When we moved to Mount Crumpit, we were tasked with going through all the books in the house (so we can make them leave and give us a little space to breath). As long as I can remember, I have been a huge advocate for the 1st amendment; allowing for people to read/write what they’d like… even if I disagree (as long as it doesn’t violate any other laws). This has been put to the test here on Mount Crumpit.
This week is “Banned Books Week”. Some of the commonly known banned books include Huck Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, and even Harry Potter. While the people who decided for the rest of us that these are “bad” may have the best of intentions, I think they are just stupid. However, on Mount Crumpit, we have found a few books (3 or 4) that make fun of women, various races, religions and nationalities. They are not presented as “litterature”, they are actually presented as comedy. Needless to say, they are not funny. Finding these books made me initially think that these should be banned (assuming they are still in print, which I doubt). Then I stopped and realized what I said. They are written at a time when “politically correct” only meant the President had to make sure what he said was correct. Just because I view it as “wrong” and offensive, does it mean that this book written 20 years before I was born live in some kind of 1st amendment loophole that I was previously unaware of?
I opted to dispose of the books in a way that they are 1) no longer in the house and 2) not in a place others are likely to find and read. Just because the first amendment protects free speech, doesn’t mean I have to harbour offensive books, nor spread them around for others to read. I opted to practice my other right – the right to not support what I don’t believe in.
The book publishers of the world have followed suit – but from a business perspective. If it doesn’t sell, or makes the company “look bad”, they don’t publish it. So, if we (the public) don’t buy the books we find offensive and let publishers know that what they publish reflects on the company as a whole, they won’t publish the “offensive” books. If you are out numbered (by hoards of Harry Potter fans), then so be it – you have done your part. Leave the rest of us alone.
Do you think there are any books that should be banned (assuming they don’t violate any other laws?