There are many issues today that involve some sort of injustice towards the people. One of them, though it may not be the hottest topic, is the issue of censorship. "Censorship, so far as I see it, is like a law which prohibits swimming altogether because such a law will prevent someone from swimming in a sewer" (Brower 1). Here, in the twenty-first century, the banning of thoughts and ideas in humanities and media has become one of the most widely disputed issues facing this country. Though it is highly controversial, hazardous to literature, and unconstitutional, censorship is rampant in America.
Censorship is defined as "Policy of restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions, and impulses, which have or are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order which that authority considers itself bound to protect" (Abraham 357). There is said to be four different categories, which are referred to as political, religious, against obscenity, and censorship affecting academic freedom. All of these categories are equal in their destructiveness towards free speech. There are two different forms that censorship takes; prior, which refers to advance suppression and "post facto" which is suppression after it has been published (Brower 5). Authorities since the beginning of the written word have used both of these forms of censorship. Throughout history, figures that don't have the power to censor resort to other tactics to intimidate those whom they have influence over. One of these methods is the control over channels of communication. The McCarthy era during the 1940's and 1950's is a compelling example of this. During this time there was blacklisting of controversial literary figures as well as performing artists, thus blocking their employment in certain media such as movies, radio, and television. By doing this they accomplished the task of preventing the public from seeing what they considered to be objectionable material (Dubin 27).