This is National Banned Books Week (September 18-24), the American Library Association’s annual scam to convince us that the nation is rife with conservative censorship – cue video of guys with MAGA caps throwing armfuls of books into bonfires.
In reality, the controversy over reading material is about librarians and teachers telling parents: “We have an inalienable right to indoctrinate your children. And if you object, you’re guilty of book-banning.” Parents who try to protect their children’s innocence are equated with Nazis incinerating non-Aryan literature.
The leftists who control public libraries and public schools (public means you pay for it, they control it) take every opportunity to cram woke ideology into the heads of children. This includes the gay agenda, Critical Race Theory and Marxist economics. If parents complain at school committee meetings, they’re pilloried as the reincarnation of Victorian anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock.
In reality, the books parents object to are trash like “Gender Queer,” a “graphic novel” which expounds the LGBTQ ideology and includes drawings of male oral sex. This literary classic has found its way into high school and middle-school libraries across the country.
The woke brigade (librarians, teachers and school committee members) decides which books to stock in libraries and use in classrooms. (Hint, it’s not Dinesh D’Souza’s “What’s So Great About America?”)
When I was a young lawyer in the early 1970s, I inquired at my local library about Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose.” The librarian told me that she didn’t see the value in stocking such a book. (Mr. Friedman had just won the Noble Prize in economics.) But the library had titles like Jill Johnston’s “Lesbian Nation.”
Parental complaints about books are nothing compared to the left’s relentless crusade to censor ideas, organizations and individuals – AKA, the cancel culture. It’s practiced in high school classrooms, on college campuses and on the Internet.
Conservatives have no trouble speaking at most colleges – if they bring their own SWAT team.
On April 7, Retired Colonel and Ex-Congressman Allen West was invited to speak at the University of Buffalo. A mob, howling for his blood, forced him to leave with a police escort. Then the goons went after the chairman of the local Young Americans for Freedom chapter that invited him to speak, chasing her all over the campus.
When I tried to lecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2009, the Jacobins screamed, stamped their feet and banged on the walls so loudly that I couldn’t be heard above the din and finally gave up. I later got a note from conservative author Ann Coulter that said simply, “Welcome to the club.”
The Internet has become a high-tech gag. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram regularly de-platform or censor conservative views.
When Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee tried to post criticism of the administration’s student loan debt forgiveness plan, Facebook initially blocked them.
When Senator Chuck Grassley posted a story about the Russian collusion hoax, Facebook labeled it “false information” – even though the Senator was citing court filings. Until quite recently, Twitter and YouTube wouldn’t allow any mention of the Hunter Biden laptop. A myth is reality and reality is a myth. Got it?
We’re not censoring you, perish the thought, they say. We’re engaging in content moderation to keep you from expressing your hateful views.
Liberal censorship takes many forms. In high schools, conservative students often self-censor, knowing what will happen to their grades for expressing unorthodox views.
There are all kinds of gimmicks for suppressing First Amendment rights. Most colleges have speech codes that label views the so-called community doesn’t want to hear as “harassment.”
A since-modified speech code at the University of Houston called “showing hostility or aversion to any individual or group” a form of harassment. Thus, if a student objected to racial quotes, he could be accused of showing hostility to people of color. Saying someone can’t change their gender left you open to a charge of transphobia.
Instead of Banned Books Week, how about Banned Peoples Week? Victims would include speakers who’ve been driven off college campuses, students who’ve been punished for holding certain views and influencers targeted by Big Tech.
But, apparently, only “graphic novels” about oral sex deserve protection from censorship.
So, not only are conservatives censored, de-platformed and barred from speaking, but as a bonus, if we object to the brainwashing of our children, we’re accused of banning books.
• Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist.