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I love the human race's tendency to be so stupid. I mean honestly...check this link out: Penguin Book Tops Most Challenged List

I understand the need for censorship. Remember all those Bugs Bunny cartoons that they banned because of racist overtones? They even banned some Tom and Jerry ones if I recall correctly. I understand the need of a government to regulate what its people spew out on a regular basis and the need for people to fight back. The age old argument of freedom of speech versus censorship.

Think the People Vs Larry Flint, or that trial where they put a guy away because he kept giving Nazi speeches to young, misguided teenagers and incited them to kill and rape. I understand the need to regulate content, especially on the Internet, where people think anonymity is equal to getting away with bullshit. Hello, child porn enthusiasts. Sick, sick, sick. You freaking sick people. There are two sides to every point of view, but you can never justify child porn to me and don't you dare use the first amendment to justify your perversions. But I digress.

Now here's the thing that pisses me off (aside from child p0rn which makes me disgusted and sad). If you're a parent, you have all the right to keep your precious little baby from reading books with what you think is inappropriate content.

It doesn't take away the fact that Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is an accurate writing of that time. Racism? Of course it's racist. People were racist during that time. People hung other people from trees because they had different colored skin. People are still racist. Ask Filipinos working overseas or living in other countries.

Books like that are written to remind us of what people went through during that time. You do not seek to ban it from the public library simply because you don't agree with it. Literature, social revolutions and history are intertwined. Just because you think it's inappropriate, doesn't mean other people will. Or the other way around.

Ban a book about a penguin with two fathers? Oh wait, challenge it? Some little boy or girl out there will read that and think that someone understands him or her. That's probably what the author wrote it for. You can't pretend that it doesn't exist. If you don't accept homosexuality, then don't let your kids read it. Don't deprive other people of great literature. Think of what people can learn from books. I learned a great many things from what I read--especially things I don't agree with. It comes with reading, knowing how to accept, what to accept.

If you're concerned about what your child is reading, be interested in what she or he is reading. Know what they like to read. Use it to educate them instead of banning it. Regulate the content coming into your home. My mother banned me from reading several books when I was younger, or simply edited out (by stapling pages together) parts of the books she didn't want me to read. What books were these? Sweet Valley High (I was only allowed to read it in high school), several Anne Rice books and some I can't remember. Besides, I always found a way to read the ones I was dying to read. Yes, school and public libraries are keepers of the books. Whatever books they are. Ban them because they are badly written, or promote terrible things. Not Huckleberry Finn. Not Beloved. Not I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. These books speak truth and to deprive people from truth deprives people of the purpose of literature in the first place.

Think about that.



May. 10th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
exactly :D