Banning books from public schools, library kills creativity


Killian Hicks, [email protected]

Book banning or censorship is the removal, suppression or restricted circulation of literary images, ideas and information.
It is usually done due to a book’s content being considered sexually explicit or too critical of a government’s power. In a country with freedom of speech and expression, it should never happen.
The history of book banning in modern America goes back to March 1873. Congress passed the Comstock Law under the Grant administration that was meant to suppress any obscene literature.
But how does one person or group of people define what is obscene for everyone else? It is unrealistic and impossible.
Famous works by Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce have all been banned in schools or from publication. My personal favorite banned book is the collection of poetry by Allen Ginsberg called “Howl.”
But why are these books banned? Some might say sexual content. Some might say anti-government content. Some might say they contain uncomfortable topics such as depression or suicide.
But there is only one true reason why books are banned- fear. Fear of change. Fear of losing control. There are books that have the power to change lives. These are the books that are usually banned.
The goal of reading anything is to explore new ideas. If these ideas being explored do not meet the status quo, the people in control will do their best to suppress it in any way that they can.
Book censorship and banning is a danger to the freedom of speech and expression. When books are banned, it is as if the people banning the books are saying that they have the right to decide what we do or do not see and read. That is terrifying.
Think of all the classic works of literature that would have never been read if they were allowed to be fully banned. Think of the lives that would not be changed if people had never read those pages.
Two of my favorite books have been banned before and if I had never read them, I know I would be a different person. Literature is what shapes us. It is how we know who we are. So remember to read dangerously and always fight to keep books from being banned.