13 March, 2021

No. No, they Don’t

Opinion | Do Liberals Care if Books Disappear? - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

A rare moment of clarity of thought in the New York Times.

From the idealistic liberalism of my high school English teachers, I learned that to try to get rid of offensive literature is the great sin of easily triggered rubes. A special horror at banning books, which usually meant removing them from the curriculum in some rural school district, pervaded our libraries and classrooms. And a particular shame seemed to throb in my teachers’ breasts when they admitted that some books were even targeted — “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” say — for misguided progressive reasons.

This week I learned from a different kind of liberalism that only easily triggered rubes care when offensive books are made to disappear. It was mildly creepy to hear that the custodians of Theodor Geisel’s estate, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, consulted with a “panel of experts” and decided to cease publishing six Seuss titles because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” But it was much creepier that so few people notionally in the free-expression business, so few liberal journalists and critics, seemed troubled by the move.

Sadly, I’ve seen this coming for years. There have been whisperings about racist imagery in some of Seuss’ books for a while. And perhaps they are correct. Geisel was a lefty’s lefty though. I wonder what he would think? Would he agree? I think he probably would.

Not sure that makes it any better.

But the answer the title question is clearly “no”. The modern left has embraced the Thought Police. If you don’t conform, even in your thinking, you must be silenced and punished. If that means that a few books get taken off the shelves, or a few paintings pulled down off the walls, so be it. You have to break a few eggs and all that, you know.

And as always:

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