At times, American society, which is centered on the freedoms of speech, press, and/or government, is often silenced when education and knowledge are at the forefront of the conversation. Sarah Nixon, staff writer for The IUSB Preface, noted:
Imagine for a moment how life in America would change if it became a society where access to books and information was restricted; one in which the government dictated what a person was able to do, say and even read. This brings to mind George Orwell’s novel, “1984,” in which the big brother watched every move and
dictated the past, present and future.
Thankfully, America’s Constitution grants certain rights, such as the freedom of speech, which helps to keep a scenario such as the one above from coming to fruition.
Although Americans have the right to read what they choose, certain factions have tried to ban books in schools, libraries and communities based on explicit language or unsavory content.
In an effort to support First Amendment rights, teachers, librarians and other groups across the nation have joined together to keep banned or challenged books on the shelves and in the hands of those who wish to read them.
As both American citizens and college students, we may have to get back to “making love and not war” and hold public sit-ins, read-ins, and demonstrations like the students of the 1960’s. Many IUSB students showed their support for the banned books movement.
According to Rosanne M. Cordell, Associate Librarian and Head of Reference Services at Indiana University South Bend, the American Democracy Project and the Franklin D. Schurz Library are sponsoring banned book readings on the mall. Students, faculty and staff will be reading from their favorite banned or challenged books, such as the aforementioned “1984,” on Wednesday, September 14, at 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Oppression in any sense demoralizes American society as a whole. As students, we need to follow the words of our elementary school English teacher and read whatever we can get our hands on as fast as we can. If knowledge is slowly erased by banning textbooks, as a society we have banned ourselves and the absence of knowledge whether it’s good or bad is an educational “Death Sentence!”