think people need to know about it. Just think how uncomfortalbe, dang it miserable, the person who was raped fills. censorship for the sake of making folks fill uncomfortable, or not "PC", is totally wrong.

Janie said...

I have read this book by Laurie Halse Anderson, as well as several other books she has written. I completely agree with you that censorship takes away a freedom. I also think it has gotten out of control. I feel that writing is a form of art put on display for reason. The "rape scene" is not pornographic, it is REALITY. And frankly, if it makes people uncomfortable to KNOW what it is like to be raped, then maybe this form of awareness is an eye-opener for them. It really gets under my skin when books get banned from school reading lists. Especially when books like these encourage victims of violence to reach for help.
Thank you for posting this topic, my husband and I were just talking about it the other day.

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