Banning books and cancel culture

This week Fandango asks;

How do you feel about state and local school boards and other jurisdictions banning of classic books such as those I’ve listed? Under what circumstances, if any, do you feel that banning of such books is appropriate and justifiable?


This is a form of censorship that we have seen in third-world countries when history is rewritten to suit those in power. Never could I imagine that an educated society could resort to this or accept it.

If these books were newly published ones containing hate speech, inciting violence, or were promoting racism, it might make some sense but these are classic books written with deep intellectual perspective. Moreover, these books have been in circulation for many many years. What makes them undesirable now?

I think people have gone too far with cancel culture. Anything is now fair game. Next, they will be banning Shakespeare and canceling Dante and Milton! Who is going to stop them from finding something offensive or uncomfortable in these books. And while they are at it, they should write their own version of “Clean literature”! Something in the line of communist/ Nazi propaganda. Everyone should be forced to read that and only that. That will be a complete dystopian scenario!

Reminds of the setup of “The man in the high castle”! Maybe a revolutionary movement is on the cards?

Written for FPQ # 156, hosted by Fandango



53 thoughts on “Banning books and cancel culture

  1. Well spoken, my dear friend Sadje. Growing up, I used to hear that literature is the mirror of the society, but seems things changed pretty much quick. Good books that reveal the things happening in the society as they are are being tied up and locked away from the public. Censorship is killing all arts of work, be it books, music, films or design. It’s time we rose up, each of us, and preached against it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Artists and writers have always revealed the holes in society’s fabric. I believe strongly in the choice to make the decision for myself. I remember when my daughter was young and wanted to read “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” Her teacher sent a note asking if it was okay for my daughter to read as it touched on puberty. I was grateful to have a choice for my child to read this classic book.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Well, the listed books are all available to the general public… we are specifically talking about school curriculum. It’s troubling to witness a spree of changes, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a disaster to switch up school reading lists…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A lot of these banned books used to be on my (and my kids’) required reading lists in high school. Many are classic literary works and should not be banned. Also, this banning in some communities is not just in school libraries but in public libraries as well. And even local book stores in some towns are being pressured to remove them.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes! Well said Sadje. I agree…what shall they ban next.. Shakespeare?
    The treasures of the classics of literature’s legacy cannot be erased by piciune semantics over a word or two pulled out of the writer’s own time (as sobering a comment as it may be, on today’s cultural mores) and given meaning perhaps never intended.
    I am not referring here to things/ books that are overtly harmful to developing young minds mind you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly right Suzette. If we go back a century or two, this was acceptable language or story plot. Now one cannot change the classic literature because the perceptions have changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s the same people who want to exercise their personal “freedoms” to not wear masks in public and to not get vaccinated who are opposed to women having their personal freedom to manage their own reproductive health and want to take away our freedom to read or study anything that makes THEM uncomfortable. And these are the same people who used to label liberals as “snowflakes” and laughed about them wanting to find a “safe space.” What hypocrites they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you, Sadje. Sometimes I feel like there is censorship for the sake of censorship, and I find it intolerable and highly problematic, as you so clearly articulate.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I support your argument, but on a side not I would have to say I take issue with your intro. I think the conceptualizing of other countries as “third world” is an ingrained Eurocentric mentality as well as the inference made that this certain “category” of countries would be considered uneducated.

    Liked by 1 person

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