Dallas Warring Against “Dirty” Books

A school in Texas has chosen to mark Banned Books Week by suspending seven books from its classrooms, including works by Toni Morrison (pictured) and John Green, after parents complained about their children having access to “obscene literature.” As bookshops, libraries and schools across America took part in the annual celebration of the right to read, at Highland Park high school in Dallas, parents were making their concerns heard about content in books including Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines” and Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” According to the Dallas News, more than 100 people attended a school board meeting about the books, where “parents and grandparents…read excerpts of sex scenes, references to homosexuality, a description of a girl’s abduction and a passage that criticized capitalism” and “sent hundreds of emails to district officials.” I have two comments: 1) As a friend of mine noted, why the hell was this initiative called “Banned Books Week” instead of “Freedom To Read Week”? The Puritanical Texans might still have complained, but they’d be complaining against a primal conservative virtue, freedom, instead of against banned books. 2) Have any of these zealots ever truly read their holy book, the Bible? That volume has plenty of sex scenes, homosexuality, and abductions. Shouldn’t they try banning that one, too?

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