Is Censorship Hurting or Progressing Us?

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We live in some wild times. Unless you live under a rock, racism, social justice, politics and over the top entertainment/news dominate your media devices. There are maaad places online that try to side-toss them sneaky ads that promote these issues, all to try and catch some buzz traffic mostly.

But one thing I noticed that kept popping up was “definitions”. Everything from the terms we use down to the process we use to define them, we’re at a point in society where we are questioning everything we’ve thought we knew. Religion, history, science, art, education and business practices, everything.

If it has a name, we can change it. If it doesn’t, we’ll make one.


And I guess that’s kinda my problem.

1Hood Media Academy 2014

1Hood Media Academy 2014

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In the media literacy and communications work I do, language is a key (if not the key) area of focus for analyzing and creating different forms of media for a variety of audiences. If I can’t follow or  understand what you’re saying with a degree of logic and common sense, I’m done. These words, these definitions, are sooooo crucial in understanding people’s points, that it feels a bit redundant and maybe even condescending to have to even point out.


But yet we’re going all out with definitions in 2016



Million Moms March 2015 - Washington D.C. - Idasa Tariq 1Hood

Million Moms March 2015 – Washington D.C.

So what really is the problem?

At the heart of it all, these discussions around definitions are based mainly on two things

  • How we define ourselves
  • How we define other selves and other things

The reasons?

If you look at racism in America, because of how the government and society has defined what it means to be “Black” or “African-American” since the birth of this nation, the racial issues and poisons in this country were formed.

If you look at prejudice against African & Middle Eastern religion and culture, it’s based on how WE define and understand those religions and cultures. Not necessarily how they define and understand it.

If you look at gender and women’s rights issues, at the forefront of the conversation now is redefining and reshaping what it means to be a woman and also what it means to be an identity in generaly.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary 2016

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary 2016 | Photo by Jacquea Mae of 1Hood Media

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Can you see the pattern? How in all of these issues, local and global, our ability (or inability) to define things outside of ourselves and internalizing that with our own identity is really the solution and problem. On one hand, we can mislabel something or someone in which the definition now does harm. And in the other hand, we can label something where it’s name and definition inspire others for generations.


Maybe the problem isn’t getting people to talk with each other and learn from their conversations. Maybe it really is a lack of knowing how to talk right in the first place to someone, regardless of the language or dialect  you choose.


We’re more worried about what we’re saying than how we’re saying it too. And that’s a dangerous problem if we plan on solving the problems, primarily the ones extending beyond definitions and issues of censorship.

I give Frames and Glasses through music and media. All about changing perspectives to get the job done. ||| Asst Creative Dir. @ 1Hood Media ~ Chief Engineer @ Ground Flow Communications, Inc. ~ DIY Audio & Visual Education and Practice…check me out.

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