Dear West Chester,
There is a long, historical conversation on the roots and purposes behind censorship that one letter cannot possibly cover in detail. But at its core, censorship is one person or group of people purposefully removing and silencing the voices of others to aid a purpose or agenda.
However, when discussing censorship, it is impossible to effectively discuss the intricacies of the practice without understanding systematic structures of power. If we are “censoring” opinions that seek to hurt or harm those of an oppressed class, is that really censorship? Or are we simply not allowing history to repeat itself by further normalizing what are already harmful, widely accepted beliefs?
As editor-in-chief, I do not believe that the line between censorship and removal of harmful practices or ideologies is as blurry as others may believe. Through my own lens of understanding, the line between censorship and allowing for the normalization of oppressive beliefs is clearer than not. With that being said, the public forum of a newspaper is just that: public. People can and will see what a publication puts out into the world and will respond to it accordingly.
I and the rest of the executive board encourage public conversation and uplifting of voices from all members of the student population. To silence one’s voice that yearns to be heard is a tragedy that should never take place. We take responsibility and pride in what goes into our publications and strive to act on our values.
I am proud of the discussions I am able to have with people who think like me and those who do not. While one’s values should never change, one’s perspective can always afford another window into a world you may not be familiar with.
Be proud, West Chester University. And let your voice be heard.