Sunday, September 19, 2010

Learning to Speak Loudly

I'd like first of all to welcome you all to this perfect world that we live in. I thank God every day that we live in a country so far from the immorality and dangers that other countries may face. We are free from the issues of rape, sex, drug use, addictions, incest, and others because we are perfect...that's where the dilemma lies.

America is not perfect in the slightest and when people work at harboring these issues by not allowing the "freedom of speech" (our FIRST amendment) they then, in fact, are telling the American readers to SHUT UP! And I for one, don't like being shut up. Especially concerning issues that involve so many teenagers on a daily basis!

When a book is banned or censored, it is taken off the shelves at schools and basically "shuts up" the author's views in that school. Seemingly, a book is compiled of an author's idea and thoughts, and may deal with some heavy issues not talked about in those school's classes. And I highly doubt a counselor at school can really help you overcome your addiction or help you through the trauma of being raped when he/she has never experienced it for themselves. They have never been enslaved to drugs, cut themselves to block out the pain of sexual abuse, etc. So where do they get the authority to speak for you and tell you to keep quiet as they "help" you through this when they have never gone through it? But when an author writes on that issue and then that book gets banned, that teen that may have read that book is being told that what [insert authors name here] writes either never happens or shouldn't be spoken of. Then who can they talk to?
Book banning and censorshit get me so fired up because typically the person who is trying to get a book banned has never picked up a copy of the book to see why is should be banned. They have just "heard" from someone else the issues spoken of in the book.

Yesterday, Wesley Scroggins wrote an article titled "Filthy books demeaning to Republic education." Where he talked about books such as Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and referred to them as "soft pornography." Scroggins calls it porn and Amazon calls it "award-winning and highly acclaimed." I think the audience has won on this one...

Evidently, Scroggins has taken upon himself the role of God in telling others what to read and what not to read. Rape happens. Drug abuse happens. These issues happen and it's not right for one man to try and shut out these problems facing teens today!
Twitter has been bursting today with the idea to #SpeakLoudly and support Laurie Halse Anderson. It's been 10 years since Speak was published and I don't think one man can stop that. Let's rise up together against him and SPEAK LOUDLY against censorship! I'm proud of my blogging community and authors who have stood up and written about these issues for all of us to read. Listed below are links for you to read about this article about Speak.
Myra McEntire's thoughts.


  1. I'm going to compile a post on my blog about this as well. Such an infuriating article.

  2. I love your observation that we love to think of America as a perfect country. This is a really well thought out and written post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  3. Together we as a writing and reading community can speak louder than him, eh?? I've blogged and tweeted about this too. It's important that we push back against this kind of thinking.

  4. Blogger ate my comment, I think!!

    Together as a community of writers and readers we can SPEAK more loudly than the censors!

  5. I love how this community is coming together to speak out against ignorance and, as you so awesomely put it, censorshit. Great post - I hope Scroggins sees just what he's done. I don't think it's the effect he was expecting.

  6. Like Casey said, it's wonderful to see the Internet community come together over this issue. As much as that article bothers me, it HAS had a positive effect. Thanks for having the guts to speak out!

    If you're interested, I blogged about my thoughts here. I also have a Mr. Linky at the bottom if you'd like to link up your post!

  7. Wonderfully written, Jeremy! I agree, people like to pretend like America is perfect. If something doesn't fit into that perfect image, then it's best to pretend like it doesn't happen. If someone voices on the imperfections, then they must be silenced.

    Book banners have another thing coming. I don't think they are considering the power of this community.

    Thank you for this post and speaking up!

  8. thank you for this beautiful post. Thank you for choosing not to remain silenced and SPEAKING LOUDLY against this.

    You are awesome.

  9. Thanks again for posting and tweeting about this, Jeremy. Mr. Scroggins is in for a surprise this morning, I suspect! :-)

    Sarah Ockler
    Author of Twenty Boy Summer

  10. Jeremy, you did a fantastic job on this article! I actually "discovered" your piece because someone had clicked on my blog to learn more about you! It's so cool to see how the web really is a "web" linking us all together! Keep up the great work! Liza