Journal Times Editorial: Don’t Hurry to Ban Books from Libraries | Editorial


Conservatives across the country are pressuring school libraries to remove books containing LGBTQ content or content about people of color.

Liberals have called for the books to be banned because of the use of racial epithets — such as in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” and themes of “white saviourism,” Axios reported. com on January 17.

We believe that in general both sides of the aisle are wrong to seek to ban books.

In the fall, Texas State Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, released a list of about 850 books that he said “make students uncomfortable” because of their content on race and sexuality. Krause urged Texas school libraries to report if they had any of the books.

Contrary to the claims of those who complain about being penalized for breaking the rules on social media platforms, having the government decide which books you can read is actually censorship.

Ordinary citizens who seek to remove books from the library because they are uncomfortable are missing out on the whole point of a library: books on all sorts of subjects, with all sorts of , including topics that make some people uncomfortable.

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For young minds, the school library is a chance to find another book in a favorite series or explore a new interest.

Some of the books people are looking to get out of their local school library don’t deal with controversial topics at all. Unless you consider skin color a controversial topic. We dont do.

“Separate Is Never Equal” is a 2014 picture book about a landmark legal case that entered Southern California schools in the 1940s. The book should be banned, says Robin Steenman, who leads a chapter of the Nashville suburb of Moms For Liberty because it contains contemporary quotes spoken by white segregationists in court, CNN.com reported Sept. 29.

“They [students] sit there listening to this, and all they hear is “Mexicans are dirty, inferior in academic ability”. They have skin issues and lice and it just goes on and on,” Steenman said as he flipped through the pages. “And I guess that’s what they’re going to take away from this book, because they’re just not ready.”

This idea that sophomores can’t handle the story — that hearing about it might, in fact, make them racist or hate their own race — is at the heart of Moms For Liberty’s lawsuit against public schools across the country. Williamson County, Tennessee.

The “Separate Is Never Equal” debate comes as a surprise to Duncan Tonatiuh, the book’s award-winning author.

“The bad guy here is racism and segregation,” Tonatiuh told CNN as he flipped through the pages. “At the end of the book, what I wanted to show was Mexican American kids and white kids going to school together, playing together, and interacting with each other.”

Tonatiuh has won numerous awards for writing engaging stories for young audiences. He said he had read the book to many elementary school students and the answer had nothing to do with what Steenman feared.

“When I shared the story with kids, I don’t see kids saying, ‘Oh, that makes me ashamed,'” he said. “They say, ‘That’s not true. It is not fair. This is not how people should treat people. This is the reaction I get.

When you ban a book, written for children, about children who look like the young reader, what do you think that tells that child about how their school values ​​them?

We believe there is a place to exclude from the primary school library books clearly aimed at an older audience, and a place to draw a line in the secondary school library between the discussion of sexuality and sexual content that is indistinguishable from pornography.

But for adults to seek to remove books from schools because they make some people uncomfortable?

This is the kind of talk one would expect to find in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, not in a country that guarantees freedom of speech and of the press in its founding document. It is of course the Constitution.


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