While surfing other WordPress sites this morning I came upon an interesting post at the Insatiable Book Sluts blog.
I think too many Americans don’t believe there are ever any serious attempts at censorship in America, or that such things only occur on the fringe, and that such statements are founded on ignorance. Yet, as the Insatiable Book Sluts point out in their post, Banned Books Week: What subversives are you reading? attempts at censorship occur regularly; and right in your own backyard.
I admit I was shocked at some of the books people have tried to ban, including Harry Potter and the Dictionary. According to the American Library Association (ALA), censorhip attempts have been made against the Twilight series, and classics such as Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, and Forever by Judy Blume….Judy Blume! The same author that brought us such childhood fantastics as Superfudge and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
Can you picture the chaos? The censors within the pro-God crowd are running around frantically trying to ban gay sexuality books while censors in the Gay community are running around spaztastically trying to ban the God books while the German censors are militantly banning holocaust books while the Jewish censors are furiously banning Nazi books and before you know it cats and mice are the best of friends.
Common Sense and the First Amendment protect our freedom to read, or not to read, whatever the hell we want. The freedom of the individual is superior to all other freedoms and that includes reading books about vampires, gay sex, normal sex, the definition of sex in the dictionary and everything else. I want my readers to understand that the dismantling of our individual freedoms occurs daily, by the hour, will never stop, and will ultimately succeed unless we are vigilant in protecting them, every single day.
BannedBooksWeek.org has an excellent site where you can map challenges in your local area. For example, I discovered that in Southern California the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is being banned in Menifee, a book called Prep is being banned in Yorba Linda and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is being banned in Huntington Beach.
Maya Angelou? The Dictionary? Seriously?
That’s right folks, book burning happening daily in your own backyard. Apathy and ignorance of this constant assault on our rights will be the final nails in the coffin of freedom.