The number of contested books grows every year as we try to censor literature we deam ‘inappropriate’. While often these Banned books are the most relevant and reticent. Books are one of the most vital intellectual, social, and vicariously experienced resources we have and to take that away is detrimental. As the great dark satire author Ray Bradbury once said after his own book ‘Fahrenheit 451” was banned, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them”.
When some people see specific and sometimes controversial literature as unpleasant, disturbing, or against their beliefs they set out to make it removed from the shelves. However, when they do this they gain little to nothing and take an egregious amount. By trying to save people’s minds from certain literature they narrow others’ minds because many of the topics of the banned literature are that of minorities or repressed groups of society telling their story. This makes people’s stories get lost in history and people’s reality becomes biased and inaccurate. This is stated best by author Kiese Laymon who had his book Heavy banned due to explicit material.
“When you incentivize kids to not write about themselves you’re incentivizing them to write themselves out of literature, to ban themselves. And so some of us took the pen and tried to write ourselves back into literature”.
Minorities’ stories are being diminished, shunned, and silenced by the banning and censorship of books. I believe that people should have free academic and intellectual reign as very little bad can come from increasing your scope and understanding of the world. While not a lot of good can come from increasing your ignorance of the reality of events in minority society/history.
I will leave off this quote to say that although people may want to protect their children and others by censoring their literature, it will almost always cause more harm than good.
“Right-wing fringe groups in Idaho have successfully removed books about LGBT communities, bi-part communities, and I think the first step in suppressing people is suppressing books and literature and thoughts and ideas about them”.-Connor Goodwin
By Max Butler