This is Banned Books Week (10/1-10/7). Banned Books Week started in Chicago in 1982 through the American Library Association, headquartered here. The week draws attention to national and local efforts to ban books in libraries, schools, and bookstores. According to the ALA, 2022 had the most attempted book bans on record. 2023 could be the next record year.
The first banned book in America was New English Canaan by Thomas Morton in 1637. It was a harsh criticism of Puritanism. The Puritans were the dominant political and religious force in the Massachusetts colony. Book bans along with other bans on published materials have come and gone throughout American history. In the 1950’s there were attempts to ban comic books, as they were accused of deviance or difference from established cultural norms, including stories of forbidden crimes, passions, and identities.
Social activists- whatever that means- successfully banned certain books for offensive language or offensive depictions of people that were deemed racially insensitive. They are still trying to keep these books off the shelves. Some publishers are rewriting the books. Do not buy these rewritten books. By them used. Two examples are Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Once again book banning is raising its ugly head. Extremist politicians like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and their proxies like Moms for Liberty are pushing- sometimes successfully- for book bans in libraries and schools. Moms for Liberty focuses on removing what they deem as inappropriate books from school libraries. There is one title for these book banners like Moms for Liberty, hate groups.
No books should be banned. People choose to be offended. Society, schools, and libraries are not responsible for people’s personal choices. The rallying cry of the banners is protecting children. Politicians and groups like Mom for Liberty do not care and never cared about children. They only care about their narrow-mindless pseudo religious beliefs. These people are not Christians. They are heretics.
We should value schools and libraries. Activists and politicians have no value when they try to ban books or ideas. These narrow mindless people believe their views are shared by most Americans. They have been proven wrong time after time.
There are too many activists who believe in making America great again- whatever the f**k that means. They would start with books, then art, then television and movies. These are the American Nazis. Like their brethren, they would confiscate and destroy “objectionable” materials. They would ban anything they deem objectional. There are people on the left who hold the same ideas of banning “objectional” material. It is history repeating itself. We cannot let that happen.
The country is constantly changing. Values and morals change. Society changes. There is always a small vocal antediluvian dodo bird minority that fights changes. They want to go back to the Puritan era of ignorance. They use religious zealotry and made up “American values” as a reason for their mindless thinking.
This week buy a banned book or a book the left or right zealots want banned. Read it and pass it on. To learn more about book bans check out the Banned Books Week website or the Pen America Freedom to Learn series.