Letters to the Editor

Library: Read some banned books

I noticed a picture in the July 14 News-Times of Rick Larsen talking to a student about how the youth can become involved in the political process. So I took that to heart, and decided to put what amount of higher education I have to good use.

I recently discovered that our Oak Harbor Library is holding a Banned Books Week. So I want to inform everybody, to take advantage of this situation. I read over the American Library Association’s list of banned books and its a travesty the things I saw.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “A Light in the Attic,” “Where’s Waldo?” I want to know the same question, where is Waldo? Certainly not in schools. Is it the red and white sweater, or the grouping of “the masses?” Was there a communist in the picture, so now it’s un-American? What about Shel Silverstein, I read his books in junior high and there is nothing wrong with his writings. If it wasn’t for him, I’d have no patience for poetry and writings from Maya Angelou would never pierce my cerebrum.

Why do all these people challenge these books, you ask yourself. It takes but one. Plato suggested expurgating Homer’s Odyssey for immature readers. Caligula had it removed because it expressed ideals of freedom. Freedom? Extremist groups like Focus on the Family, and Tipper Gore’s infamous Parents’ Music Resource Center, eliminate or censor art that they consider X-rated. I’m sorry, but I read “Of Mice and Men” (also banned) and I hardly consider it X-rated. I’ve seen PG-13 movies with more cursing then “Catcher in the Rye.” Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35,” was censored due to the refrain “everybody must get stoned,” by radio stations perfectly comfortable playing songs about Frank Sinatra’s boozing and promiscuity.

The greatest peril facing our youth today is living in ignorance of the reality of the everyday. You can hardly understand the impact of the Holocaust in an high school textbook, but they won’t let you read “The Diary of Anne Frank.” You want to eliminate my freedom of speech, go ahead and try, I hardly ever have anything important to say, but how dare you take away great literature.

So moms and dads, brothers and sisters, anyone who truly respects their freedom of speech, go to the library this September, and get as many banned books as you can get your hands on, and show censorship it has no place in America

Cory Blunk


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