Why censorship will always do more harm than good

Network Staff Editorial

Censorship. It’s a big heavy word for an even heavier topic.

Censorship can come in many different forms, whether it be book burnings or your parents telling you that you’re not quite mature enough to watch that rated R movie. At times it can seem like censorship is the perfect solution. If a topic makes so many people angry or uncomfortable, why not prevent people from reading or writing about it?

The answer, really, is simple. We can’t avoid talking about the uncomfortable things in life because those things happen, and are important. Everyone is going to face difficult situations in their lives. To pretend that the world around us isn’t scary and a little bit dark is like pretending that cupcakes aren’t bad for you. Sure, you’re going to be a lot happier as you gobble down cupcake after cupcake, but in the end you’re only hurting yourself. Pretending bad things don’t happen won’t stop them from happening, it just leaves us hopelessly unprepared for when they do happen.

That being said, no one wants to talk about topics that are hard to explain or make them uncomfortable. It can be painful and awkward, but that’s the amazing thing about being in high school. High school provides us with a safe environment where we can talk about heavy topics without the fear of being judged. Now is our time to ask questions and explore every part of the world we live in.

When you try to take books that may seem graphic or vulgar but have important messages away from all young people, you’re preventing them from understanding the world we live in as a whole. When we try to prevent journalists from reporting the whole story, you’re essentially forcing them to lie. When you try to take certain topics out of textbooks, you’re dooming future generations to repeating the same mistakes humanity has made time and time again. There’s simply no situation in which censorship, on a larger scale, makes the world a better place.networkstaffbanned-4

On a smaller scale, censorship can be a little more understandable. Parents know their kids, and we know ourselves. It’s a parent’s job to know what their kids can handle and to take steps from there to be sure they’re educated properly and are taking in the world as slowly or swiftly as they can handle it. As an individual, you know when something is too much for you to handle. The problem only comes in when parents or individuals try to prevent everyone else from reading books simply because they don’t want to read them or find the content too inappropriate. One person cannot speak for the entire population.

In honor of Banned Books Month, the Network Staff would like to encourage everyone to explore. Pick up a book from a banned books list, ask your parents or teachers about a topic that might be hard to talk about, or start an open discussion with your friends about how they’ve seen censorship in their lives. We can learn so much from the things that make us uncomfortable.

At the end of the day, keeping each other in the dark will only leave all of us blindly wandering around. It’s best for us to turn on the light, even if it can burn our eyes at first.

Need any suggestions on some great books to read? Check out the Network Staff’s list of our favorite banned books here!

One response to “Why censorship will always do more harm than good

  1. Pingback: The Network Staff’s favorite banned books | The Network '17·

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