28 Sep 2010 1 Comment
Banned Children’s Books: The Usual Suspects and Few Surprises.
“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.” Alfred Whitney from Essays on Education
Not so many years ago when my own child was just an itty-bitty little thing, I found a copy of “Bonjour Babar!” at a garage sale for just a buck. Because I remember reading Babar with my grandmother, I was psyched to acquire my very own copy to continue the tradition.
But once we got snuggled up in bed and actually started reading, I grew concerned. Wait… I don’t remember these stories being so… uh… politically incorrect.
Over the years, the Babar stories have been repeatedly banned because they are charged with being “racist” and “extolling the virtues of a European middle-class lifestyle and disparaging the animals and people who have remained in the jungle.” Babar has been labeled “Eurocentric” by its detractors.
Yep, that pretty much sums up my feelings from that night a few years back (except with fancier words) but is it reason enough to ban the jolly elephant in a green suit? Or to even burn the book? More →