It would seem incomprehensible that in today’s modern society, book banning is still alive and
thriving. In fact, according to an article published in U.S. News and World Report, the American
Library Association tracked 729 attempts to remove library, school, and university materials in
2021 alone; involving an astounding, 1597 books. Subsequently, in 2020, 156 attempts were
tracked; and in 2019, 377 were tracked. Also cited in the same article, from July 1, 2021 – March
31, 2022, bans occurred in 26 states, involving 86 districts. These bans affected over 3,000
schools, and over 2,000,000 students. Texas has the largest number of districts that have
instituted bans; with 16 districts affected. These are frightening and appalling numbers.
An extremely pertinent question to ask is “Why?”. To get some sense of that, we need to see
which authors and books are being targeted. Shockingly, the most banned author in the U.S. is
Maya Angelou. Her masterpiece, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, has been a prime target
since it’s release in 1969. As you further scan the list, it isn’t hard to notice a glaring pattern.
Minority authors, particularly black authors, and subjects pertaining to civil rights and the
treatment of those same minorities, are targeted exclusively. Currently, the LGBTQIA+
community is also directly in the crosshairs. It is quite apparent that these minority authors have
been, and continue to be, kept from speaking their truth, through their own eyes. It’s clear that
this particular truth invokes a mindset that is still abundantly prevalent today. It’s a blatantly
racist agenda, conceived by blatantly racist people.
Another important question to answer is, “Who, exactly, is behind these bans, in the first
place?”. The answer is that these groups are almost exclusively Christian based, and or right
wing Republican candidates. These bans occur predominantly in the south, with some occurring
in the mid-west; they are almost always led by Caucasians. It seems ironic that these
self-proclaimed upholders of morality and righteousness are so quick to point the finger of
judgment at anyone who dare question, or contradict, their distorted version of history and
reality. When we examine the reasons that these groups cite in their desire to protect society
from free thought, we’ll find sexual content, violence, anti-police messages, pushing a social
agenda, and so on and the like. One could easily argue that if these subjects are so offensive
and dangerous that they need to be hidden from public eyes, we should then start with a book
that contains every one of these themes in spades….. The Bible.
This book, in and of itself, has had more atrocities committed against humanity than any other
book ever written. Portions of it, such as the tale of Noah and the great flood, were plagiarized
from texts that far pre-date its writing. We must also consider that by its own admission, it is a
loosely connected collection of verbal tales passed down hundreds of years before they were
written, by various authors. We must also recognize that it has been edited by a self-seeking
church, with certain volumes omitted that did not fit the agenda that the church was pursuing.
Lastly, it is rife with every subject that these groups cite, in their reasoning to ban certain titles.
Sexual content is pervasive in The Bible, including an overwhelming acceptance of incest. The
New Testament tells the tale of Jesus and how he defied the present authority, and preached a
message that contradicted already established systems; sounds similar to anti-police messages
and pushing a social agenda. And when it comes to violence and murder on an unprecedented
scale, one need look no further than the good book! There’s a total number of 2,839,350
murders attributed to God himself. In the Old Testament alone, 2 Chronicles, God himself is
responsible for 1,620,006 deaths. God himself is also responsible for 268,913 deaths in
Apocrypha, 252,735 deaths in Judges, 185,263 deaths in 2 Kings, 152,470 deaths in 2 Samuel,
127,457 deaths in 1 Kings, 84,094 deaths in 1 Samuel, and 75,825 deaths in Esther, Job,
Jeremiah, and Ezekial. His techniques varied. Smoting was by far His favorite, with 1,670,083
dying in this fashion. God assisted his pawns in killing 505,002 others; 152,362 died in unnamed
ways, 108,711 were erased via plague, and 602 met their demise through natural phenomena. I
would argue that these very same Christian backed attacks on free thought should begin
looking in their own backyard, beginning with the very book they use to justify their actions. The
very history and foundation of its own church is littered with murder, stealing, conquering by
hook or crook, and numerous other atrocities, including pedophilia. It would seem that these
people would be the last to espouse virtue. Everyone is entitled to his/her own beliefs and belief
system. No one is entitled to force those beliefs on anyone; especially by force.
At the end of the day, I repeat: Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and belief system. It is
absolutely no one’s right to force and silence those who do not subscribe to their dogmas,
especially considering that the ones trying to narrate the story are the same ones who
committed, and are still committing, the most vile actions of all. They are pushing an agenda of
hate, intolerance, and minimizing those who do not subscribe to their agenda. This is an
extremely dangerous precedent. The more successful these groups are at enacting these bans,
the more emboldened they’ll become. Then, after the books, what and who are next?