professornana (professornana) wrote,


I read a quick blog this morning from NCAC (National Coalition against Censorship) that a school in Florida had to cancel it's performance of a play base on To Kill a Mockingbird. The objection was to the use of the "n" word. I wanted to mention this censorship here to remind everyone that censors are not all from the right. Censors come from the left, too. I understand the discomfort of racially charged language today. I also understand that the use if racial epithets was accepted at other historic periods however wrong that was. What is particularly sad here is the missed opportunity. Allow the production to be presented. Use it as a chance an opportunity to talk about the use of racial epithets, to have a conversation about language and its power to hurt, ti enslave, to denigrate. Make thus production something more than a high school drama club performance.

This morning I chaired a session on literature for and by Hispanics at the YALSA literature Symposium in Albuquerque. Authors Ben Saenz and Margarita Engle were both so eloquent as they spoke of writing. One thing Engle said was an "a-ha" moment. She said that poets resorted to metaphors during times of censorship in Cuba. So, you might say someone was in a garden and that meant he was in prison, etc. I wonder if we should draw up some metaphors for this time when censorship seems to encircle us from the left and from the right, when "news" programs do not report but commentate and opine, when we are told something that might or not be accurate.

Sometimes, I feel as though I am living in those dystopic times of Hunger Games and Chaos Walking and other books. Distortion by media, by government, by the self-righteous: this is not fiction or the future. It is the NOW. SpeakLoudly.
Tags: censorship

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