Censorship In America

Since this country was founded, we have had a set of unalienable rights that our constitution guarantees us to as Americans. One of the most important rights that is mentioned in our constitution is the right to free speech. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” These are the exact words used by our country’s forefathers when they made these amendments in the late 1700’s. Ever since then there have been people trying to abolish this right by censoring things that the American public has a right to see if they so choose. Movies, books, music, thoughts, ideas, and literature are all things that have fallen victims to censorship in this country. The idea and practice of censorship is unconstitutional and should be completely abolished in all forms.

Many Americans love films, the meanings behind those films and the impact some films have on people’s lives. Ever since films were created there have been people and organizations that have tried to censor and block what the public can and cannot see. Even to this day there are certain things that if put on film because of censorship, would never make it to the public. This is very sad. Film is one of this country’s great expressive outlets. Many filmmakers and the people who enjoy what these filmmakers put out are affected by the horrible concept of censorship.

When a film is put out to the public it is first reviewed by a movie rating board who then assigns the film a rating to tell people what age groups the film is suitable for and what the film contains. Movie selection for minors should solely be the responsibility of that child’s parent, not some critic that watches films and then makes decisions for other people about who can watch it and who can’t. People just need to start to understand the real meaning of free speech and expression in this country. Too many people are taking it for granted. People who are for the censorship of films may argue that it’s for the good of our children, shielding them from violence and sex, and not exposing them to something that they claim may be mentally harming. Some people may be able to see their views on this, I don’t.

Back in the holocaust in Germany book burning was an everyday activity that was taking place. Book censorship today in America isn’t quite as drastic as that, but still is reflecting the same concepts. I remember in junior high school when we would have banned book week. This was where the school celebrated having the right to read censored and banned books. Written word is one of the most important aspects of free speech. In no circumstance whatsoever, should any piece of writing be censored. Writing thoughts and ideas and whatever else comes into someone’s mind has been a practice of humans ever since historians know that man existed. Telling people what they can and cannot read is an invasion of not only the reader’s rights, but the author’s as well.

If someone doesn’t like what an author of a piece of literature have to say then that person has a right not to read it, or better yet form their own opinion and write about that. Book banning is and ungodly practice and the people of this world should learn from the mistakes of the past and not allow the censorship of written material. The only opposition that I can find to the censorship of books would be taking the same mindset on the topic as the Nazis did when they burned all of the Jew’s books. Trying to wipe out an entire race or group of people’s ideas and beliefs should never be done anywhere for any reason.

Music censorship has probably been the most heated topic in censorship right now. Censors claim that the lyrics and violent talk in today’s music are making kids do violent things and claiming that kids are trying to mimic what they hear their favorite musicians talking about. This is completely ridiculous. People who think that music is what is causing these problems are completely ignorant and just need a scapegoat. They don’t really want to deal with the problems so they shift the blame onto musicians. Musicians are out there to entertain people, they are out there to use their freedom of expression to express things they have experience in their lives and to make some money doing it. When this society gets to the point where they blame problems of violence on music, we are in big trouble. Censoring and blaming music for the actions of a few people is not a good thing because it shows how we can’t handle and correct our own problems in this country; we need to blame someone or something to make up for our negligence.

The only good point I can see from the other side of this argument is the fact that profanity and sexually explicit material shouldn’t be exposed to young children without their parental permission. But telling teenagers and young adults who are mature enough to choose what they want to listen to is completely wrong and unjust. The key word here is choice. As stated earlier, the thing that makes this country truly great is the idea that we have the right to listen to whatever we choose we want to listen to, not what a censor thinks you should be exposed to, and it’s ridiculous.

Freedom of speech and expression is one of the most important rights that we have in this country. Our forefathers knew this and acknowledged this in our great constitution which protects our rights as citizens in America. Censorship is a complete contradiction to this concept that has helped make America the greatest country in the world. If we do not stand up for our rights for free speech, someday it may be taken away all together. Everyday there are people out there trying to ban and censor things from Americans, things that as an American you have the right to view. Censorship must be stopped at all costs.

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Comments 60 comments

RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I'm not you have a complete picture of this. First, you state that are from Poland yet the article is from an "American" viewpoint.

The ratings of movies is not censorship. The ratings of the movies is for informational purposes so that people, especially parents, know ahead of time of their children might be exposed to inappropriate material. If they parent allows the child to watch it, it is not against any regulations or the law for them to do so. Censorship is when we ban material and that is not happening in America. A balance is being struck where things are rated so that you can avoid the material if it offends you. But it is still produced and available.


SCollins 7 years ago

RGraf, you are so ignorant of the fact that this really is happening in the US. Take a look at this website and tell me censorship isn't going on. I think you should acctually check things out before you critisize the work of someone that knows something.

Sara, your paper was great and I admire your dedication to this topic. I am curently writing a Public Plicy paper on Censorship in America and this piece has helped me greatly thank you.


troylaplante profile image

troylaplante 7 years ago from Selma, NC

The 1st Amendment is meant to protect against the government being a censor. Censorship, in and of itself, is not a bad or evil thing. Companies censor stuff constantly to protect their corporate image. Newspapers censor constantly the things they find inappropriate for publication. That is part of the freedom of the press in the same protective amendment. In my home, I censor materials inappropriate for my children and wife. On the internet, I choose to censor the content of the things I personally own or control. There is nothing wrong with any of that. The MPAA sets ratings on movies. It is close to censorship, but not quite. If a movie gets an R rating, it will most likely not be seen by those with families as a family. If a movie gets an X rating, even if it is not sexually explicit but is violent, it will be the kiss of death and the film will need to be edited down to fit the R rating in order to get distribution.

I personally do not see the harm in that. I have no problem with government censorship when it comes to anything the government funds, such as "the arts". The government has the responsibility to its citizenry to not fund things that are patently objectionable by most reasonable people and waste their tax dollars. Some amazing examples have come from this concept such as elephant dung made into the Virgin Mary or a picture of a crucifix in a jar of urine. Such highly volatile and obvioulsy inflammatory things should not be publicly funded and therefore censored from the perspective of not putting public money for their proliferation or creation.


shelbi Tulsa OK. 7 years ago

Thank you so much for this piece. I am in High School and Im doing a paper in English over America Censorship.

You work is awesome.

Thank You.

Shelbi


Cathleen  7 years ago

I was reading an article on Jessica Simpson being under fire for saying thr phrase " indian Giver" well, to tell you the truth I've used that phrase many a times before myself without thinking I was offending a race. But it seems to me that the Native Americans are jumping on the same band wagon as the afro- Americans in this country with the "n" word. A few people find something offensive they make light of it, basically making a mountain of a mole hill to their advantage censor it and so ever person that uses that word they will use to their advantage to gain power. And they say whites are prejudice and this and that. White people nowdays are the minority because of this fact. Pretty soon you won't be able to say anything because someone will find everything say or do offensive. Might as well put duct tape over your mouth and not speak at all, because that's what it's coming down anymore, these days.


ixwa profile image

ixwa 7 years ago

Censorship is wrong and cruel, especially censorship of the written word. Freedom of speech is essential and should be protected and practiced.


tdarby profile image

tdarby 7 years ago

Very interesting thought. Freedom of speech is vital to the generation of new ideas and lines of thought. It is also vital that all people are allowed to share their thoughts in whatever form or format they choose. I do, on the other hand, feel that many people think they are suffering from an infringment of their "freedom of speech" because they aren't being allowed to say what they want--wherever they want. Freedom of speech allows us to say what we want, but it doesn't mean that other people have to allow us to use their medium to promulgate our thoughts. IE--it isn't a constitutional right for someone to use the airwaves. If they have a message that someone who owns or manages the airwaves is willing to let them put there--then they can share their thoughts. But just because a radio station or tv station refuses to allow a certain message to be shared through their airwaves doesn't mean the person refused has been refused their freedom of speech. They can go stand on a corner and share it with anyone who will listen. Or they can pay to self publish and share/sell it to whoever will listen.


Barry 6 years ago

Where I live we have a web page for local news and people are allowed to comment about the article write and the subject written about.

Today I replyed to an article and I was sent a message that

I responded to much lately and that I should try later.

A nice way to let me know that the web owners don't like

my conservative points of view.


ATalavera 6 years ago

You read my mind. I am glad that there is someone out there that shares the same viewpoint that I do. Excellent work, and thank you.


Hi-Jinks profile image

Hi-Jinks 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Censorship comes from the far right. I moved from Illinois to Wisconsin years ago. I ask the people here about different cultural issues only to get blank stares. They never heard of certain music, plays, books, and other important issues.

In the media like Fox, they yell louder and talk a bigger lie, again, again, again...


Catalyst 6 years ago

True. But its television/media they stretch the truth in order to get more views and keep a viewers attention. Still entertaining though.


comment 6 years ago

this suck


reply to comment says 6 years ago

you suck.


me myself & I 6 years ago

hahahahahah^


rainman 6 years ago

censorship is a rampent disease in america. and i have to point out that she left out spoken word. i know a few people who have received fines for "disturbing the peace" for saying what they thought or felt. is this not a direct infringement on 1st ammendment?


Elephant lady 6 years ago

Censorship comes from the far left!!!! Free speech is a right granted by the constitution, however, When a persons views are inflicting on the rights of others or becomes offensive, that's where the line needs to be drawn.


Tiffy 6 years ago

it is true that we have the right to the freedom of speech but it seems noone understands that with every action comes a reaction so if you mess with a person or group more powerful then you should expect to be put in your place, i am not saying it is right, but just remember you can SAY what you want noone is stopping you but when your done expect punishment. lols sorry


T_Augustus profile image

T_Augustus 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

Censorship doesn't come from the far left, it comes for opposition. Free speech is only a right when you agree, when you disagree and rightfully so - people try to shut you down.

http://hubpages.com/community/lousyAmerican


unknown 6 years ago

its true we all have the right and freedom to speecch but you suck anyway


reply to unknown 6 years ago

No you suck! ya prag ha ha ha


reply to reply to unknown 6 years ago

you are the one who sucks all u did was copy off of reply to comment!


hooray:D 6 years ago

so i like the whole pendants at the bottom. i'm thinking about purchasing one for my mother for gift day. thank you for the advertising! :D


Upset 6 years ago

CENSORSHIP IS WRONG!!!! I know there are something’s that are gross and inappropriate on TV, games, etc, but they don’t have to censer that, you can choose just not to watch!! Simples as changing the TV not play the game and just NOT WHATCHING IT!!!! Censorship is like taking away the creators ideas!! Which is way WRONG!!


fetus 6 years ago

heya hows it goin :D


Airyn 6 years ago

Seriously if you don't want to see or hear what some one is trying to say then you don't have to, but to keep others from seeing and hearing makes you annoying. The way I see it, you would only be getting in the way and that puts you on the enemy side. If you don't want to be allowed to see and hear, and if you want to be fed whatever the sensors and the government want you to see and hear then go ahead. I don't care. But I'm not joining you.


Rwritings profile image

Rwritings 6 years ago

When our founding fathers wrote the 1 Amendment they wanted to protect the rights of the U.S. citizen to voice their concerns or disagreement with the Government without the fear of being punished for it. Not all censorship is bad, for example it is against to law to yell, "Fire!" in a crowded room when there is no fire because you could severally injure or even kill people. Also, child pronography should be censored because in order to make it you have to sexually abuse a child!


unknownpost 6 years ago

great work


duh 6 years ago

censorship comes from either the far left or the far right. take for example the soviet union (obviously a communist nation) which was far left: under all of the dictatorial leaders of russia there has been censorship, although on the other side in both of the dictatorships during wwII in Italy and Germany, there was just as much censorship.


Fairy queen 6 years ago

CENSORSHIP IS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There is a difference 6 years ago

There is a difference between censorship and rating something. The association that rates movies may rate something an R rating. This tells parents that the material may not be appropriate.

As long as people are still allowed to view this material, there is no censorship going on. At best, the rating is a suggestion.

HOWEVER, many movie theaters will not allow minors to see an R rated movie without parental consent. This is censorship derived from 2 different things: the rating system and laws allowing privately owned corporations to admit or bar anyone it chooses from its establishment. This thinly disguised censorship is perfectly legal in law, but it oh so close to true censorship.

My 2 cents


huh 6 years ago

so THere Is A Difference, you are basically saying that it is censorship for a parent to be allowed to decide whether or not their child who happens to be a minor and islegally unable to fend for themselves is not allowed to make the choice between whether or not the child is able to see a movie?


what are you smoking 6 years ago

sara there is no connection between whether or not a critic is able to keep a child from watching any movie/ show that is airing. they can only point a parent toward that direction, and a parent does not have to respond in any way. also what does book burning have to do with american book censorship?


Adrian Z. 6 years ago

I totally agree with you. censorship is a black spot on the American society. I recently watched an episode of south park. the one that was supposed to have the prophet muhhamed in it. But comedy central censored a good portion of the episode. the prophet could not be seen because of a big censor bar over him. also not even the characters could say muhhamed. the word was just bleeped out. the is made me angry. they even bleeped out entire sentances. this has got to stop


Nisa 6 years ago

Good Lord. It's blocking pornographic images and swear words from children; it's not the end of the world.

Grow up and stop complaining about the rules like kindergarteners. At least you don't live in a dictatorship where only a minimal selection of books is available and women are forced to wear veils that leave only their eyes exposed. At least you live in a country where you can say whatever you want about the government and won't get decapitated.

I found this article poorly written and biased.


cherokee 6 years ago

Is it censorship if a government owned business, store, must clear it's purchase of books to offer for public sale with an employee of the government not working directly in the government owned business, store? Aren't they trying to control what I might read? Do they have that right? It isn't the store manager or the store head, but a whole other part of government doing it.


Aryca 6 years ago

Nisa-

Censorship is more than just blocking pornographic images and swear words from children. It's about telling people what they can or can not say, write, perform in public. In some countries, Turkey for example, people go to jail if they write a song that is not in favor of their president.

The Dixie Chicks got kicked off tour amongst other things for just saying that they were ashamed that George W Bush was from Texas.

People, musicians, artists, writers, anyone should have the ability to say what they want to in their work without getting any reprimandation for it. If you don't want to listen, change the channel, if you don't want to read it, don't check it out. If you don't want to think about it, then don't! the FCC is a governmnet commission that censors these things. Tell me that isn't against the 1st amendment which "stops government from censoring"..


truthmustmetold 5 years ago

this article is absoulety amazing i agree with everything u said n u r an awesome writer...u helped me so much with my homework


Alice 5 years ago

hi what is music censorship?


Wolfyy7 5 years ago

I am the author of the Article "Why Censorship Is Absolutely Necessary" here on Hubpages. I will be as brief as possible. I am on the other side and I completely disagree with this article. Our founding fathers also believed in order. What is order? When you hear the judge slam the gavel and shout "Order."? More or less yes. My point is we as a country must have order if you have no order than your freedom means nothing so to achieve freedom of speech, expression etc. we must have order. I know for a fact you are incorrect when you state, "lyrics and violent talk in today’s music are making kids do violent things and claiming that kids are trying to mimic what they hear their favorite musicians talking about. This is completely ridiculous."

If common sense is not enough for you, let's think about it this way. Are you saying that you do not believe in brainwashing? Because that is exactly what terrorists such as the Natzi's were doing. At one point during the war they were training 10 year old children to shoot weapons toward the end, to kill the Americans. Similar to this concept children can and will be influenced by audio and visual materials at a young age. This is factual. If you don't believe it, you are in denial.

What they were censoring should not have been censored, that is a fact. No genocide should be covered up. However, I do not want my child learning about the holocaust at the age of 7 necessarily. That is arguable. That could be harmful to the child, any material of that nature should not be shown to children, if you disagree than you are not responsible and your idea of freedom of speech is corrupt, bottom line.

This is not a matter of violating the first amendment. Music is very influential and a 8 year old boy should not be listening to Eminem's music at that age because he is not matured and vulnerable. If he were 18 (and I'm not implyng the exact age of 18 but a few years less or more, give or take) on the other hand he could listen to it and enjoy the music without becoming a detriment to society. This is the real problem, this is not a joke but it is very much so overlooked because effects are not immediate, maybe the child will listen to enough violet music that it takes him or her by the age of 13 or 12 or 23 to build up enough angry and violence that they let it out and society is harmed as a whole and then everyone finds everyone but the source of the problem to blame. Musicians aren't to blame, it's the people who aren't making a censored version of the music for immature aged children and not monitoring it properly.


Josh 5 years ago

I had a different opinion and ur paper has change that....i agree with u, im currently doin a paper about censorship and censorship should be stop


moocow 5 years ago

fish go moo!


joshua 5 years ago

houston, how do you know we dont have football?


mrs. boyd 5 years ago

josh if your going to write about boys go to the office!!!


jsdd 5 years ago

my names ty ledford, come here josh


rickster 5 years ago

I agree 100% that we will lose the right of freedom of speech if we dont do something about it.....


jalondo 5 years ago

i like article


desirae 5 years ago

i think you are so right on this i agree with every word i loved it all thank you for making a wonderful point out to the world


Eric Cartmen 5 years ago

Scollins, you are right about most of that, but in today's time, if you walk into a movie theatre and are under the set age for the movie rating (R is either 17 or 18) they will not allow you to see the movie. They do let some people slip in and out though. If you walk into Wal-Mart and try to buy a video game that is rated M, they ask you for a liscense. in some stores they will have the origional version of books, with the offensive text, and usually you can find them online. So both you and RGraf are right. Hope you read this. I am not trying to contradict our statement, I was just emphasizing some things.


crazylegs:) 5 years ago

You really helped me on my report! Thanks so much!!!


Dark Romance Angel 5 years ago

Nice good Sara. I'm currently in High School and I need to find three sources for mt speech agruement against government sensorship. This has helped greatly. Thank you once again.

~Angel


Josh 4 years ago

Censorship is a bad thing when abused. There is noting wrong in censoring things that might harm us and the people around us. Censorship must be used in moderation.


somethgblue profile image

somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

Consider for a moment that America since WWII has been systematically brainwashed or conditioned.

Is it a coincidence that my awakening to the truth has coincided with my decision to sell my TV and never watch it again, even at friends' houses, doubtful!

Have you ever noticed that many people are afraid of the truth and even when presented with absolute proof get very agitated!

Notice the person that commented that your hub sucked, with no explanation given?

The amount of censorship in this country is beyond staggering

google or read the Rise of the Fourth Reich, Final Judgement, Where Did The Towers Go?, Hurricane Eris, The Piri Reis Map, Forbidden Archeology, Rule By Secrecy . . . or read one of my Hubs.

America's failure to wake up is a symptom of its conditioning and the food we eat and the water we drink.

Great Hub well worth the time of reading it, thanks for sharing!


MASTEROFALL 4 years ago

All whom decide to attack the side of the argument in which this article is fighting for, you are complete idiots. Do you really believe that the government is just going to limit the censorship to preventing underage people from soiling their minds? If so, you are an even bigger idiot. The government will obviously take it too far and outright decimate our constitutional rights. I hope you all enjoy our gray life of total censorship.

With love,

YOURMASTER


itsallokay 4 years ago

But think, would you want the government to NOT censor things such as books like making explosives, how to get away with murder, and all these crazy things? The government is simply protecting us from those books getting in the wrong hands.


idiotoful 4 years ago

I think that the writer is right indeed, Censorship is a stupid invention, though it must've had quite a good reason to be thought of in the beginning. It shouldn't be used this way any more, it is out-dated just like a lot of different laws. And the most ironic thing I could think of is that they'd censor this. It would just show my point.


sasa 4 years ago

this is an awesome paper it helped me with my English hw on censorship


LionMom 4 years ago

When I read your article it made it perfectly clear that you did not have children of your own.

If you choose to have children, the day you hold that baby in your arms will be the day that you become a protective Mother and will do anything at any cost to protect that miricle from any harms.

You will want your child to watch Barney and Elmo and not expose them to the scariness that life has to offer in the future.

You may think that censorship has no place in society, and yes we should have the right to read and watch what we choose. Should a peodophile have the right to have child pornography? No because we protect our children to the best of our ability from people like that. Should we as parents have the right to let there 5 year old play Call of Duty or watch a movie like the Hunger Games? Why not just give them a gun? Or should we protect kids and let them be kids as long as we can?

Why make a child numb about violence and sex?

I believe in censorship to some degree. I would love for you to revist this subject if you ever become a mother. you protect your pets at all costs? You will do the same for your children.

LionMom


me 4 years ago

i just gotta say one thing. you hate it so much, but what are you gonna do about it? you as one insignificant being can't do jack to stop anything you want. all you can do is complain, which is basically what protesting is. and nothing changes. i mean people occasionally get stuff to change, but that's probably just throwing us a bone so we feel like we can change something. or they were planning on changing it anyway. I'm not knocking what your writing about because i believe it is quite true that there is a censorship problem. but i don't try and change anything, because it would take more energy to try and change it then it would to just work around the issue. for me at least. if you got the time and energy to try and change stuff, by all means go for it. and if censorship changes for the better, your first on my list to thank. best wishes


Martin Applewhite 4 years ago

I and all of my Hubs were censored by Hubpages when apparently just one person complained to the management,all of whom are completely un-contactable,there's NO WAY of contacting these turkeys,how's that,really ,there's a generic contact box for people to maybe write to someone,who is otherwise unreachable!I have no recourse here,i did nothing wrong,and yet my freedom of speech was silenced!

How do you think Hubpages would like a long drawn out L.O.I.C.(Low Orbit Ion Cannon Attack)weeks and weeks of denial of service for their distorted site?I think they'd like it about as much as i like getting censored by a little group of half assed fu*kwits,who ,because i've just written fu*kwits,will censor me again!


fastfood 4 years ago

I'll use your article as a defense after I've yelled fire in a dark and crowded movie theater. ]:-)

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