Opinion: Censorship is a dangerous trend


David Fender

A picture of a microphone used in Quest New’s podcast (Let’s Be Honest).

America is built on the individual freedom of all, regardless of: race, skin color, religion, political stance, class, or anything that may make each of us unique. The founding fathers that fought for our severance from the British empire created a structure that allowed us to have the Bill of Rights, and most importantly the first Amendment. The freedom of speech that is so beloved by so many Americans is challenged by one thing, censorship.
Censorship is the act of blocking a message in order to disable a movement or political figure’s popularity. Most often seen in social media apps along with our increasing bias in the mainstream media. The dangers of this undermines the very principles that make our society as free as it is. Censorship also shoots down any chance of a more diverse political space. “Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are ‘offensive,’ happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others,” as stated in ACLU’s What is censorship?

Acts of censorship are often tacit admissions of weakness masquerading as strength. This weakness is on full display with the imposition of so-called educational gag orders, laws which restrict the discussions of race, gender, sexuality and American history in K-12 and higher education.

— The Editorial Board for The New York Times

Cancel culture is another term that comes up when talking about our ever changing politically correct culture. The world is a harsh place, there’s people that have wild and outlandish ideas, and there are people that simply disagree. So witch hunting and essentially praying on the downfall of people is soft, and says more about the person looking to cut people off their message. Most importantly we are all human, we all make mistakes. An un-politically correct’ Tweet from five plus years ago shouldn’t restrict someone’s freedom to speak their opinions.

Our growing need to be safe in our words and outright ban topics of conversation in the fear of some people getting their feelings hurt is unconstitutional at its best, and authoritarian at its worst. The government already restricts some things that may hurt their credibility, take the Epstein trials as an example. So, why are we further censoring and catering to the idea that free speech isn’t really free?
With that being said there is more to the issue at hand, mainstream and smaller parts of media are to blame when it comes to stopping some positions from speaking their mind. It’s often the Democratic and Republican news channels that block each other out as well as pushing down 3rd parties to lessen their outlooks. I find that completely unnecessary,since we are already in a two party system, why do we need to push the other parties off the wagon even more?
Censorship, cancel culture, and mainstream bias is counterproductive to our First Amendment. It’s sad that someone’s feelings or views are changing how we consume media daily. An amazing example of this is the Tate brothers, who are insane in their political views. The Tate brothers have a great method of success. I do not agree with most things they say, but I don’t like their demonetization in mainstream media. They are businessmen and people that like sharing their ideas, people praying for their downfall because they don’t like their ideas is stupid and sad. Allow it to be an existing opinion since it will be a topic of debate, allow people to compare views and create a better society that way.
Another case I was to bring up is Kevin Hart being removed from the Oscars. Hart is a mostly beloved actor and comedian that was canceled over a string of jokes put on Twitter in 2005-2010. A Lot of the Tweets are seen in poor taste now considering our current political climate . However, at the time when he was making these jokes, many people saw little wrong with it, since it was more allowed back then. Regardless if you believed a comedian like him was serious and he was being genuinely hateful. That was in 2010, I was in Kindergarten and many of the young men and women that are mad at him were too. People change in that amount of time. It’s sad that he lost a lot of money. The Oscars also threw away an opportunity for a more diverse and hilarious casting, because of some Tweets he made and where dug up for no reason.
Canceling and putting people down is not going to help us as a society. We are weaker as people if we force an entire side of the argument out, arguing is part of resolution. We need to uphold the First Amendment and promise a better and more diverse future for our society as a whole.