Banned Books Week!!!

It’s banned books week (you probably guessed from the title…)!!!! So many books have been challenged and/or banned throughout history. There are legit reasons for banning books (religion, sex in children’s books etc.) but many of these but many of these reasons get twisted into excuses. Why do we ban books? Why do humans have the urge to protect other people from things when it’s not our place to protect them? Fear. We are human and we are afraid of so many things. We are afraid that our children will be influenced by these books that may have content/subject matter we don’t agree with. We are afraid that we will be punished for reading something that our intuition says is wrong. We are afraid of magic. Harry Potter (and many other books) are banned and challenged in so many places because they contain magic. We make excuses for this fear such as ‘magic is evil’ or ‘my religion dictates that I should’ but we are really hiding behind this curtain of safety. The only way for us to rid ourselves of fear is to face our fears. I used to be afraid of zombies and I wouldn’t watch Tv for a while because there was a zombie movie commercial on regularly. Then, I researched zombies, I read zombie books and looked at zombie pictures, and began to take a humorous point of view on zombies. I even side with zombies in the zombie/unicorn nerd debate but that’s for a different post. I faced my fear of zombies, and now I’m not afraid of them anymore, and even think they’re cute. As a society, we need to face our fears about these topics, and stop creating excuses for unjust censorship. Another reason to read banned books is to learn new things. Thanks to one of my previous teachers, I read Huckleberry Finn (I didn’t love it, but it was informative and well-writen) and learned about what life was like at that time. I also learned that in that time period, ‘nigger’ was a socially acceptable (albeit derrogatory) word to describe someone with dark skin, particularly an african-american person and/or a slave. I am now aware that this word is very offensive and not appropriate and socially acceptable today. I read this book, and I used it as a chance to learn about cultural differences. I don’t plan on ever calling someone that term, and I try very hard to be prejudice free. It should be up to parents to tell their children what to read and watch, not the libraries. We need to stop being afraid, and learn from other things. Read a banned book. It’s good for your mind.

 

(sorry, I’m not a very well organized writer but I hope a made a valid point.)

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