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Censorship Being Banned In The U.S.A. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   You probably remember the censorship battle that The 2 Live Crew fought this summer. There is much debate over the verdict of a Florida judge to ban The 2 Live Crew's album "As Nasty as They Want To Be." But who gave this judge the power to decide that this particular album was obscene and offensive?

Because of this verdict, The 2 Live Crew's album was banned, and record store owners all over the country took the album off their shelves; not only in Florida, but also here in Massachusetts. A few days after this verdict, a record store owner in Florida was arrested for allowing an under-cover policeman to purchase The 2 Live Crew's album. Recently, this store owner was sentenced to prison, simply for selling an album that he found acceptable. Not only did The 2 Live Crew receive heat from this controversy, but this man received a jail sentence.

According to the Constitu-tion, all citizens are granted freedom of speech and freedom to express their own opinions. Why would the members of The 2 Live Crew be excluded from these rights? Who is to decide what is to be banned and what is not to be banned? If The 2 Live Crew's music is indecent, shouldn't Andrew Dice Clay's comical tape be banned also?

I personally think that racism may have played a part in this whole debate, although I have no concrete proof. However, I do know that all Americans have freedom of speech, and artists such as The 2 Live Crew and Andrew Dice Clay and any others whose acts are deemed offensive are no exceptions. No one has the right to decide what Ameri-cans should or should not listen to. As Americans we have the right and the freedom to listen to and sing or perform about whatever we want to. If you disagree, and believe that there are certain authorities who can censor and ban music, or performances, or art, can you then really call the United States a democracy?n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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