“Fahrenheit 2021 – 2022 and Beyond”
“What is going on here? If you don’t like a book because you are UNCOMFORTABLE about its contents, then DON’T READ IT, DON’T BAN IT!”
– Patrick Donovan
By Patrick Donovan – Author/Screenwriter
US Navy Disabled Veteran – 1980 – 1991
Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 02/01/2022 – What is all the furor about books today?
Ray Bradbury wrote a work called “Fahrenheit 451” back in 1953 which was regarded as one of his best works! I watched the movie with Michael B Jordan and was intrigued by it. I remember watching the first movie from 1966 directed by Francois Truffaut. Now, I didn’t watch it when I was 6 years old but many years later, of course.
What is all the fuss about books anyway? Want my take? KNOWLEDGE! Knowledge is power folks. Words command knowledge and sometimes they can invoke descent. They can invoke hate, love, empathy, caring, and yes, racism. But the books that are being banned in nearly 22 states, including the state I live in, Washington, are books about HISTORY, FEELINGS, and what the author, in the case of “Maus”, lived through. How does that make one feel uncomfortable unless you read it? DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER! This is what’s happening in today’s polarized country.
People, let me clarify, WHITE AMERICA, more specifically the white America that FEARS change, fears what America is becoming – more diverse – is who is AFRAID! What the hell are they afraid of? Let’s talk about FEAR, shall we? Les Brown says, “FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real.” Their fear is unfounded based on a LIE, the big lie. We are a mix of diverse cultures, humans, religions, hair colors, shapes, sizes, smiles, strengths, weaknesses, faults, gifts, and I can go on and on with adjectives but I’m sure you get where I’m going with this.
I’m white. I was born white. I recall, as a young child going to a catholic school, we had few black students at Cardinal Mooney, in Rochester, NY, and my class had only one black male student. We all embraced each other. We had NO racism in our school. Why? Because the brothers and sisters (the clergy running the school) would rip us a new one if we acted any different. The boys wore shirts and ties and the girls, culotte skirted uniforms. We all were alike, which wiped out, automatically, any idea of differences among the students.
I grew up in an Italian family and a heavily Italian presence in our school. Our class had something called, “The Mooney Mafia!” Really! It was for 100 days for our senior year. We rented a limo and came to school with “toy” Tommy Guns, which had no ORANGE tips on them and walked around in dark suits talking with an accent. Why? Because it was FUN! But that’s a story for another day. Let me re-focus on the original topic, Fahrenheit 2021 – 2022 and my BEEF with what’s happening in today’s America.
What I see is, the fearing, white America that is scrambling to ban books they don’t like, or even ONE parent or student doesn’t like is complete and utter BS. Remember when we were told, if you don’t like a TV show or movie, DON’T WATCH IT? Well, the same holds true with books. If you DON’T like a book, DON’T READ IT! What is wrong with people today? What the hell are you afraid of? Books like; Cinderella is Dead, written by Kalynn Bayron, who wrote the young adult novel was attacked by Republican Texas Rep. Matt Krause who urged school libraries in the state to report the book if they had it, as he claimed 850 books that “make students feel discomfort.” How does “he” know that 850 books make students feel uncomfortable? Did he ask all the students in the entire state of Texas? I think not. Does he have a list? NOPE!
OMG! WAA, WAA, WAA! The kiddies like the books that the ADULTS aren’t comfortable with so, we have to protect the kiddies from the big bad evil BLACK PERSON WHO WROTE IT! I have something for Matt, don’t concern yourself with a book or books “that YOU” are offended by but concern yourself with the constituents who are offended by you!
Let me state that I challenge Matt to present documentation of all the parents in the state of Texas that DO NOT like books that Matt has flagged that he doesn’t like and I’ll believe him. Until then, he’s just blowing smoke. He and all the ultra-right-wing nutjobs that are PROJECTING their fears onto children and young adults are TERRIFIED of NOTHING. They are being sucked up into the realm of the Big Lie. They care NOT for your welfare or your children, they only care about wanting to seize POWER and keep America from evolving.
Think: Star Trek The Undiscovered Country. Spock initiated a forced mind-meld, and learns that a cabal of Federation, Klingon, and Romulan officers conspired to sabotage the peace talks. Enterprise and Excelsior race to Khitomer, the location of the peace talks. Chang’s cloaked ship attacks and inflicts heavy damage on both ships. At the suggestion of Uhura, Spock and McCoy modify a torpedo to home in on the exhaust emissions of Chang’s ship. The torpedo impact reveals Chang’s location, and Enterprise and Excelsior destroy his ship with a volley of torpedoes. The crew from both ships beam to the conference and thwart an attempt on the Federation President’s life.
What was happening here was that the cabal of Federation, Klingon and Romulan officers were afraid of change. Afraid of what would happen “IF!” This is what’s happening to America right now. There are those, within our government and without, who are conspiring to DESTROY America from within. They FEAR CHANGE. They fear the unknown and to try and stop it, they (currently the ultra-right-wing of the old Republican party now, the Trumpublican party) are hell bent on winning and the only way they can is by stopping those that they don’t want, black and brown Americans and Pacific Islanders because they, of course, are NOT WHITE.
The white washing of our history to prevent knowledge, which is power by the way, through books, is what they want. Over generations, if they succeed, the history of what America was, will be gone. That is their end game. STOP all NON-WHITES from voting and make it as hard as possible so therefore, they can Make America WHITE ONLY. That’s all this is but there’s a problem with their logic. It’s flawed. America is changing and soon, whether [they] like it or not, America’s white population will become the minority. It’s already happening. They FEAR change, this change!
Teachers in schools are being told, they can POINT to Tulsa, Oklahoma but they cannot speak of the atrocities of what happened on Black Wall Street. Teachers are BANNED, FORBIDDEN, and god knows what else from speaking of America’s past. This is NOT the children that are doing this, this is the parents who FEAR what I just described. They are being fed “red meat” from their fearless leader and now, they are acting like him.
Students have slammed a Texas school board’s “book review” order that would allow board members to ban books from district schools without public comment. At least one of the students pointed out that the Granbury Independent School District’s (GISD) plan would most hurt “honor students” looking to advance their studies with advanced texts.
The students commented against the policy at a Tuesday meeting of the school board in Granbury, Texas, a town of roughly 11,000 people just southwest of Fort Worth.
“I simply want to emphasize who it is that is upset about this book ban, and it’s not just delinquents who want to read smut. It’s honor students who want access to the full extent of their education,” said a junior who mentioned that she is at the top 3 percent of her class.
NBC News sent public records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — and found 86 formal requests to remove books from libraries last year, the vast majority coming during the final four months of the year. Several titles were targeted in multiple districts. – Source NBC NEWS!
A parent asked administrators at the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston to pull this graphic novel, which features gay and bisexual characters, because she claimed it might lead young students “to question their sexual orientation when they don’t even comprehend what that means.”
A parent in Prosper, a Dallas suburb, said this illustrated children’s book, which touches on the racism that Olympian Wilma Rudolph experienced growing up in Tennessee in the 1940s, should be removed from school libraries because “it opines prejudice based on race.”
A parent in Plano said this coming-of-age novel about a Mexican American character’s journey to understanding his own sexuality and ethnic identity should be banned because it contains “profanity, pornography, gambling, homosexuality.” The parent claimed the book encourages “admiring people with low morals and values, and hate of other people.”
Simon and Schuster
A parent in Leander, an Austin suburb, asked for this book, which features a subplot about a teenager who’s starting to notice his attraction to other boys, to be removed because the parent didn’t believe “books should discuss sensitive/controversial topics such as gender, sexuality.”
Simon and Schuster
A Leander parent suggested replacing children’s books that mention gender identity or sexuality, including this one, with “classics,” such as “White Fang,” “The Indian in the Cupboard,” “The Swiss Family Robinson” and Shakespeare.
This classic novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison should be banned from schools, according to a parent in the Fort Worth suburb of Birdville, because it includes a graphic description of rape.
This novel, about a 1930s East Texas romance between a Mexican American girl and a Black boy, isn’t suitable for teens, a Birdville parent wrote, because “it depicts a graphic sexual experience between minors.”
Little Brown and Co.
According to a Houston parent, reading this novel about a Black boy killed by police might cause white children who attend the Spring Branch Independent School District to “feel ashamed based on color of their skin.”
Told entirely through instant messages among three high school students, this novel has no place in schools, according to a parent in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, because it contains a “description of oral sex with minors,” among other sexually explicit passages.
A parent in the Houston suburb of Katy wrote that this book, which chronicles the relationship between a teen boy and a girl with leukemia, includes “obscene language” and could lead students to “become over sexualized and objectified.”
A parent in the Spring Branch ISD said this graphic novel — about a Jewish teen living in France after Nazis seized power — should be banned because it’s “biased” and could lead to the “skewing of a young child’s mind.”
A parent in Prosper said this novel, which tells the story of 9/11 and its aftermath from the dueling perspectives of an American boy and an Afghan girl, should be removed from schools because it “depicts American soldiers as callous, evil and terrorists” and because the author mentions the racial or ethnic identities of every character.
This illustrated memoir, which recounts the author’s coming of age as a lesbian, is unsuitable for schools, according to a parent in Birdville, because it includes graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
A Katy mom asked administrators to remove this book, about a 17-year-old gay student who has a lot of sex and isn’t ashamed of it, after reading explicit passages aloud at a school board meeting: “We cannot unread this type of content,” she said, “and I would like to protect my kids’ hearts and minds from this.”
A parent in San Antonio asked the Northside Independent School District to ban this work historical fiction, set during the Nazis’ siege of Leningrad, because it includes “pornographic imagery” that is “not suited for the majority” of readers, the parent wrote, adding, “… unless you’re into that.”
Simon and Schuster
This illustrated memoir by a nonbinary author, which includes sexually explicit cartoon images, triggered attempted bans — and even threats of criminal charges — in several Texas school districts.
First Second Books
A Birdville mom wanted this book, a graphic novel featuring LGBTQ characters, removed from libraries because, she said, it “has a recurring theme of oral sex.”
This coming-of-age novel about a gay teenager came under fire in Birdville when a parent complained that it has explicit descriptions of “masterbation and genitalia.”
First Second Books
Parents in Keller and Spring Branch complained that this graphic novel, which features a transgender character, should be off-limits for young students because it includes images of children kissing in bed.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This memoir by a queer Black author was flagged for removal by a group of Katy parents because it includes descriptions of molestation and sex between men.
MTV Books Pocket Books
A parent in McKinney asked the district to remove this coming-of-age novel because it includes descriptions of homosexuality, date rape and masturbation.
A Katy parent asked to have this children’s biography of the former first lady banned at every grade level because, the parent said, it unfairly depicts former President Donald Trump as a bully and because Obama’s reflections on race gave the impression that “if you sound like a white girl you should be ashamed of yourself.”
Little Brown Books
This young adult adaptation of “Stamped From the Beginning,” Kendi’s National Book Award-winning historical examination of racism, was flagged for removal by a parent in Katy, who wrote that the children’s book “is littered with completely fabricated and conspiracy theory views on history” that make it seem as if “all historical events of the past were a result of racism.”
Quill Tree Books
A Katy mom asked to ban this graphic novel about a Black seventh grader at a mostly white school. She claimed that, because it includes references to microaggressions, the book is “about critical race theory, which is forbidden by Texas law.”
Quill Tree Books
A Katy mom said this graphic novel, the second in a series, should be removed from schools because it will make white children feel guilty and “kids will be brainwashed that one race is superior than the other.”
In asking to ban this book about the plight of a Black working-class family as they prepare for Hurricane Katrina, a parent in Katy wrote, “I object to the explicit description of the teenage girl having sex with the boys in her social group.”
Roaring Brook Press
A dad in Grapevine, a Dallas suburb, asked his child’s school district to ban this book, a collection of poems by women of color on topics relating to social justice, activism and discrimination, because, he said, it promotes “terrorism.”
A parent asked the Eanes Independent School District in Austin to remove this picture book about racial justice, arguing that no books that promote the Black Lives Matter movement should be available to children.
In asking to ban this nonfiction book about resisting racism, an Eanes parent suggested replacing it with copies of the Bible.
An Eanes parent asked administrators to get rid of this novel, about a 12-year-old girl who gets involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, because it might cause a white child to feel “confusion or distress.”
This illustrated collection of poems and essays about overcoming prejudice and racism shouldn’t be allowed in schools, an Eanes parent wrote, because it “promotes discrimination.”
A parent in Denton, north of Dallas, wanted this teen romance removed from schools, arguing that it should be replaced with books “that have humor that do not promote sexual activity.”
This acclaimed novel about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy Afghan boy and the son of his father’s servant was flagged for removal by a mom in Birdville who complained that it “depicts the rape and sexual exploitation of minors.”
A mom in Birdville asked school leaders to remove this book — an illustrated guide to puberty, sex and sexual health — after her child checked it out, writing that it wasn’t appropriate for middle schoolers.
This book, a collection of interviews with transgender or gender-neutral young adults, was flagged for removal by a parent in Birdville who claimed that the book, which includes descriptions of sexual abuse of minors, encourages sexual activity among young children.
This novel, which focuses on the unexplained disappearance of a Black teen, includes explicit language about sex, which was the basis for a Birdville parent’s request to have it removed from school libraries.
This novel, which includes LGBTQ storylines and explicit language, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in the Fort Worth suburb of Keller. (Most of the formal library challenges submitted to the Keller Independent School District were filled out on behalf of parents by a school administrator and don’t specify why the parents sought to have the books removed.)
This book, lauded for its portrayal of a transgender child, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
This young adult novel, a National Book Award finalist, mentions abortion and includes multiple descriptions of sex. It’s one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Penguin Random House
This illustrated children’s book about a transgender child — based on the real-life experiences of one of the authors — is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
This book, in which the author interviews people who’ve been shamed on the internet, touches on sensitive subjects, including rape and suicide. It’s one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, this novel deals with themes such as grief, love, family, friendship, racism and sexuality. It is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
This graphic novel, which the School Library Journal praised for its message “that periods need not be a dirty secret,” is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Dutton Books for Young Readers
This novel, about a lesbian romance set in 1954 between a Chinese American teen and a white classmate, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Three Rooms Press
Tracing the story of a 17-year-old girl who’s beginning to question her sexual orientation, this is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Henry Holt & Co. Books
The School Library Journal said this graphic novel, about a boy wrestling with his sexuality at summer camp, is “an essential book that shows readers that they are never alone in their struggles.” It’s one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
This collection of poetry and short stories about violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
The second in a series of young adult fantasy novels, this is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
This novel, about a young slave boy who becomes swept up in a struggle for his own liberation, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
This novel, which includes descriptions of sexual abuse, is one of dozens of library books that have been flagged for removal in Keller.
What you don’t see here are banned books across America on white supremacy, white nationalism, Nazism, right-wing militia’s and anything about the WHITE PEOPLE because of course, they have nothing wrong that’s being written in books, right? Yeah, right! Here’s a link to the ALA on Intellectual Freedom on banned books and challenged books. It’s very telling.
What gets me, in that list of 50 books above, is a book by former First Lady, Michelle Obama. Why? Because someone felt it portrayed the former disgraced twice impeached president in a bad light. WAA, WAA, WAA. This is insane! What the hell is wrong with our country? What is WHITEY so damn afraid of? WE ARE a DIVERSE NATION of immigrants and WHITEY doesn’t like it. TOO DAMN BAD! Get over it. Get a life.
Hate crimes are soaring and today with the start of Black History Month, there have been a slew of bomb threats against Historical Black Univeristies. All of them were just that, threats, but why? Why is this happening? A Seattle-area school board voted to remove “To Kill a Mockingbird” from student reading lists this week, just days before news surfaced that a Tennessee district had, earlier this month, banned the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the holocaust, “Maus,” from its curriculum. (SOURCE: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2022/1/28/22906501/seattle-school-bans-to-kill-a-mockingbird-over-racism-concerns-as-wave-of-book-challenges-continues)
I don’t understand all this about book banning. Burning books, which is what Hilter did, is soon to come. “The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union (German: Deutsche Studentenschaft, DSt) to ceremonially burn books in Nazi Germany and Austria in the 1930s. The books targeted for burning were those viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, communist, socialist, anarchist, liberal, pacifist, and sexologist authors among others. The initial books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky, but came to include vast numbers of authors, including Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, writers in French and English, and effectively any book that was not ardent in its support of Nazism. In a campaign of cultural genocide, books were also burned by the Nazis en masse in occupied territories.” SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_book_burnings#:~:text=The%20books%20targeted%20for%20burning,and%20sexologist%20authors%20among%20others.
We are fast approaching the destruction of American History. Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, formed a commission on May 15, 2009 to protect Russian history from falsifiers and those who would deny Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII. This was from an article that I learned about from Cheryl A Madden a Historian and Bibliographer of the Stalinist Holodomor Genocide. The commission was headed by Medvedev’s Chief of staff Sergey Naryshkin. However, the decree establishing the commission was invalidated on 14 February 2012, and the commission thus ceased to exist.
Vladimir Putin has been in power, on and off since August 9th, 1999. He is the second longest current serving European “dictator” ahem, president since Alexander Lukashenko. So, when the attempt by Medvedev to preserve Russian history was invalidated in 2014, it could’ve only been done by, yep, you guessed it: Putin!
America is on a slippery slope. We are tumbling into an abyss from which we will never been able to climb out of. We need to stop this banning of books and it requires all of us able-bodied and intelligent people that know the difference. Speaking of, do you remember “The West Wing” or the movie, “The American President?” There is a dialog between Michael J Fox’s character Lewis Rothchild and President Andrew Shepherd in Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant film. From a blog, there’s a unique take on this entire system of government in America. It goes like this and I’ll post a link to the WordPress blog so you can read the entire thing.
As the character of Lewis Rothschild tells fictional President Andrew Shepherd in screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s marvelous film “The American President”:
“The people want leadership, Mister President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. The people want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it that they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage and when they realize there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
Unfortunately, the inverse is equally true. Legislators, whether at the state or the federal level are at least ostensibly supposed to take positions that reflect their best interests. However, in the absence of public participation expressing a clear preference, as a consequence of the constraints of electoral considerations, these politicians are all too often apt to turn their ear to listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. The proverb of the old Roman Republic preached that “Vox populi, vox Dei”: “The voice of the people is the voice of the Gods”. However, unfortunately, the reply of the fictional President Shepherd rings all too true:
“Lewis, we have had Presidents who were beloved who could not find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.”
Unfortunately, the American public at large has yet to internalize the lesson that President Bartlet was trying to teach on “The West Wing”: “Decisions are made by those who show up.”
So, what are YOU going to do about America’s history that’s going up in flames before your very eyes? Are you going to sit back and allow books to be banned, history to be white-washed and eventually books being burned or are you going to “SHOW UP?” You see, America’s hard, it’s going to fight you and I’ll leave you with the part of the final speech from “The American President” that is very meaningful. READ IT! HEED IT! LIVE IT! Don’t BAN IT!
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
I’m Patrick Donovan and I AM an American citizen who gives a shit and I am showing up. Are you?
Books Banned in various states:
Click to see the books banned in WA STATE
Click to see the books banned in NY STATE
Click to see the books banned in OREGON
Click to see the books banned in TN
Click to see the books banned in FL
Click to see the books banned in GA
To continue to find more banned books, google, List of books banned in ___ <– Enter the state you want to check.
Click to see a list of all books banned on Powell’s City of Books and READ THEM because you CAN!