2001-07-21 / Editorial/Opinion

A Closer Inspection Of Morality

A Closer Inspection Of Morality

Perhaps the greatest privilege a journalist has is the responsibility of mounting the sentry-post of the First Amendment. Many of us pride ourselves on the service we do our listeners, readers and viewers. We bring the truth, as unbiased and pure as possible, to the public at large. We also undertake and stimulate many levels of discourse with no other intent outside of unearthing the 100-percent galvanized truth.

This is why it hurt my conscience, as a member of the community, and angered my sense of Constitutional responsibility, as a journalist, when I found a flier calling for the protest and boycott of Golden Video. The reason given was that Golden Video was selling pornographic material and that this is imperatively a danger to our community.

There are a few questions we need to ask ourselves here. First of all, if there were no city-council seats available this election, would there still be such a mindless hub-bub over this "issue"? Second of all, what is the clear and present danger to the morality of our youth if the videos and other paraphernalia are kept in a restricted part of the store? Third, and probably most important, where does it stop?

I remember seeing another mustached middle-aged man who demanded such censorship. I wish I could tell you what he said, but I don’t really understand 1930’s German.

The question, my dear friends, goes to the core of what America is supposed to be. Are we a country that will crush and obliterate anything we find offensive? Remember, there was a time when we found the idea of racial integration distasteful and offensive. Thank god for the martyrs of lynchings, beatings and hosings, or this "offensive" idea would never have found its way into the media and public dialogue. It was an open, unbiased exchange of information that let the U.S. take a small step out of its mire of moral decrepitude.

What of those who find the Ku Klux Klan offensive? They preach racial hatred but we let them continue to spout. What of those who find Catholicism offensive? The history of thought and action, as well as the current policies, of the Catholic Church are downright disturbing to some and yet they are allowed to continue preaching. What of the Nation of Islam? There are those who believe that Nation’s entire scope is the destruction "of the white man," yet we let them continue. Why?

Very simply, it’s because it adds to the panorama of ideas and opinions within the country’s dialogue while not directly causing any harm. If we ban Golden Video, than these institutions as well as the Bill of Rights, must be banned along with it.

As for me, next time I walk by 116th and see "Simon’s Sheep" protesting, I will feel a sad pang of pity for my misled community.


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