TO THE EDITOR:
We write today to express our disappointment with the short-sightedness of movements intent on suppressing free artistic expression, a core tenet of American democracy.
The violent movement we describe (“Burn all copies of bee movie,” reads the title of the group’s Facebook event) seeks not only to discredit the merits of “Bee Movie,” but also marginalizes the experiences and views of millions of Bee Movie fans like ourselves.
Critical reception aside, it is undeniable that “Bee Movie” has left an indelible mark on the canvas of modern American cinema as both a deft articulation of a layered Marxist metanarrative and as a complex allegory of the American dream. Critics might suggest the actions of anti-“Bee Movie” demonstrators are themselves manifestations of free speech.
While the Supreme Court has controversially upheld citizens’ rights to burn American flags (Texas v. Johnson, 1989), the desecration of media is both symbolically and implicitly distinct: Destroying copies of “Bee Movie” recalls ceremonial book burnings familiar to fascist regimes, not free democracies.
Make no mistake — we vehemently disagree with the way in which our fellow students choose to demonstrate, but stand by their constitutional rights to do so.
But constructive and informed dialogue is critical for the success of American democracy, and likewise, the erasure and censorship of opposing views, regardless of how symbolic, threatens to undermine the foundations of our University and our nation.
We urge our misguided peers to call off their demonstration, in defense of “Bee Movie” and the Republic itself.
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