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CENSORSHIP: A VIOLATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY
Gary William Hallford
Southern New Hampshire University
Censorship comes in many guises:
Religious / Dogmatic
Political / Ideological
Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi—
Political and Religious leader from India who had many of his published works banned by the Colonial British Authorities.
Religious and Political Censorship
Thich Nhat Hanh – Buddhist Monk
From Vietnam who attended the Paris Peace Talks in 1966, but he was denied re-entry to Vietnam. Has lived in France as an exile ever since.
Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Religious, Civil Rights, and Political leader who was subjected to all forms of censorship, harassment, and eventually assassinated.
Salman Rushdie – Subjected to a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran for a publication that challenged Islamic fundamentalism. 25 years later it was renewed by Iranian Mullahs.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is arguably one of the
finest pieces of American Literature, but was censored and
banned because it portrayed a young White man helping a
Black slave escape to freedom. It was also banned for use of
“a perfectly good nigger” as Huck’s description of Jim.
Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1958), was banned for depictions
of both homosexual desires and flagrant drug use. It is
also a plea for acceptance in a polarized America.
Nagisa Oshima – Japanese film-maker who has been
banned in Japan, but has won a wide range of awards
for the same films. In the Realm of the Senses (1976),
is a rather stark narrative on politics and sexuality. It is
based on a true story from the 1930’s, when a young
woman who had been a courtesan for a wealthy man,
eventually takes control of the relationship and in the
final act of their affair, kills him during sex and them
amputates his penis and carries it with her for years.
Gary William Hallford – is a human rights activist,
student, and formerly incarcerated in many State
Prisons across California, including San Quentin,
Corcoran, C.S.P.-Solano, Tehachapi SHU, and the
ominous Old Folsom.
Cry Justice Now! Is a publication of the New Life Evangelistic Center, in New Bloomfield, MO.
While incarcerated, I submitted an essay titled “Resistance Is Not Futile”, calling on inmates
to cease using their gang affiliations, racial identity, sexuality, or any other arbitrary divisor
to create more chaos inside the prison wall. It garnered the cover and centerfold of Issue #35,
and was banned in Missouri Prisons as a Security Threat.
Solutions and Possible Answers?
We need not agree with one another.
However, in order to understand each
other we must be willing to listen to
differing points of view.
Without dialogue there is no discourse.
Without discourse, there can be only
confusion about motives.
Without freedom to speak and be heard,
only the status quo is represented.
We all have a valuable voice in the body
politic that should be considered.
Freedom of religion requires the same level of
protection for others you expect for yourself.
Failure to respect the beliefs of others negates
the beliefs you presumably espouse.
We have the power to bring
POSITIVE CHANGE, but only
if we have the courage to act.
PLAN OF ACTION
#1. If it bothers you, dig into it and learn all angles of the issue.
#2. Sometimes we are wrong and need to change.
#3. Sometimes we are correct and are obligated to inform others.
#4. Just because it offends someone does not negate it being a
valid point of view that needs to be considered.
#5. Printed works, recordings, photos, artwork, speech, and all
other means of communication must be protected from an
arbitrary declaration of censorship.
, and Political leader who was subjected to all forms of censorship, harassment, and eventually assassinated.
Freedom of religion