Category Archives: censorship

Egyptian singers get prison time for joking about the pollution of the Nile and making “debauched” videos

We take it for granted in Western democracies that we can make fun of everything, including the government and politicians. But of course that’s not the case in much of the world, including Egypt. But it’s even worse: a popular Egyptian singer, Sherine Abdel Wahab, was just sentenced to six months in prison for joking about […]

Duluth schools “respond” to my complaint about censorship

On February 8 I reported that the Duluth (Minnesota) public schools had removed two classic books from their syllabus: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. The reason, as you can guess, is that they contained the “n-word”: as the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported: “The feedback that we’ve received is that it makes […]

4 in 10 American Millennials, and half of Europeans, think that government should be able to ban “hate speech”

This 2015 Pew poll was mentioned by Lionel Shriver in her piece about the policing of literature tthat I discussed the other day. It shows a surprising degree of censoriousness in various Western countries.  Pew asked people in the U.S. and Europe the following question: We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able […]

Lionel Shriver on the new censorship

Don’t expect much today; I’m starting to take it easy on Saturday. After all, I’m retired, for crying out loud.  I will, however, call your attention to a new piece by author Lionel Shriver at Prospect Magazine, “Writers blocked: how the new call-out culture is killing fiction“. You’ll remember Shriver from two years ago, when, at […]

More on the deplatforming of Ken Ham: Let the bigoted creationist speak!

Yesterday I discussed how creationist and evangelical Christian Ken Ham (creator of the Ark Park and Creation Museum) had been disinvited from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), where he was supposed to talk on March 5 about “Genesis and the State of the Culture.” It should come as no surprise that I’m vehemently opposed to […]

FIRE’s worst colleges for free speech, and their Lifetime Censorship Award

FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has named the ten worst American campuses for free speech over the last year. In addition, they’ve given a “Lifetime Censorship” award to a school with a persistent history of censorship over time. Click on the screenshot below if you want to see the distressing details. First, […]

“Huck Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” once again censored in public schools

This battle will never end. According to the Minneapolis (Minnesota) Star Tribune, two of the usual targets of school censorship have now been removed from the curriculum at public schools in Duluth, Minnesota. Yep, you guessed it: they’re The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird, and you know why they’re banned: they contain […]

Censored water-nymph painting put back on display in Manchester

Several days I reported that a lovely famous pre-Raphaelite painting, “Hylas and the nymphs“, created in 1898 by John William Waterhouse, was removed from display at the Manchester Art Gallery. Just to remind you, here it is: Although the Guardian reported that the curator denied it was censorship, it clearly was—as indicated by her remarks. Clare […]

My Tribune op-ed on Bannongate at the University of Chicago

 When I wrote my post on “Bannongate” the other day, which decried some students’ and professors’ attempts to prevent Steve Bannon from debating at the University of Chicago this fall, I thought, “Maybe I should write an op-ed for the student newspaper.” Then I thought, “Go big or go home—why don’t I try the Chicago […]

Pre-Raphaelite painting removed from Manchester art gallery for depicting nude nymphs

The Pecksniffs have descended on the town of Matthew Cobb; yes, the termites have dined their way to Manchester. For a lovely and famous pre-Raphaelite painting, “Hylas and the nymphs“, created in 1898 by John William Waterhouse, has been removed from display at the Manchester Art Gallery. First, the story behind the painting (from Artble): […]