The headline of a recent NPR.com article surprised me regarding book banning in America. A Texas lawmaker is targeting 850 books that he says could make students feel uneasy.
Rep. Matt Krause – a Republican – stated that he explicitly targets books that “might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex.”
Apparently, Krause is running in a very crowded primary race in the state of Texas, and it’s no great shock that he’s trying to make a name for himself to stand out from the competition. His answer is the book banning letter he sent to school leaders of the state, which they must answer by November 12.
What do school leaders in Texas think?
“The inquiry is a disturbing and political overreach into the classroom — and it might be illegal,” said Ovidia Molina, the president of the Texas State Teachers Association.
Some of the books on his book banning list include such themes as race, gender, women’s rights, puberty, reproduction, abortion, and many others.
Archaic and narrow-minded beliefs from so many politicians today – most notably Republicans – are incredibly alarming to me. For all the history I’ve learned in my primary and secondary education about American’s triumphs over adversity and prejudice against our fellow man, I can’t help but feel as though America is taking some giant steps backward. We all should be fearful of that reality.
I have but one word for Krause and his book-banning nonsense. Diversity.
Frank Borman, Retired NASA Astronaut says, “When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?”
Restricting individuals from thoughts and ideas different from their own while preventing them from gaining knowledge and understanding about subjects that can be uncomfortable to adults, children, and teenagers, does not allow us to learn to live together like decent people.
Lisa Fink of the National Council of Teachers of English says, “Reading brings people together, but censorship drives us apart.” In her blog post, she talks about the landmark case of the Island Trees School District vs. Pico (1982). The Supreme Court ruled that school officials couldn’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.
It seems to me that a politician whose only goal is to make a name for himself and further alienate Americans from each other shouldn’t be allowed to either.