The U.S. National Park Service says the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., commemorates “service, sacrifice, unity, and victory.” After last night, however, they might as well scratch “unity” off that list.
Yesterday marked the start of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Booksellers Association and other groups.
When members of the Republic School Board of Education in Missouri voted 4-0 to remove Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from its curriculum, I’ll bet they had no idea the backlash they’d receive.
But it just goes to show, making a stink of things can really go a long way. Thanks to Americans United and our allies (including the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library!), the board has now agreed to reconsider its misguided decision.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five is considered a modern classic. That doesn’t mean it’s a particularly easy read. Indeed, it deals with some fairly heady topics. When I first encountered it in high school, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But it sure made me think, which, in my view, is what a good novel should do.
Funny thing about that thinking – some people see it as dangerous. And a few of those people sit on the school board in Republic, Mo.