The Times' assertion that the Board of Trustees of California State University Northridge in banning Playboy etc. is somehow guilty of censorship, or violation of First Amendment rights is absurd. It seems to me that The Times has a distorted concept of freedom, the meaning of the First Amendment, and the term censorship .
It has become increasingly apparent that censorship has become a kind of catchword followed in the most part by very little thinking. It is used casually to deride those who are inclined to disallow something, usually controversial, while at the same time denying them the very rights they are accused of violating.
By banning magazines such as Playboy, Northridge is in effect saying that it will not condone profiting from brutal, degrading sexual exploitation. Students are not precluded from purchasing their dirty magazines but they do have to go somewhere else to do it.
Why some deem it necessary to deny the University the freedom to discriminate between garbage and good, and I might add on taxpayer property, is beyond me. This is not censorship, this is decency, and good sense. This is morally correct decision making, or does The Times not believe in morality any more? Would The Times favor publications claiming that the Holocaust is a hoax or that magazines promoting the false arguments of racial inferiority, while the university profited? I think not. Would The Times object to the university's removing such publications? If we cannot follow our consciences, if we are prevented from deciding not to profit from cheap exploitation, then what are we becoming, and how have we gotten to this point?
The university is under no obligation to accept or profit from exploitation, and The Times should know that. The Times should also learn to distinguish between ideas, ideals and trash.
NATHAN W. POST Santa Barbara