Banning books in Florida is a great idea* and here’s why

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The book ban is having a moment, and incredibly, we’re not even in the 90s! It’s the most retrograde trend since the return of mom jeans. Or maybe scrunchies.

And yet, here we are. School leaders, encouraged by parents and political groups, pull library books dealing with race, LGBTQ issues, social movements, gender, sex and violent world history. It’s happening from Texas to Oklahoma to here in Florida.

A Tennessee school board recently banned Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust. The lessons on the horrors of genocide were fine, apparently, but the eight swear words and a naked cartoon mouse were a bridge too far.

Hillsborough County parents have begun reading passages from books they deem objectionable at school board meetings, excerpts that are surely inflammatory without context. Polk County Public School Libraries last week pulled 16 books from the shelves for review, by Toni Morrison The bluest eye at Khaled Hosseini The kite runner. Two bills that would give parents more control in the book review process are pending in the Florida Legislature.

Related: Is it literature or pornography? Book ban push comes to Tampa Bay

The people leading the charge always say it’s not about censorship, and, uh, of course, Jan! The ordeal suggests that school libraries are full of porn (watch out, it’s on little handhelds in kids’ pockets). In reality, media scholars work hard to sift through literature and place it based on demographics and maturity levels. Some schools already give parents electronic control over what their children can view.

Moral panic is very Fahrenheit 451, a cautionary tale that ends in utter wartime chaos with intellectuals hiding in the woods. It follows. Instead of having nuanced conversations led by parents and educators, step into the undergrowth behind a Dairy Queen to understand the hard stuff like normal!

But for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that this new wave achieves the desired effect. It is a universally recognized truth that whenever the adults turn draconian, the young ones undoubtedly fall into line.

For example, when the adults all say, “Whatever you do, don’t dare open the cupboard with the magic MacGuffin or great misery will befall you,” and then the adults leave, the children will never open the door. cabinet case. cabinet. These are just scientific facts.

Similarly, when Stacy’s parents said, “Robert is not welcome under this roof,” Stacy absolutely did not date Robert for the next 14 months. She was definitely spending the night at Alicia’s because of all the big tests. There were a suspicious number of exams that year.

“Enough with your hypotheticals,” some may shout, grabbing the approved school board 18 exciting button uses. “And the real world? »

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Great point. We can all agree that as soon as parents started speaking out against violent video games, teenagers moved on to Xbox battles over chaste hugs. Grand Theft Auto has been replaced by Adventures in Pleasantries.

Obscenity warriors have tried to cut rap and rock music for decades, with acts from 2 Live Crew to NWA and even the Beatles falling victim to it. These artists have not benefited from any increase in record sales, certified gold club bangers, major Hollywood biopics.

No attention came to the forbidden book Where is Waldo? – sit with it briefly – when a side breast burst was discovered in a beach scene. This scandal exploded Where is Waldo?thanks to the manufacturer.

And no one’s ever heard of the term “Streisand Effect,” coined when Barbra Streisand tried to hide photos of her house and made everyone stare instead. Certainly not Maus author Art Spiegelman, who made no reference to such an effect when selling Maus skyrocketed over 700% as news of the ban spread. The attempt to clean up the materials has in no way opened up the story to a new generation of readers who can now deal with the atrocities of the Holocaust and generational trauma in a deeply accessible way.

Oh wait. This is exactly what happened.

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