Every one of these book bans was motivated by fear and a need for power and control. It’s not surprising to find censorship when people’s grip on power is threatened.
So how do we respond to the current wave of censorship? We follow the lessons of Dr. King and Rosa Parks: We fight back.
The road will be hard, but I believe in the end, we will win. Throughout history, if you’re on the side of banning art, you eventually will lose. And you want to know why? Because fearmongering has no chance against the most powerful thing in the universe: an idea. That’s what books are, compilations of ideas. And nothing can stop an idea.
From censoring anti-slavery books in the Civil War, racy books in the 80s, rap music in the 90s, or the books about gender identity, sexual orientation and racial injustice that are being targeted today, the “concerned citizens” fighting to make sure their way of life is undisturbed “by uncomfortable ideas” will eventually be revealed as the villains of the story. If you’re cheering as books are pulled from the library, you’re on the wrong side of history.