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Book Ban

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Book Banning
I stand here today to address is the issue of book banning in school libraries. The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) defines censorship as: “The removal, suppression, or restricted circulation of literary, artistic, or educational materials… of images, ideas, and information…on the grounds that there are morally or otherwise objectionable in light of standards applied by the censor”Though parents may choose to discuss what their children are exposed to the idea of removing it from access to the public is absurd. By removing books from school libraries concerned members of society are now limiting children and their potential to expand their horizons. I firmly believe everyone has the right to be exposed to knowledge. By limiting the literature that a young mind is exposed to limits the ability to understand and become open minded. On that note I understand that some books should not be hand to children until they have the mental capacity to comprehend the language and the meaning behind some books as not to see these books as simple stories or to be taken literally.
I understand that people have reasons for their censors but it does not mean they are always right. There are four motivational factors that may lie behind a censor’s actions. Those factors are family values, religion, political views, and minority rights. On the basis of family values, the censor is usually threatened by changes in accepted traditional ways of life. They view sexual works as deviations from the norm and want to protect their children from the negative effects of sexual behavior. Censorship based on religion views sexual works as attacks on the religious faith itself. Also, anti-religious works are damaging to the religious beliefs. Themes that are viewed as communistic, un-American, or ungodly would be censored based on their changes in the political structure. Obscenity is used by these censors to cover up the objections on political groups and beliefs. Lastly, minority rights censors often want their own special group values recognized. This category is mainly censored by ethnic minorities and women who are struggling against established stereotypes that have been the norm for a long time.
This generation of millennials are more widely exposed to all the different ideas and cultures of the world today much more than those who came before us. They cannot and will not stand by silently like children while they are losing out on ways to better themselves. Censoring challenged books is school libraries will interfere with the constitutional freedom provided by the first amendment and will take away from young minds the enriching literature. The First Amendment protects freedom of the press in the United States. This clause is generally understood as prohibiting the government from interfering with the printing and distribution of information or opinions. The Bill of Rights makes vital alterations to the Constitution basically every law and right for the United States of America. If the First Amendment states that distribution of information and opinions should not be tampered with then it must hold some weight. It must be understood that it does not include a portion stating that information can be withheld from the public because that would seem to contradict the point of the amendment. Depriving individuals the right to increase their knowledge is an unjust. America is a melting pot with very many different individuals in it. It is unjust to determine that certain that the ideology that some of the peoples involved in society is wrong and should be removed.
“The men opened fire and killed the editor's police bodyguard, Franck Brinsolaro, before asking for editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, and other four cartoonists by name and killing them, along with three other editorial staff and a guest attending the meeting. Witnesses said they had heard the gunmen shouting ‘We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad’ and "God is Great" in Arabic while calling out the names of the journalists.” In France January 7th, 2015 two men shot and murder cartoonists who drew the Prophet Muhammad in some of their drawings. They took away the artists’ free will to express their ideas and social statements.
Through my research I have discovered several banned books that I myself have read as a child. Most books that have been banned tend more to lean towards a harsher reality, such as Huckleberry Finn which uses the n-word numerous times in the book do to the time period. The problem that arise is that due to the new millennial generation most parents attempt to only expose their children to a more nurturing and softer environment. The majority of these controversial books, which includes the bible, are considered to influence young minds negatively. With some initiative and persistence, these people often succeed at banning these books. Though their goals are not malicious and they do aim for purity, censors pervert and destroy the opportunity for great ideas and eliminate the imagination. It removes our human right to judge and analysis for ourselves.
Banning these books they are in one way brainwashing the youth. By not allowing the youth to think for themselves and removing certain parts of history, such as novels that have made statements in culture like the Catcher in the Rye, we are condoning that people should be brainwashed into having a certain opinion about things. Examples of this brainwashing can be seen in Cuba how the leader and dictator Fidel Castro often walks into classes of the small children tells them to read a text from the Bible and then pray to God asking for whatever the desire. When it does not arrive he tells them to pray to him for candy and then when they close their eyes he places it at their desk saying they should trust him blindly and not ever question his authority because he provides for them. Even though media outside the country writes about him in a negative light he eliminates anything that would leave his people to see it. He choose what they learn so they can never become educated enough to combat him. With the banning of particular novels it again condones following blindly which can lead to incidences such as Nazi Germany.
I understand that some parents do hold a right to limit the exposure of certain materials to their children but does not mean that you should limit other children's opportunity to broaden their horizons. It is simply not fair to the child or society. “Reading is an important part of a child’s learning process. Reading is a way for children to make connections between what they already know and what they read about in books. These connections help children understand the world around them. In addition, through books, children are exposed to characters and cultures that they may not otherwise interact with in real life…. The exposure to different authors and genres of books can give your child insight into other cultures, worldwide locations, and new vocabulary. For instance, science fiction books may have different vocabulary and settings than we find in mystery books.” Having children read books, even books based on fiction helps to increase their intelligence. Society has steadily increased the quality of living thanks to these books. From the creation of the printing press to today books have been a key factor in the spread of knowledge, allowing people to learn about something they may have never had to chance to.
As a child, the The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling peaked my imagination with the ideas of adventure. Even after reading these stories over a decade ago they still stay alive and vivid in my memories. They helped to inspire countless different imaginations and set off innovations to our world. These stories ignite so many different ideas in our youths and inspire innovations because they spark the imaginations to think outside the box. Without forward thinking and mixture of imaginative minds there would be no evolutions of culture, societies would just stay stagnant.
As mentions before there are some literature on the ban list that depicts reality. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, are such books that criticized due to the disobedient behavior of the characters and racial slurs used excessive, which are accurately portray the in Twain’s time period. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer make a statement about the era not condoning the racist outlook. Catcher in the Rye is also included in this group because of the incidents of depression, nervous breakdown, impulsive buying, and other erratic behavior it emphasizes some of the problems in our American capitalistic ways.
Another example of literature that depicts reality are the books and novels that discuss problems in society that most would attempt to avoid conversation about. Rape is a subject most people hate discussing because of the awkward nature and the many viewpoints and factors it holds with it. “Caitlin Kelly, a web producer for The New Yorker, tweeted what conversations about rape would look like if they were conversations about a stolen wallet -- and the results are eye-opening.” In the tweet itself said “’I think that guy I know stole my wallet.’ Well, do you have proof? Were you drinking that night? What were you wearing when this happened?” She makes the statement that it is a subject that needs to be talked about. Though brought up harshly it is possible though to approach this subject with more empathy than is seen in the news. Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings comments on the subject as best it can. Rape is still an incredibly touchy subject that no one wants to go near but yet it is still a problem that way too many young women have to deal with and don’t because it is such a taboo thing to discuss.. By removing these books and novels from the public censors will make us ignorant to the world around us and all the problems it has. These books have the potential to educate those with limited knowledge on the subject and assist with comforting the many suffering from these the problems. I am not saying these novels are mandatory to be read in all schools or should be given to a young child but they should on the same note stay because if someone decides to expose themselves to these books they should be allowed to. Information should not be deprived from those who desire it. “Though I concede that parents do have the right to monitor what their children read, they do not have the right to remove books from public libraries or monitor what other children in the city read.”
As an American regardless of what my beliefs are at the end of the day others have the freedom to have different opinions and judge information for themselves. Everyone has the ability to decipher whether or not they should or should not expose themselves to certain materials. Even though I do not agree with some parents taking away the option of literature to their children I understand that the right to restrict it, but my saying that another person cannot read something you are challenging another’s free will and if that happens you are essentially imposing your own values and ideals on to the other and taking away their basic human right to exercise their will. We live in a gray world where people dance over the line, making it an impossible for individuals to make universal decisions for all the different people over the world. By judging these novels for ourselves, we are not accepting ignorance but using or logic to make educated decisions.
Many people in society are against books that talk about witchcraft and have explicit and sexual content in them, but there are many people that can’t get enough of the taboo and culturally unacceptable issues that go on in society that authors have chosen to write about. By having a portion of society not in favor of explicit content found in some books, book banning becomes a more common issue among society. We have come to the conclusion that we are against book banning and feel as though it takes away our first amendment rights. We also feel as though that people who are for banning books don’t truly understand the meaning behind why the book was written and just look at the manifest content on the surface of the book. There is also an issue about parents of younger kids being upset because their child is learning about the taboos of society through reading books. Parents should be responsible enough to introduce their kids to the things that are being banned before they pick up a book and read about it.
One can argue the point that instead of banning books all together, we can keep certain books restricted to age groups that society feels is mature enough to handle the content in the book. Just like placing restrictions on movies, we can start to put ratings on books with sexual and explicit content. By choosing the books, Catcher in the Rye, Forever and Harry Potter for our group project, we have had a first look at what it takes for a book to be banned. Throughout the course of time, there will be many authors who will write books with unacceptable content in them. If books were banned because of content, many of the famous novels would not exist and our choices for reading for entertainment would be cut down drastically. We are going to experience sexual and explicit content eventually in everyday life, so we shouldn’t ban books to keep us from learning about how society really operates.

Bibliography
Bahadur, N. (2014, November 20). If People Talked About Stolen Wallets The Way People Talk About Rape. Retrieved from The Huffington Post : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/caitlin-kelly-if-rape-were-a-wallet_n_6191588.html
Charlie Hebdo attack: Three days of terror. (2015, January 14). Retrieved from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237
Johnson, J. B. (Mar., 1997). Christianity and Public Book Banning. Review of Religious Research , pp. 263-271.
Manual, I. F. (2002). The Censor: Motives and Tactics. Retrieved from American Library Association: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challengedmaterials/preparation/censor-motives-and-tactics
Miner. (1998). When reading good books can get schools in trouble. . An Urban Educational Journal, 1-10 .
Nace, D. F. (2004). Why Children Benefit From Reading a Variety of Books. Retrieved from NJ Department of Education: http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/articles/life/books.htm
Neha K., M. (n.d.). Against Banning Books. Retrieved from Teen Ink: http://www.teenink.com/opinion/social_issues_civics/article/131038/Against-Banning-Books/
Wex Legal Dictionary. (2014). Legal Information Institute of the Cornell Universtiy.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Miner. (1998). When reading good books can get schools in trouble. . An Urban Educational Journal, 1-10 .
[ 2 ]. Manual, I. F. (2002). The Censor: Motives and Tactics. Retrieved from American Library Association: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challengedmaterials/preparation/censor-motives-and-tactics
[ 3 ]. Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia. Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
[ 4 ]. Charlie Hebdo attack: Three days of terror. (2015, January 14). Retrieved from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237
[ 5 ]. Nace, D. F. (2004). Why Children Benefit From Reading a Variety of Books. Retrieved from NJ Department of Education: http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/articles/life/books.htm
[ 6 ]. Bahadur, N. (2014, November 20). If People Talked About Stolen Wallets The Way People Talk About Rape. Retrieved from The Huffington Post : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/20/caitlin-kelly-if-rape-were-a-wallet_n_6191588.html
[ 7 ]. Neha K., M. (n.d.). Against Banning Books. Retrieved from Teen Ink: http://www.teenink.com/opinion/social_issues_civics/article/131038/Against-Banning-Books/…...

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...Katie Smith Shaniquewa Jackson Mr. High Research Paper 3-19-12 Why America Should Ban Smoking Tobacco has been around for more than four hundred years and is still very popular as of today. Millions of Americans smoke cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products on a daily basis that is harmful to the body. However, smoking has become one of the biggest controversies in today's society. This personal experience clearly shows that smoking needs to be banned. “Gail Routh worked as a flight attendant for nearly twenty-seven years. Routh was a nonsmoker all her life, but after working in contact with secondhand smoke on airplanes she contracted lung cancer. Gail Routh sued the tobacco industry for lung cancer and bronchitis that was linked to the expose to secondhand smoke (Hudson, 2004).” In 1964, the United States Surgeon General declared that smoking was bad for one's health and was related to lung cancer. Therefore, smoking should be banned in all public places to prevent contracting lung cancer from first or second hand smoke, enable those with lung conditions to be able to hold jobs in places that they would not be able to because of the smoke in the air, and help businesses keep their employees safer while generating more revenue, which in turn would save thousands of lives each year. Tobacco use kills nearly 470,000 Americans each year and is among one of the leading causes of preventable death. Smoking is also legal at the age eighteen in the United States;......

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