Saving Snowflakes By Banning & Burning Books?

I recently completed reading The 1619 Project. I may or may not have bothered, but the fact that many political types want to ban it from public schools piqued my curiosity. The book is a compilation of essays by a number of authors of African descent giving their opinions on race relations in the USA. Apparently, those who wish to ban this book are doing so on the premise that by reading it, white students will become uncomfortable. If there is white discomfort with race, how would that compare with the discomfort of interracial marriage being illegal in some states until I was a sophomore in college?

How would that compare with the discomfort of the Southeast Conference having no football players of color until I was a sophomore in college?

How would that compare with the discomfort of southern high schools and universities having the national Guard accompany students of color to school? That happened while I was in high school.

How would that compare with the discomfort of being beaten for merely sitting at a lunch counter? I watched that on television.

I recall when the Washington Redskins in the NFL were an all-white team. I remember most major league baseball teams being all-white. I remember all-white NBA teams.

In the 1990s, the former Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan carried 75% of the parishes (counties) in Louisiana when he ran for governor. In 2023, are these people and their descendants magically now born-again liberals?

The 1619 Project is an interesting read. I agreed with many of the premises but not 100% of them. Book banning is nothing new. The works of George Orwell and J.D. Salinger were not in my high school library. We made a special point of reading them anyway. They were thought-provoking. The reasons those books were then banned were as vapid as the present banning of The 1619 Project.

Our students are capable of critical thought. They can judge for themselves the validity of what they read. If not, who should be blamed, their parents or scapegoats with brown skin? This country has undoubtedly come a long way since my youth, but how can it further improve by denying there might be room for improvement? The same people who complain about snowflakes may be trying to turn their own children into snowflakes. Isn’t that Orwellian?

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Jim Maxson

Mr. Maxson is a retired Minot attorney, former ND State Senator representing Minot's 3rd District from 1986-1994, and former ND Democratic National Committeeman from 2000-2008. He speaks two languages, English and Metaphor, and is cursed by a long memory.

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