But behind the noise and headlines, both Banner and Defender rejoice in the battle with the book. The culture of banning certain books from the curriculum and libraries provides a simple psychological twist for war conservatives to stir up their base. It helps them find candidates for the lower office and raise funds for the movement. Conflict works the same for the left. In many districts, liberals have fought this war before, and they come there with fully stocked arsenals with time-tested reasoning. Knowledge is not dangerous, they tell conservatives, censoring knowledge is dangerous.
Face-to-face confrontations always feel complacent leaving both constituencies. Conservatives warn that a slippery slope begins with the notion that exposure to “pornographic” literature will tarnish their children’s souls and that LGBTQ materials will lead them to be gay, lesbian, trans, or non-binary, or even tempted by a teacher. Liberals – who are concerned about the state’s excesses while in charge of the Conservatives – oppose the book, which violates the First Amendment right to free speech and expression. Prohibition of books limits speech, they say, and impedes emotional growth. And besides, what’s so bad about being gay? This stand, of course, exposes the incense conservatives and their immoral smart pants intruders to deny libs as those who want to distort and blight their children. Liberals treat conservatives like illiterate idiots who believe Moby Dick Henry Miller is a pornographic novel written in Phallus Celebration. And the cycle of extrapolation and blame and condemnation revolves like a carousel.
For all its performance in the conflict, neither side has succeeded in taking the matter too far from the reference point of the 1982 Supreme Court judgment. Island Tris School District vs. Pico. The court ruled that students have the right to read and inform the First Amendment. Banning books from the school library violates that right. “[L]ocal school boards cannot remove books from school library shelves because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and try to remove them in order to determine what would be orthodox about politics, nationalism, religion or other opinions, “the court said. Judging as “obscene”, it can be permanently unprotected. However, schools have more discretion when it comes to snatching books from the required reading or starting to keep them in the campus library. The fight over which title to assign will not end until a new decision is made.
Status makes everyone happy. Or is it that everyone is unhappy but completely busy, so unhappy but must be full? Depending on their predecessors, a set of parents can blow the steam about their children’s schools being bad and brainwashing concentrations. The other set can imagine themselves as free thinkers and guardians of light against the forces of darkness. The tension reassures both parties that they are preventing an information disaster that will destroy our children.
The fight against book bans will be even more troubling if parents, especially banners, pay more attention to media other than books at school. Broadcast television dramas, accepting millions of students freely, do more to make sex options more publicly known to them than even the most “progressive” curriculum. Each banned book can be purchased from Barnes & Noble, ordered from Amazon or borrowed from a friend if not available at the local library. Any child over the age of 12 with soft and medium- and hard-grade erotica can enjoy more erotica than a 1970s porn shop owner with access to a computer and a browser, and these same ticks will probably tell you more about its variety at your average Kinsey Institute. Sexual expression compared to pundits. There is no organized protest on TV or the web (or defense of the material found in them) that tells you what you need to know about the importance of school book banners.
Definitely don’t send anything [email protected]. There are still no vacancies in my email alerts, so don’t bother to register. Mine Twitter feed The mask is expected to be fully fitted with a gag order after taking charge. Mine RSS Feed only read banned books.