American censorship has turned things up a notch, with the recent removal of Dr. Seuss's books from publication, the inclusion of child warnings on Sesame Street shows, and the firing of Mandalorian actress Gina Carano. With all that is happening, it's crucial that we take a moment to answer the question, are there some forms of speech that should be censored?
BY TERESA YANAROS, MARCH 15, 2021
The short answer is no. When it comes to freedom of speech, the raw fact of the matter is simple. Your right to express yourself is a human right. There's no getting around this. So if someone says something that is offensive to you or makes you uncomfortable, it simply does not warrant stamping out that voice. Whatsoever.
A problematic perspective that is toxifying our society today is the idea that we should look to corporations, businesses, governmental organizations, and big tech to censor things that we decide make us uncomfortable to hear.
I've decided to start calling this phenomenon of people condoning the halting of free speech "censorship culture."
Stamping out dissenting voices is totalitarian. Our country is quite literally founded on the human rights principle of being able to openly express differing opinions. Civil discourse is how we nurture and build sustainable communities.
Here are four reasons why it's not a good idea to censor things, no matter how annoyed or disgusted a certain grouping of words might make somebody.
1 - Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, protected by the US Constitution, and cultivated as a means to grow functional communities.
The United States of America was founded upon our right to share ideas. The U.S. Constitution prohibits the national government from limiting free speech because it is just that important. And this isn't just a right because the government says so. No, the constitution says so because it is a human right. Not the other way around.
In order to sustain and build successful communities, a healthy environment that allows for the sharing of many different types of ideas is paramount. These free environments of expression allow us to engage in civil discourse so we can share thoughts and ideas, and then turn those ideas into actionable plans for the future. The snuffing out of people's ideas is damaging to cultural growth.
2 - American citizens should not encourage businesses or the government to censor goods, services, or perspectives and instead take personal responsibility for raising their children.
American citizens should not call for businesses to stamp out products and services that are offensive. If a family doesn't think a certain book or tv show should be watched by their children, they are well within their rights to monitor the media intake. In fact, this is how parenting should be by design.
This is a mindset problem and a hierarchy problem. Let's keep the responsibility on the people. We don't need to offload our job onto businesses and the government. We shouldn't be looking to corporations, businesses, and government to do our jobs for us. It's ridiculous to think that we need the help of organizations with their own agendas to tell us what products and services should be available.
If there is a need or desire for something, people will buy it or people will create it. And let them do so. If there's not a desire, they won't purchase, or they won't build. In the event that a product is not desired, a business will pivot due to a lack of demand for the product.
When a company starts pulling products willy-nilly, we need to start asking ourselves why. Go deeper. There is an agenda in this country to stamp out certain perspectives and history. But if we ask ourselves, "why?" it is clear that systems in power wish to control the mainstream narrative through censorship and manufacture the consent of the people. Which leads us to number three.
3 - We must be extremely leery over any structure of power that attempts to reframe history. This is literally a tactic of information warfare and used to manufacture the consent of the people.
Take the historical example of Nazi Germany. The Nazis knew exactly how to implement information warfare strategies against the people, and burned any books that they deemed "un-German." But by whose standards? The control construct. A group of powerful people pushing an agenda.
We tend to believe the messages that are repeated over and over again. This is proven scientifically. So if a system of control wants to have power over the people, they simply have to control the narrative. This manufactures consent because the people don't have a choice to believe a dissenting idea. Because that idea is stamped out through censorship. The Nazis wanted to erase history to purge a perspective so they could gaslight the people into receiving their version of reality.
But wait, there's more. Behold, the modern book-burning of literature written by prolific author Dr. Seuss. On March 2, 2021, Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to halt the printing of six of Dr. Seuss's books because of public criticism about the insensitivity applied to how certain races were portrayed by the author. Now, companies have the right to make whatever business decisions they wish. It is reasonable to assume a scenario wherein the people in charge of the company noticed questionably racist images, and so decided to halt publication of the material. However, the motivation of this particular company in this particular situation is brought into question, as the value of the books shot out the roof overnight and the company is likely doing better now financially than before. (Low hanging fruit here, people.)
Business politics aside, I want to speak to the deeper issue here. There is a factor that many people don't consider when discussing books being scrubbed from the market: the erasing of history. Many in America leave this consideration out and instead participate in cultivating a destructive ideology that we should approve of and celebrate censorship. Let's look deeper.
4 - Attempting to erase our history destroys our ability to learn from the past.
The nefarious agenda-controlled mainstream media headlines literally said that we need to consider "what should be preserved as part of the cultural record." How can we learn from the past if our history is erased?
I want to present a perspective here. How about this? Books and media from our history should not be censored and scrubbed from the "cultural record."
We should use the media as a teaching tool for younger generations:
to present the history of how things used to be
to stimulate conversations about how we can be more inclusive and caring today.
I would hate it for women's history to be scrubbed from the cultural records simply because women used to be cast in a certain light in media.
Questions to Ponder:
How can we celebrate how far we've come today if nobody even remembers how it used to be before?
How can we learn from the past and improve society if we no longer have access to historical information?
Censorship Culture is Societally Detrimental
Here's another recent example. Let's consider the scrubbing of non-white American icons from various products like syrup and boxed food. What was left in its place? Will we now just have a bunch of food items with white people on them?
Did anyone stop to think, "how in the world is removing races that aren't white from products useful?" Does it not just wipe the heart of the brand from the cultural record?
When the icon Aunt Jemima was removed from the Aunt Jemima syrup brand, her descendants were full-on upset at her being "erased from history." This isn't coming out of left field! This is a true perspective from the actual family. Think about that.
Censorship is a tragedy. I believe with my whole heart that we need to encourage personal responsibility when it comes to educating the youth about the past instead of appealing to corporations and governmental constructs to do this sheltering for us.
It would also be useful to have some sort of online cultural vault or library to hold the books that are historically significant. They could be free and accessible to anyone for the purpose of educating the youth on historical topics and to showcase our culture and how it has changed over time.
We need to, instead of turning a blind eye to our history and pretending like it didn't happen, lean into these difficult conversations and educate the young minds of our country into how we can better step forward in love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Yanaros, a degreed journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth, has dedicated her life to investigating images and messages received through media outlets. From a young age, she has researched and presented news media through print and began expanding her reach through multi-media.
After writing a book investigating the phenomenon of modern American online spiritualism, she traveled across America, giving speeches and practical workshops on how to analyze and synthesize information. From archetypal studies to advanced truth-seeking, Teresa has presented research in areas of American pop culture, occultism, conspiracism, supernatural and paranormal studies, theology, and anthropology of online sub-cultures. Due to Teresa's experience with seeing just how deep the rabbit holes of online culture go, she is devoted to understanding the media effects of online subcultures upon their communities.
Teresa is the founder of Truly Free Society.
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