Misunderstandings About Censorship
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an article entitled “Censorship Rears Its Ugly Head at Santa Monica College, Over a Play About Slavery” by Times columnist Robin Abcarian. The article provides a good opportunity to analyze the concept of censorship in the context of government-owned or government-subsidized colleges and universities.
The theater arts department at Santa Monica College in California produced a play entitled “By the River Rivanna,” which revolved around the issue of slavery in pre-Civil War America. Abcarian reviewed the written version of the play and concluded that it was a “provocative story about a successful, Ivy League-educated young Black man who has long repressed his family’s traumatic enslaved past and begins to have disturbing dreams about his Yoruba ancestors.”
Other people, however, were offended by aspects of the play, such as a sexual relationship that a slave has with a plantation owner. Protests against the play were launched. School administrators became fearful that protests could turn violent. It decided to prohibit the play from being shown on campus.
The school’s decision to shut down the play caused Abcarian to respond with the predictable term: Censorship! She writes: “The censorship impulse on both extremes of the political spectrum is strangling discourse, critical thinking and, really, the human spirit. As a writer, I have to believe in my bones that anyone can write about anything.”
Abcarian is, of course, right when she says that “anyone can write about anything.” But that doesn’t mean that someone else is required to publish it. I am fr
Article from The Future of Freedom Foundation
The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) is a leading voice in libertarian thought, tirelessly advocating for individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Established in 1989, the FFF is more than just a think tank; it’s a hub for intellectual exploration and policy advocacy that draws on the classical liberal tradition and Austrian economics. Through insightful articles, videos, and events featuring top libertarian minds, the organization provides a robust critique of mainstream politics and policies, championing instead the principles that underlie a truly free society. For anyone seeking a principled stand for freedom and limited government, the Future of Freedom Foundation serves as an invaluable resource and an inspiring beacon.