Monday, September 17, 2018

Have You Heard? - Censorship

Sandie Herron passed on one article, and an author friend mentioned the other situation. I seldom mention controversial topics on my blog. The reviews are my opinion only. I'll bring up controversial topics on my Facebook page, but not here. But, I'm a librarian. And, we believe in facts, not "fake news". So, I'm sharing two links today. If you're interested check out the stories.

One link is about Target. Claire Kirch recently wrote an article for Publishers Weekly, "Publishers Call out Target for 'Censoring' Book Descriptions." http://bit.ly/2Ost9Sz

Publishers, many of them university presses, have complained that Target has redacted words in the descriptions of books, words such as "transgender", "queer", and "Nazi". It's not only books with LGBTQ themes that have been changed, but also books about Nazi Germany. Check out the article.

The second article is from the Dallas News. Lauren McGaughey, in covering the Texas Board of Education, wrote "Texas board votes to eliminate Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller from history curriculum." http://bit.ly/2MwYW2Z

While this isn't the final vote, which will come in November, keep watching. Although this affects the curriculum, and not yet textbooks, Texas textbooks affect the entire country. Read the article, with this in mind. "The board also voted to keep in the curriculum a reference to the heroism of the defenders of the Alamo, which had been recommended for elimination, as well as Moses' influence on the writing to the nation's founding documents, multiple references to 'Judeo-Christian' values and a requirement that students explain how the 'Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict' in the Middle East."

History is always rewritten. And, Winston Churchill said "History is written by the victors." But, it's frightening to watch stores censoring book descriptions and school boards eliminating historic figures from the curriculum.

12 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I saw the second story yesterday. Unbelievable. What did Helen Keller do to offend the Texas school board? She died 50 years ago!

Lesa said...

I know. But, it takes 30 minutes to talk about her.

Charlotte said...

Just like Jeff, I read the second story and saw it on TV.
The story of Helen Keller life has always brought encouragement to people. Why remove it from history.

People are doing the craziest things these day.. Can't understand their thinking.

Jane R said...

I live in Texas and I'm truly ashamed of the decisions that the Texas Board of Education is making now and has made in the past. As I understand it, they are removing references to Keller and Clinton (and probably other well-known figures) from the curriculum. Teachers could still talk about them but probably won't since the required curriculum won't support it.

Lesa said...

Charlotte,

I don't understand it either. That's just sad.

Lesa said...

I know, Jane. And, I don't blame the teachers, who have so much thrown at them that they need to cover. They don't have it easy.

Jane R said...

I forgot to mention that the curriculum will contain reference to Moses and how he influenced the writing of of our nation's founding documents. Still scratching my head over that one. And I agree...teachers don't have it easy. But decisions like this make it much harder to be in the teaching profession. Fortunately, these decisions are only preliminary. The final vote is in November.

Marla Bradeen said...

Interesting and baffling. Thank you for sharing these stories, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Yes, Moses had a greater influence on this country than Helen Keller or Hillary Clinton. You're so right about it not making it easy, Jane.

Lesa said...

Marleen,

I promise something mystery-related tomorrow. Although all of that is a mystery to me.

Bonnie K. said...

I saw both of these articles and just don't understand the need for censorship. There are so much fear-mongeting happening. We don't need to eliminate people who are strong individuals and are people that have been admired.

Lesa said...

You're right, Bonnie.