Texas state representative Matt Krause compiled a list of 850 books that he wants banned. Books like The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. And he wants to target LGBT books that portray their sexuality as normal. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin has also boasted he wants to ban books, including the Pulitzer Price novel Beloved, by Toni Morrison.
There now appears to be a tsunami of states lining up in lock step to arbitrarily ban books: Texas, Virginia, Ohio, Kansas, and New Jersey. And they all seem terrified of LGBTQ books like award-winning Gender Queer: A Memoir, which chronicles a journey to self-identity. Books by women, people of color are in their scopes. In Virginia, some officials have even broached the idea of a book burning, oblivious and insensitive to the history of book burning. Here are just some of the books being banned in Kansas:
- The Hate U Give by Ange Thomas, a critically acclaimed young adult novel.
- Fences by August Wilson, one of America’s most decorated and impactful playwrights.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie which won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson that was named best books of 2020 from Kirkus Reviews, the New York Public Library, and others.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, simply a classic.
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize winner.
- They Call Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bertoletti, winner of the American Library Association’s 2011 award for excellence in non-fiction for young adults.
You see a pattern here?
I can see that Critical Race Theory is gonna have a hell of a fight being implemented in these and other states. By the way, another name for Critical Race Theory is History. That’s all CRT is; it’s history, without the whitewash.
Fascism has a playbook, handed down from generations of dictators, all who ascended to power using this easy-to-follow checklist. I’m listing here a few of their top hits:
- Attacking the press, labeling them an enemy of the people.
- Purge from the government whistle blowers, or anyone who attempts to expose the criminality.
- Attack labor unions as enemies of Capitalism, all the while enriching far-right industrialists.
- Cater to white nationalists, targeting racial, religious, and ethnic minorities in incendiary, violence provoking speeches.
- Attacking science. As Hitler stated so eloquently: “To conquer a nation, first replace science with Christianity.” Michael Flynn, former convict, former Trump’s National Security Advisor, wants the U.S. to be under one religion, and I’m betting it ain’t the Jewish religion…just a hunch. But it begs the question—how the hell would one implement this? Would he follow Hitler’s blueprint?
- Confiscation of history and culture, which leads to number seven.
- Book burning.
“Where books are burned, in the end, people will be burned.”Heinrich Heine, 1821.
In Nazi Germany they banned such authors as Hemingway, Jack London, Helen Keller—wait, what? They banned Helen Keller? They sure did. On the other hand, we are banning Nobel prize winners like Toni Morrison.
The sheer fact that book burning is on the table in the U.S. trips multiple alarms. But this slow erosion of our Democracy has been brewing for the past five years. Our former President, after Charlottesville, informed us that Neo-Nazis had some very fine people. But hadn’t we as a nation concluded that Nazis were not ‘very fine people’.
Hadn’t we at least agreed to that?
I guess not.
It has become abundantly clear that Trump and his minions want to install Fascism in this country, with Trump as the dictator.
When the press is vilified,
When the election integrity is questioned,
When there isn’t a peaceful transfer of power,
When a bi-partisan commission is established to ferret out the truth of the failed coup,
When the Vice-President is pressured to ignore our Constitution and deny the will of the people,
When there is a deliberate disinformation campaign waged by Russia hoping to install a puppet President in the U.S.,
When the truth is no longer the truth,
When there are “alternate facts”,
And finally, when the concept of book burning is broached,
Well, these are all symptoms of fascism, which has been festering below the surface, only to be revived by our former President.
“In retrospect, the barbaric destruction of cultural and intellectual treasures has often been interpreted as a precursor of the Holocaust.” Holocaust Museum.
Curt Strickland is one of the principal owners of Great American Art, an art and design company located outside Boston. Founded almost 40 years ago, Great American Art designs, manufactures and installs art throughout the country. Curt is also one of the principle photographers for Great American, specializing in landscape and cityscape images. His philosophy as an artist is embraced in GAPCO’s mission:
“Art should serve to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and to offer hope – but most of all to connect… to remind us of our common humanity.”