Saturday, August 28, 2010

Censorship in 2010!!

This is a post that I put on Facebook but feel so passionately about that I must put it on my blog too!

So recently I read that author Ellen Hopkins has been uninvited from the Humble Texas Teen Lit Fest. I also read that the "uninvite" had originated by a LIBRARIAN!!!  It's such a sad thing that such censorship still exists today. I grew up being surrounded by books...(thanks to my wonderful Mother)....being as how my mother was brought up in a very traditional and strict environment, she could have very well kept my sisters and brother and me from reading a lot of things. However, we had such a rich environment with literature everywhere and always had something good to read at our disposal. We also had many trips to the library....I sigh as I type this because of the comfy memories I have of my lifelong love affair with books. This love affair continues with me today, hence my job and passions in life.
Miss Hopkins has written such riveting titles as Burned, Crank, Impulse and many more. She brings to the forefront real topics that teens face today. These titles show the journey of teens from different angles and the agony and dispair that sometimes accompany situations in life. Bravo to Miss Hopkins!!!! Bravo to educating our children from their own point of view!!!!!
As a result of these amazing stories a Humble Texas librarian feels its her duty to just make a mention that Miss Hopkins shouldn't be exposing our children to such "horrors" to Superintendent Guy Sconzo and voila! (without ever reading her titles) Mister Superintendent has (lets just say it) BANNED her from coming to the Teen Lit Fest! Ummm what is a teen lit fest of you cannot celebrate the freedom of reading correctly!!!!???? In support of Miss Hopkins four other authors have pulled themselves out of the teen lit fest in Humble....BRAVO to you: Melissa De La Cruz, Pete Hautman, Matt de la Pena and Tara Lynn Childs for making a stand against censorship!!!!!
I'm so disgusted with this I almost don't even know what to say!? I do know this.....I wonder how many of these "advocates" ever sit and talk to their teens about the subjects they ban them from many of these "advocates" speak to their teens as if they are people instead of their little trophies....that's right I said it TROPHIES!!!!
Ellen Hopkins has written a manifesto that now is the manifesto for Banned Books Week.....I hope she doesn't mind but I also adopt this as my personal manifesto when referring to those rightwingers who assume to know what is best for everyone and what is right! Screw you Humble Texas and screw you people who have the audacity to think for our teens and not let them think and learn for themselves!!!!! For those of you who haven't seen it yet here is Miss Hopkins' Manifesto:

To you zealots and bigots and false patriots
who live in fear of discourse.You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books off shelves in your brand name of greater good.
You say you’re afraid for children,innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
   But sticks and stones do break bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you’re afraid for America,the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually confused.
But we are a vast quilt of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered identities.
You cannot speak for those whose ancestors braved
different seas.You say you’re afraid for God,the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene. But the omnipotent sculptor of heavenand earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.Torch every book. Char every page.
Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.
Manifesto— Ellen Hopkins, bestselling author of Crank and newly published Tricks

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