Archived Story

Who in their right mind bans books?

Published 11:25am Friday, September 20, 2013

Banned Books Weeks is observed this year from Sept. 22-28, and based on the press release we published the other day, this is the 30th year for that recognition.

What struck us was that there should apparently still be a need to guard against people who want certain books out of the reach of children and even adults.

Who are these people? Puritans who found a way to time travel from the 1600s? No, just their intellectual descendants.

Could they be members of the Taliban that have infiltrated American society? Possibly, but they’re more concerned with keeping just females from even learning how to read. Their shooting of a girl this past year is proof alone.

No, the culprits are those fellow Americans who evidently cling to inner issues about anyone either enjoying literature, or reading that inspires imagination and – gasp! – thinking.

We just learned of a woman in Ohio that wants Toni Morrison’s novel, “The Bluest Eye,” taken from school library shelves. Way to go, Ohio.

This past spring, the Chicago Public Schools reportedly tried to justify banning Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, “Persepolis.” For a city remarkable for its own level of style and sophistication, this makes the place look like a village in the Dark Ages.

If such self-righteous crusaders have good motives, we’d at least be interested to know. But then the phrase about the road to hell being paved with good intentions immediately comes to mind.

How then to fight such ignorance and malice?

Find and read those books – even if they’re on electronic devices – and do so publicly. Repeat as often as necessary because evil doesn’t rest.

The week ahead celebrates the freedom to read. Every week is a time to read, enjoy, learn and grow.

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