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Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

You Can’t Read That!

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring news about banned and challenged books.

Arizona:

When I began following the Tucson Unified School District book banning story, I found one of the most interesting sources of behind-the-scenes reporting, both within TUSD classrooms and on its governing board, to be David Morales’ Three Sonorans Blog, which was published by the online arm of the Tucson Citizen, a local newspaper.  Morales reported on what was actually happening in the classroom (as in the threats issued to teachers to keep them from using newly banned books in other classes), the confrontations between students and school district officials (like TUSD Assistant Superintendent Lupita Garcia, who told students they should go back to Mexico if they wanted to learn about Mexican history, and then tried to punish them by assigning them to perform weekend janitorial duties), and the strange world view of Arizona state senator Tom Horne (author of the bill that led to the elimination of Mexican American studies classes and the banning of books used therein, who maintains the history of Mexican Americans and Native Americans are not based on “Greco-Roman” knowledge and thus lie outside of Western civilization).  Many of my previous entries on the TUSD book banning contain links to Morales’ reporting.  A few days ago all of the Morales links disappeared … the Tucson Citizen has not only dropped Morales’ blog, it has removed archived entries.  They disappeared him, and with him, an independent and truthful voice.  According to an entry here, the Tucson Citizen was threatened by members of the TUSD, including one Lupita Garcia.

Update: 4/12/12: a reader at Daily Kos tells me that David Morales’s blog is now operating independently at http://threesonorans.com/.  Shame on the Tucson Citizen, hooray for David Morales!

Arizona, by declaring war on ethnic studies and school textbooks, has made itself the butt of jokes told around the nation and the world.  But this, a Daily Show interview with TUSD board member Mike Hicks, just about takes the cake.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

And the Neanderthals are just getting started.  It looks like their next target will be university-level ethnic studies and textbooks.

More on what’s behind the brouhaha in Tucson and Arizona: according to this, it’s the latest skirmish in a 500-year civilizational war.

Elsewhere:

So they banned a week’s worth of Doonesbury strips because they talked about abortion?  What else is new?

The ALA has released its list of the USA’s top ten banned/challenged books for 2011.

Leave it to the Taiwanese to animate the banning of The Hunger Games.

School district settles with ACLU over blocking gay advocacy websites.

Parents won’t pursue challenge of ‘Tango’ book … and why should they? They got pretty much everything they wanted, it turns out.

Finally, if you haven’t seen it already, here is Kurt Vonnegut’s famous letter to a book-burning school principal.  What I want to know is, if what Vonnegut said therein was true, that “… no copies of this letter have been sent to anybody else. You now hold the only copy in your hands. It is a strictly private letter from me to the people of Drake, who have done so much to damage my reputation in the eyes of their children and then in the eyes of the world,” why, then, is it plastered all over the internet today?

© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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