October 2, 2023
~ Books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.
~ Censorship can be subtle, almost imperceptible, as well as blatant and overt, but, nonetheless, harmful.
~ Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language.
~ The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
– the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”
– the material contained “offensive language”
– the materials was “unsuited to any age group”
What is the difference between a challenge or banning?
~ A book challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.
~ A book banning is the removal of those materials.
~ Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.
source: American Library Association
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion,
mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power,
would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value
except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury,
it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many.
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race;
posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion,
still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity
of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit,
the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
~ John Stuart Mill
~ an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA’s basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
~ Noam Chomsky
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions.
It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”
~ Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas,
in The One Un-American Act
As I’ve stated before, not all books should be available to all age groups. Children are easily manipulated and confused, therefore it is our duty to protect them from whatever we determine might be harmful to their young, fragile minds. Allow opportunity to explore, safely. Allow them to ask questions, and answer them truthfully, however uncomfortable it might be.
To demand that a five year old is mature enough to read LGBTQ+, but a 16 year old isn’t able to read or comprehend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee… something is horribly wrong.
hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!