Censorship

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Censorship “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right to petition the government for a redress of government.”(Ravitch, 118) As stated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the people of this nation have the right to exercise their beliefs out loud, or in writing. With this in mind, does the government have the right to undermine the foundation of our nation, and censor what we read, watch, and listen to? Many people think not, but there are those who believe that censorship is better for the people. Some Americans believe that censorship is a benefit to society. These people think that the government should decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for the people to see, and do away with the inappropriate music, articles, and novels. There have been alterations made to music lyrics to make them “acceptable” for the public to listen to. An example of this would be a song performed by Cole Porter entitled “I Get A Kick Out of You”, in which the lyrics “I get no kick from cocaine,” were change to “I get perfume from Spain” (A Brief…1950’s, 2). There have also been attempts to prevent the young from obtaining inappropriate material such as music. In 1992 the Washington State government passed a law that required all music storeowners to place an “Adults Only” label on music that was deemed “erotic” by a state judge. This law made it illegal to sell the labeled material to minors, people under the age of eighteen. Those persons who believe censorship is a good thing, try to ban certain books that they fell are “dangerous” to the youth of America. This act is done during the final week in September, also know... ... middle of paper ... ...sense in removing it from various forms of entertainment. Censorship is a way of controlling the actions of the people. However, censorship is clearly not necessary. The television programs you watch, music you listen to, and books you read are choices. America is based on choices. No one can make you watch, read, or listen to anything. So, if you do not like what is on television, there is a simple solution: close the book, change the radio or television station. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas said it best when he stated, “Restriction of free thought and speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” Does America want to take the chance of destroying everything on which it was founded, and possibly destroy itself? It is something we, the people, need to sit down and think about.

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