Don’t Infringe on My Right to Read

Don’t Infringe on My Right to Read – A Rant

NCAC BBW Slide

In the land of country clubs, debutante balls and the Bushes, parents in Highland Park, an affluent Dallas suburb forced Highland Park ISD to ban seven books from the high-school reading list citing the books contained explicit use of foul language, sexual content, drug use and centered around themes like poverty and had minorities as protagonists.

It angers me to no end that these parents took it upon themselves to rob their filthy rich kids not of their expensive cars, clothes, gadgets or credit cards but instead, took away an opportunity for their teenagers to learn, form opinions, ask questions and experience life from a different point of view by taking from them some of the greatest works in literary fiction.

Yes, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is me ranting. In particular, this rant is directed to those who infringe on my right to read or for that matter, anyone’s right to read. In a country where we have the right to bear arms and the right to free speech, how the hell do books get banned and that too in the 21st century?

I get the awful sense that for all the fighting we’ve done on behalf of liberty and freedom, we are regressing, forgetting the basic tenets our great country was founded on.

I have to wonder if any of these parents had the nerve to read these books before having them banned and if not, how can they logically express their discontent based on hearsay?

Yeah, I am not a happy person at the moment, especially since books have been the corner stone of my life. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you my love of books is no fickle affair and to see such censorship in modern day America is downright absurd but more than that, it is frightening. My real fear is Frisco ISD will also pull the same stunt. I live in Frisco – hence my concern.

Each year, authors, publishers, independent book stores, librarian, book bloggers, readers (you get the picture) join together to demonstrate peacefully, fighting against the totalitarian establishment that wants to take away our right to read books for one foolish reason or another.

So what exactly is Banned Book Week? An annual event held for one week every September, Banned Book Week celebrates the freedom to read while spotlighting books that have been banned or challenged. Attention is drawn to the harms of censorship. During this week, the goal is to spotlight banned or challenged book and highlight the restriction and access to these books.

The list of frequently challenged books can be found here.

Here are the honorees banned by Highland Park ISD include:

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Working Poor: Invisible in America

Siddhartha

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

An Abundance of Katherines

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

Song of Solomon

Here’s how you can help. Head over to the American Library Association in particular, the website of the Office of Intellectual Freedom and check out how you can support banned books. Also check out the site for Banned Books Week to support the cause.

Veena



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