Banned Book Blues
Julissa Duran, Staff Reporter
Book censorship has been around for centuries, and is one of the most widespread forms of censorship in the United States. The purpose of this practice is to prevereaders from consuming subjects that can be difficult to digest. Despite its purpose, book banning and censorship does more harm than good.
Books can be censored due to handling topics such as racism, the lgbtq+ community, and violence. Some can even be banned due to conflicting religious viewpoints, sexual content, and content with use of illicit substances. It’s an action taken to suppress the ideas suggested, and content presented. This affects the reader’s ability to think critically about the subjects shielded from them.
Many scholars don’t experience much outside of their own culture. All they know is what is exposed to them. Books offer a perspective they’ve never considered. They pull them into a world outside of their own, embarking them on a mental exploration they would have put off experiencing otherwise.
The Hate U Give, a novel telling the aftermath of a teenage girl who has witnessed the murder of her best friend due to police brutality, has been banned multiple times since its release due to focusing on topics such as racism and the inclusion of profanity and sexual content. Speak is a novel about a young girl who has been ridiculed by the school after she called the police on a high school party during which an upperclassman assaulted her. With the rest of the school unaware of the events that happened that night, Melinda has been isolated with no voice.
By banning novels such as The Hate U Give, readers won’t be able to look at viewpoints that aren’t different from their own, which narrows their mindset and beliefs as a result. It also eliminates the chances of readers who can connect to the characters from feeling properly seen and represented in media. It silences the issue, and those who are affected by it.
The novel Speak had been banned due to containing sexual content completely disregarding that the “sexual content” it held was that of sexual assault. A very real issue that is prevalent to this day. It sheds light on the effects sexual assault has on an individual, and brings attention to a reality that 1 out of every 6 woman in the United States have to deal with.
Any good book comes with a greater lesson. Even if it isn’t outright said, you will come out with a mindset different from the one you started with. All book censorship does in the end is stunt the growth of one’s mindset and ideals.