Alice Walker: “There is an attempt, fueled by corporations that sell meat, drugs, religion and other life choices, to control the population’s way of eating, worshipping, and expressing the desire to create something different.”
“In recognition of this week, against censorship, and in support of writers and readers, the Guernica Daily will be publishing interviews with authors whose books have been banned or challenged and essays on works of fiction that have been oft removed from schools, libraries and book stores.”
Arizona has found the Tuscon Unifed School District’s Mexican American studies program in violation of a ruling that prohibits courses and classes that ‘promote the overthrow of the United States government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.’
Along with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, banned books include Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos’ by Rodolfo Acuña, Chicano!: The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales, 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, by Elizabeth Martinez and Critical Race Theory a textbook by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic.
Off the list this year are such classics as Alice Walker‘s “Color Purple”; “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee; “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger; and Robert Cormier‘s “The Chocolate War.” Replacing them are books reflecting a range of themes and ideas that include “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley; “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie; ”The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins; and Stephenie Meyer‘s “Twilight.”
“While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be given the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book,” said Barbara Jones, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding. We must protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read.”