Some people will yawn at hearing that Saturday was the beginning of the 27th Annual Banned Books Week. The story is the same every year, isn't it? Hundreds of titles are challenged in schools and libraries around the country. In 2007, the number was 420. This is fewer than the year before, but the number has fluctuated widely since the launch of Banned Books Week in 1982. The average is around 500.
Censorship is very American.
After all, the First Amendment was something of an afterthought. The Founding Fathers did not plan to protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was a concession to critics who argued that the Constitution did not provide adequate protection from government tyranny.
How right they were! Only a few years later, one group of the Founding Fathers passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in an effort to silence another group of Founding Fathers.