I still can’t believe, in the 21st century, we still have to deal with people who feel they have the right to determine what the rest of us can and should read. Now, comes this gem from the Grand Canyon state. Arizona has comprised a list of books it wants to abolish from schools and libraries. They include:
- ‘Critical Race Theory’ by Richard Delgado
- ’500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures’ edited by Elizabeth Martinez
- ‘Message to AZTLAN’ by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
- ‘Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement’ by Arturo Rosales
- ‘Occupied America: A History of Chicanos’ by Rodolfo Acuna
- ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ by Paulo Freire
- ‘Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years’ by Bill Bigelow
Notice most of them are by Hispanic writers, and one apparently has the audacity to question the dignity of Christopher Columbus. Don’t you know Antonin Scalia is pissed about that! The state legislature’s HB 2281 is the crux of this madness. Oddly, among the tomes on the chopping block is William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Now, I’m certain that alone will send the American Library Association into a frenzy. But, one group, Librotraficante, already is fighting back. The term is Spanish for “book trafficker,” which probably has Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio screeching louder than Sarah Palin after a helicopter-based moose hunt. But, the group has vowed essentially to smuggle books into the Arizona to help keep people literate and therefore, free. That’s a pretty sad reality, but it’s obviously necessary.
As a writer, I can’t stand the thought of living in a society that actually censors some books just because a group of self-righteous idiots don’t like them. If they don’t like them, do the same as you would with a TV program you despise: don’t watch it! Damn! It’s that simple! I hate Survivor and Jersey Shore because I think they’re two of the stupidest programs on the air. But, I could care less if someone else wants to watch them; that’s their business. Please do your part as a citizen of the U.S. or whatever country you live in and don’t let a small cluster of folks tell you what you can read. That’s not just an American value; it’s a basic human right.