Thursday, June 04, 2009

Book Banning: Ignorance Hard At Work

Our democracy may come complete with free speech, but America has plenty of people who think that only applies to speech with which they agree. Writers everywhere should be concerned about censorship and book banning; these practices are just as troubling (and dangerous) as the collapse of the newspaper industry. In May, a Michigan high school teacher was directed to remove Toni Morrison's The Song of Solomon from her advanced placement English class. The protestors objected to the novel's profanity, sexual references, and violence. I don't know what's more absurd -- pretending that high school seniors somehow need to be protected from reality when America has some of the highest teen pregnancy rates of any industrialized nation, along with shocking levels of violence and incarcertaion -- or that in the name of "morality" it's a good idea to ban the very type of intelligent discourse that might prevent social ills.

Read this blog post from January Magazine for more details:
Picture courtesy of Johanna Ljungblom at

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