Censorship (acrylic on canvas) 36" x 24"
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information that may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

Though in America, “freedom of speech and of the press” is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, the guarantee of freedom is, and has been, subject to interpretation. Exceptions by our government regarding “freedom” have often been made for the sake of national security, the protection of our children, and the safety of religious and racial groups subject to hate crimes and violence.

But our government, schools, libraries and religious institutions have also used censorship as a way to isolate individuals and groups from new philosophies, critical reasoning, and a world of creative and imaginative thinking.

The books included in the painting “Censorship” represent a very small number of publications either banned or censured in America in modern times. Other examples include the Harry Potter series, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Judy Blume’s Blubber, and Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen.

Movies, radio, TV and the advent of the internet have added a new dimension to the arguments for censorship. Today, information is available for nearly everyone with a mobile device or computer, on topics ranging from promoting online sex to the building of bombs and instructions on the manufacturing of plastic guns.

Though the internet and texting were issues with which our founding fathers never struggled, the principle behind our First Amendment hasn’t changed, that it is better to offer an abundance of ideas and opinions expressed by many rather than a few ideas that reflect the dogmas of any segment of the population.