You might have heard about the topic of book bannings recently. Hearing that some school doesn’t want specific books may not sound very important to adults leading our own lives. But if we aren’t careful, this can be a signal for a far less free future.
What’s Been Going On?
Book bans have been a big topic right now. But why exactly? Here’s a short breakdown of recent events that brought the topic to light.
- A Wyoming country prosecutor office is pushing to press legal action against libraries stocking books about sexual education.
- Oklahoma Senate introduced a bill to ban books from school libraries that talk about sexual/gender related issues.
- A Tennessee Board of Education voted to remove Maus, a Pulitzer Prize winning story about the Holocaust, for strong language and imagery.
And those are only a few specifics. Educational systems like the American Library Association are seeing a massive spike in locals pushing for the removal of certain books from availability. Many of the books in question have been available for years.
Why This is a Problem
The obvious answer as to why this should be concerning is that this is censorship. We know that shouting “censorship!” when it isn’t is a fun new thing that extremists like to do, but this is genuine. Generally speaking, knowledge should never be hidden from the public, even knowledge that we may not agree with. The only time knowledge should be withheld from sharing is when it is proven to be factually false. Teaching kids about what happened in the holocaust because it has swearing in it is nonsense.
But let’s get specific with it. Just think about this: why wouldn’t they want you to read about what they are hiding? The main focus between the books being banned seem to focus on two topics: sexual education and the Nazi government.
One of the staples of an out of control government is to control what you can say about the government. Neo-Nazi groups have been on the rise, pushing to promote a totalitarian/dictator uprising. You know, the thing that American troops fought and died to prevent back in World War 2. And given the fact that Nazi’s did hold mass book burnings in 1933, it draws a dangerous parallel.
But what about sexual education? There’s a two-part combo to that. First is that controlling the general public’s access to sexual education has been a tradition of controlling powers back to the Middle Ages. Second is that topics like sex ed and gender politics is a prominent point in many left-leaning political topics. You know what else the Nazis burned back in 1933? Books that educate or sympathize with pacifist and communist ideals (which the Nazi party opposed).
Seeing a wave of modern day book bans is a problem. When people want to hide information, it’s because they want to take away power. And recent events are waving a big red flag that looks dangerously similar to events of the past.