Book Banning and Book Burning to Limit Access by High-School Students

BonzaiDuck

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This phenomenon walks hand in hand with the "Critical Race Theory" controversy. And this is where I throw up my hands and proclaim "America has lost its way!"

There are enough news stories, particularly about Greg Abbott's draconian demands to pull books from school libraries. Readers can post links as they wish for our edification. But I feel edified to the point of exhaustion.

I was (more or less) fortunate to attend a local Catholic boys preparatory school. There were, at any given time through my graduation, about 500 students. The school was located near the barrio, but some distance from the black ghetto known as the East Side. We had several Mexican-American classmates, but there were only about two or three African-American kids. None of the priests who taught us were pedophiles; one or two of them fell under the shadow of rumors suggesting they were gay.

The school library was one of the best you could find in the county, given the fact that this was a private school, and the public high schools followed the factory model that originated at Columbia University. Those public high-schools were well-funded during the '50s and '60s. There was never any isolation or social caste distinction between our students and theirs. We dated their girls, and they dated the girls at our sister-school across town.

Miss Bevil was a sweet little old lady who served as our school librarian. The library had acquired a complete set of the Britannica "Great Books". The Great Books included a volume of Karl Marx and another of the works by John Locke -- often called the Grandfather of the US Constitution. My sojourn as a student occurred during the early 1960s, when the Cold War seemed to be moderating until after November 22, 1963. Miss Bevil decided to pull the volume containing Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto, and she also pulled John Locke, since, for some reason, Locke had never received the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of catholic prelates.

It wasn't long thereafter that all the precocious students were driven to find Marx and Locke at the local public library. So Miss Bevil's efforts only served the opposite of her intent.

Now, the LA Times recently reported that a school board in Burbank, CA, had removed Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" and -- get this! -- Ernest Hemingway's "Of Mice and Men", for dealing with the issue of race!

I thought I KNEW America! Think of it: the kids might easily pull VHS or DVD renderings from the school film library of a black-and-white Gregory Peck classic, or the cinema version of Hemingway's book with Sinese and Malkovitch. What's next? Pull the films?! The kids will find them offered periodically on basic-cable TMC presentations!

These cornpone half-wit parents send their kids onto the high-school varsity football field where they might experience all sorts of serious injury, but they're so afraid of the printed word that they seem intent on gutting every public library of our national classics if they just get pointed in that direction.

Some will recall the recent appearances of academic and author Caroline Randall Williams, spotlighted in her New York Times Op-Ed -- "You want a Confederate Monument? My Body is a Confederate Monument". Shall these parents compel the school board to ban the New York Times? How about Mark Twain? Twain wrote a detective novel entitled "Pudd'n'head Wilson". It's underlying background plot involves two babies who look identical, switched in their cribs at birth one born to a slave-master's wife, the other to his slave housekeeper. There's no sexually-explicit content, but the central issue of Twain's concern is obvious.

Ask the same parents if we should ban Huckleberry Finn because of its historically contextual use of the N__ word. I'd like to hear the responses to that question.

This country has a rich and wonderful literature written by Titans -- some purely self-educated, like Sam Clemens aka Mark Twain.

And it appears that a bunch of ignorant, race-conscious parents want to bury it. Somewhere along the march of time, people have lost their sense of value for the Truth. Maybe -- they never understood the value of the Truth. Has our public school system failed? Why do these folks want to return us to the Dark Ages?

I recently discovered Charles Darwin's final work before his death, when I was looking for information about vermi-composting for my garden: "The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms". Delightful. "Oh, no! We've got to ban it from the stacks! It's CHARLES DARWIN!! Evil! Evil! Bad -- bad!"

Back during the first decade of the millennium, a news story appeared in my local paper. Some among the public wanted to ban an oil painting from a local museum, featuring a side view of a nude woman and a breast with a large aureole. Later, another woman attempted to get the Merriam Webster's Dictionary banned from the school classroom. Her child had chosen to look up the term "oral sex" and the Webster's abridgment of the 3rd New International Websters included it.

Do I have to spend the remainder of my sunset years constantly reminded of American Ignorance?
 
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HomerJS

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Feb 6, 2002
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This is what conservatives have brought to their so called hate of cancel culture
Now, the LA Times recently reported that a school board in Burbank, CA, had removed Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" and -- get this! -- Ernest Hemingway's "Of Mice and Men", for dealing with the issue of race!
In reality this made up bullshit about getting rid of CRT in schools has allowed them to do something they've wanted for a long time. Remove any black influences from American history. CRT just gives them cover to cancel what they want removed.

This is their comeback for confederate statues coming down. "You darkies think you get the last word? We'll remove you from the history of this country"
 

cytg111

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Also it must be weird looking in on this as a kindle… Almost like attending a zoo.
 

Moonbeam

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Do I have to spend the remainder of my sunset years constantly reminded of American Ignorance?
I suspect we will but that isn't the big problem for me. The problem I see is that I want them to pay for it which also suggests, I think, a potential means for relief. I am convinced that people of the type you morn the existence of here can't help but be how they are, namely, they can't be held morally responsible as agencies because they are actually only mechanically programmed machines. The problem then may actually be that I am only a similarly programmed machine.

And since there is nothing I can do as an ego to destroy my or anybody else's ego, that wish having an ego origin and therefore always insincere, I must content myself with the fact that if this viewpoint is true than somewhere there exist people who are real and a truth that is real. That means too that every child that is born will be born free of such bullshit and hope for a better future is something also quite real. So all of the effort these sad people make to suppress and expunge the truth will always given time utterly fail. The longing for truth is built into our genes. I salute your longing for it.
 

1prophet

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Aug 17, 2005
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This is what conservatives have brought to their so called hate of cancel culture

Now, the LA Times recently reported that a school board in Burbank, CA, had removed Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" and -- get this! -- Ernest Hemingway's "Of Mice and Men", for dealing with the issue of race!


In reality this made up bullshit about getting rid of CRT in schools has allowed them to do something they've wanted for a long time. Remove any black influences from American history. CRT just gives them cover to cancel what they want removed.

This is their comeback for confederate statues coming down. "You darkies think you get the last word? We'll remove you from the history of this country"

Those conservatives at it again


The cancel culture monster just like the zero tolerance monster doesn't stop at conservative confederate statues, eventually it eats its own.



Helligar, who is one of the parents who filed a complaint in the case, claimed the boy's excuse was that he had read it in class and the principal had been dismissive of the incident.
"My daughter was literally traumatized," Helligar said. "These books are problematic ... you feel helpless because you can't even protect your child from the hurt that she's going through."
Nadra Ostrom, another Black parent who filed a complaint, argued that the portrayal of Black people is mostly from a white perspective.
"There's no counter-narrative to this Black person dealing with racism and a white person saving them," she said.
Ostrom added that the current education given to students assumes "that racism is something in the past."

Rich White liberals masters from the You ain't black if you don't vote for Biden plantation using black people to control the narrative and the root cause of much of the damage in the black community who try to hide behind their bigoted white savior attitude by pointing at things like conservative statues, and then go home and sleep in their comfortable white liberal communities patting themselves on the back for their self praise virtue signaling progressive pearl clutching while black neighborhoods burn.
 

fskimospy

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Mar 10, 2006
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Those conservatives at it again


The cancel culture monster just like the zero tolerance monster doesn't stop at conservative confederate statues, eventually it eats its own.






Rich White liberals masters from the You ain't black if you don't vote for Biden plantation using black people to control the narrative and the root cause of much of the damage in the black community who try to hide behind their bigoted white savior attitude by pointing at things like conservative statues, and then go home and sleep in their comfortable white liberal communities patting themselves on the back for their self praise virtue signaling progressive pearl clutching while black neighborhoods burn.
Wait, nothing about free trade in there? You’re slowing down!

Sad to tell you this but if you’re concerned about censorship coming back to bite the censors the call is coming from inside the right wing house. Conservatives LOVE banning books and always have. You guys invented cancel culture!

 

pauldun170

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Sep 26, 2011
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Before Trump, I would have never have thought that I'd see some of this bullshit locally

Speakers who were also attacking Critical Race Theory demanded that Persepolis be dropped as “pornographic.”
District officials quickly caved to the rightwing protest. When the Commack school district director of English Charles Schulz defended assigning Persepolis and protested against its removal from the district’s required reading list, the Commack Board of Education abolished his job and reassigned to a made-up position as "district-wide associate principal."
 
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Moonbeam

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Those conservatives at it again


The cancel culture monster just like the zero tolerance monster doesn't stop at conservative confederate statues, eventually it eats its own.






Rich White liberals masters from the You ain't black if you don't vote for Biden plantation using black people to control the narrative and the root cause of much of the damage in the black community who try to hide behind their bigoted white savior attitude by pointing at things like conservative statues, and then go home and sleep in their comfortable white liberal communities patting themselves on the back for their self praise virtue signaling progressive pearl clutching while black neighborhoods burn.
You don't see yourself here as virtue signaling? Surely you realize how superior you consider your point of view to be.
 
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MrSquished

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gothuevos

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Also going after mental health programs and suicide prevention:
Pro-lifers for you.
Wow, that didn't take long.

I have previously said they would use CRT as a blank check against anything they don't like, but this is escalating quickly.

Again I ask - how long until they use CRT as an excuse to ban certain students entirely? This is precisely how you create an entire segment of the population you deem persona non grata. And when does it end? Schools, workplaces, neighborhoods?

Pretty soon all the hysteria about CRT will turn into "re-education" as a way to counter it. It will never end.

Maybe that can be on their party platform for 2024.
 
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senseamp

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Wow, that didn't take long.

I have previously said they would use CRT as a blank check against anything they don't like, but this is escalating quickly.

Again I ask - how long until they use CRT as an excuse to ban certain students entirely?

Maybe that can be on their party platform for 2024.
Go to school board meetings and oppose these sociopaths.
 
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BonzaiDuck

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The party of family values strikes again. Total party of really shitty people.
With the library books, the voter suppression laws and all the rest of the recent insanity, this looks like an effort of total war waged by a loose partisan association of lunatics. Seeing these school board protesters come out of the woodwork has been a big surprise. I never imagined that there were so many people walking around with such nonsense in their heads.

Go to school board meetings and oppose these sociopaths.
That -- we should probably do. I'm a retired person without children. I would never likely have considered attending school board meetings. The news featured clips of some of these people howling at the board members. They look like duck-dynasty bikers. Surely, this is the Age of Crazy.
 
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MrSquished

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With the library books, the voter suppression laws and all the rest of the recent insanity, this looks like an effort of total war waged by a loose partisan association of lunatics. Seeing these school board protesters come out of the woodwork has been a big surprise. I never imagined that there were so many people walking around with such nonsense in their heads.



That -- we should probably do. I'm a retired person without children. I would never likely have considered attending school board meetings. The news featured clips of some of these people howling at the board members. They look like duck-dynasty bikers. Surely, this is the Age of Crazy.
I too am childless, but I do suffer from bipolar disorder and have been suicidal multiple times, including when I was much younger. These people are sick trying to get rid of mental health resources. With social media, school has only become tougher for these kids. The city I live in would never do such a thing, but out by my sister in the burbs, there are some of the anti-CRT crazies.
 

tweaker2

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Aug 5, 2000
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The Repubs will use any and all means to make minority party rule by them a feature of how a "democracy" should be run. Erasing/rewriting history that casts a bad light on segments of their constituency is just another ploy in their growing book of ploys toward that end. This is how dictatorships are created and precisely how democracies are destroyed from within.

This is the only way the Repub leadership see themselves holding on to the power and influence they've enjoyed for so long. They will destroy our democratic way of life in order to remake it in their image, where corporate greed will reign supreme by exploiting racism, white supremacy, religious nutjobbery and the pursuit of *heh* "traditionalist values" that reek of the stench those days of slavery wafted over the nation.

Who could imagine that the Repub party's agenda would align so closely with that of Putin's.
 

BonzaiDuck

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I read through the Newsweek article posted by 1prophet. This gets complicated and confusing. Some of the parents wishing to exclude books from the students' reading list are black. They cited an instance where some white kid had read such a book, and made some remark using the N word to a black kid in another class -- a math class. So, somehow, reading a book that exposes American racism leads some kid to verbally assault another student in a manner contrary to the book's intent. So -- blame the book!

High-schoolers can look at the classic literature by white authors and juxtapose it against African-American literature. They could read Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man", or Lorraine Hansberry's play and the script for the Sidney Poitier movie of "Raisin In the Sun". But the argument about "white" perspectives on racism which attempts to recognize it as an American problem shouldn't just be sidelined because they are "white" perspectives.

So like I said -- they put these high-schoolers on the football field with the risk of traumatic brain injury. Yet it's somehow helpful to eliminate their exposure to both white and black authors who deal with racism as a problem? I don't get it! I grew up in the '50s when everybody listened to Chuck Berry, everybody listened to Link Wray's guitar -- but we didn't know Link Wray's Native American origins. I just don't get the idea that somehow "less is better" when "more illuminates."
 
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Moonbeam

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I read through the Newsweek article posted by 1prophet. This gets complicated and confusing. Some of the parents wishing to exclude books from the students' reading list are black. They cited an instance where some white kid had read such a book, and made some remark using the N word to a black kid in another class -- a math class. So, somehow, reading a book that exposes American racism leads some kid to verbally assault another student in a manner contrary to the book's intent. So -- blame the book!

High-schoolers can look at the classic literature by white authors and juxtapose it against African-American literature. They could read Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man", or Lorraine Hansberry's play and the script for the Sidney Poitier movie of "Raisin In the Sun". But the argument about "white" perspectives on racism which attempts to recognize it as an American problem shouldn't just be sidelined because they are "white" perspectives.

So like I said -- they put these high-schoolers on the football field with the risk of traumatic brain injury. Yet it's somehow helpful to eliminate their exposure to both white and black authors who deal with racism as a problem? I don't get it! I grew up in the '50s when everybody listened to Chuck Berry, everybody listened to Link Wray's guitar -- but we didn't know Link Wray's Native American origins. I just don't get the idea that somehow "less is better" when "more illuminates."
My personal opinion is that it is confusing because it is the result of the same core paradox that lies at the central root of human existance. For most of humanity this paradox is not even recognized much less resolved. It is the product of the invention of language that gives things names and a physiology, a bodily existence that can experience pleasure and pain. Language separates the oneness of the universe into separate things with names, even imaginary things that do not exist. And to all of these things a somatic response can be generated by thinking about them in a way that evokes some past negative or positive experience.

For example, there is no such thing as race except in our belief that there is. Via thought we compare and invent the notions that one race is better than another. But there is no such thing as race. But as soon as we are conditioned to the notion that race is real we inevitably become racists. We may say that one race is better than another or that all races are equal, but there is no such thing as race. Racism is belief and to deny race exists you have to mention what you are talking about, no such thing as racism.

So when we try affirm the evil of racism we imply that racism exists just as those who believe in racial superiority. To believe that one race is better than another or to believe all races equal is to make noises with our mouth about something that does not exist. The only people who are not racists don't know they are and have no idea there exists such an imaginary thing.

People who do not want any mention of race believe racism exists. EDIT: People for whom the concept of race does not exist would pretty much only be small children and the blind and deaf. The rest of us have eaten from the Tree on Knowledge and have been kicked out of the Garden. Now where did I put my fig leaf? Ah there it is on the alter of my sacred beliefs.
 
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BonzaiDuck

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My personal opinion is that it is confusing because it is the result of the same core paradox that lies at the central root of human existance. For most of humanity this paradox is not even recognized much less resolved. It is the product of the invention of language that gives things names and a physiology, a bodily existence that can experience pleasure and pain. Language separates the oneness of the universe into separate things with names, even imaginary things that do not exist. And to all of these things a somatic response can be generated by thinking about them in a way that evokes some past negative or positive experience.

For example, there is no such thing as race except in our belief that there is. Via thought we compare and invent the notions that one race is better than another. But there is no such thing as race. But as soon as we are conditioned to the notion that race is real we inevitably become racists. We may say that one race is better than another or that all races are equal, but there is no such thing as race. Racism is belief and to deny race exists you have to mention what you are talking about, no such thing as racism.

So when we try affirm the evil of racism we imply that racism exists just as those who believe in racial superiority. To believe that one race is better than another or to believe all races equal is to make noises with our mouth about something that does not exist. The only people who are not racists don't know they are and have no idea there exists such an imaginary thing.

People who do not want any mention of race believe racism exists. That would pretty much only be small children and the blind and deaf. The rest of us have eaten from the Tree on Knowledge and have been kicked out of the Garden. Now where did I put my fig leaf? Ah there it is on the alter of my sacred beliefs.
You often confound me. But some of the things you say here I agree with.

Darwin noted certain things about pigeons -- the species of birds -- perhaps insinuating that there are sub-species. They have markings on their feathers that vary or differ, and which have a minor bearing on mating behavior. Other than that, no difference.

So looking at variations among human beings, our sense of differences derives from our perceptions of eye-color, the shape of noses and lips, different qualities of hair and skin color. If the human race had developed as a blind species, like rodent moles, there would be no distinction among these features, as if the features didn't exist.

I think what you meant to say about "small children . . the blind and deaf" was opposite of what you wanted to say.

But basically, people who don't want any mention or discussion of race may actually be racists who will tell themselves or others that they aren't racists. They don't want the schools giving students a chance to discuss race and racism, because it removes the discussion of the topic from their exclusive control at home. They don't want their kids developing a sense or understanding of it that varies from the understanding in their own comfort zone.

Actually, I think my exchange with you here has been very productive to my personal understanding of things. It's just that your posts remind me somewhat of the recent Uber Eats commercials featuring Elton John, particularly the one about french fries and mayonnaise: "You're weird, man . . . "
 
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hal2kilo

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kage69

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Unsurprisingly, they seem pretty excited to purge Margaret Atwood books. Handmaid series really chaffed those people.

100% state provided healthcare, just disgusting.
 
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Moonbeam

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You often confound me. But some of the things you say here I agree with.

Darwin noted certain things about pigeons -- the species of birds -- perhaps insinuating that there are sub-species. They have markings on their feathers that vary or differ, and which have a minor bearing on mating behavior. Other than that, no difference.

So looking at variations among human beings, our sense of differences derives from our perceptions of eye-color, the shape of noses and lips, different qualities of hair and skin color. If the human race had developed as a blind species, like rodent moles, there would be no distinction among these features, as if the features didn't exist.

I think what you meant to say about "small children . . the blind and deaf" was opposite of what you wanted to say.

But basically, people who don't want any mention or discussion of race may actually be racists who will tell themselves or others that they aren't racists. They don't want the schools giving students a chance to discuss race and racism, because it removes the discussion of the topic from their exclusive control at home. They don't want their kids developing a sense or understanding of it that varies from the understanding in their own comfort zone.

Actually, I think my exchange with you here has been very productive to my personal understanding of things. It's just that your posts remind me somewhat of the recent Uber Eats commercials featuring Elton John, particularly the one about french fries and mayonnaise: "You're weird, man . . . "
I remember reading way back there are two varieties of mice within a single specie that differ genetically by 10% whereas humans and chimps only differ by, what?, around 1%.

The genetic difference between human so called races is minute by comparison. There is just one human specie.

You are right, I got something screwed up in that small children sentence.

Sorry I haven't seen the Elton commercial but I know I share a lot of the sentiments I read in a book called Wisdom of the Idiots. I suspect there's a kind of perceptional experience on can have that lends itself to, shall we say, less than flattering names. I think the reason I like you is because you are somewhere on the spectrum. It's bound take foothold, I would say, in anybody who has spent some time questioning things. After all, being confused by anything just isn't normal. The book burners haven't the slightest doubt they could be wrong. Anything that creates any discomfort by challenging their world view is automatically wrong
 

Zorba

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Oct 22, 1999
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Also going after mental health programs and suicide prevention:
Pro-lifers for you.
The good thing is, right wingers don't take long to show their true colors, so maybe the people that got duped into believe they actually cared about education will see the truth by next year.
 
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