Won’t Someone Think of the Children

The New Censors: Movies and the Culture Wars was published in 1997. Author Charles Lyon looks at how the decline of government censorship in the the United States was followed by a rise in censorship attempts by social groups on the left and right of the political spectrum. Although the book is about movies, and Canada, like most countries, still has government censorship of movies, the issues Lyon raises apply to other media, and other countries. Which brings us to present day Vancouver.

Mark Hasiuk has recently written about the Vancouver School Board diversity team. The group of six well paid individuals is responsible for ensuring school libraries contain “a range of children’s literature that accurately portrays all kinds of families, various cultural communities and traditions.” They accomplish this noble mission following a checklist that Mark claims originated in California.

So far so good. Unfortunately, this means not just selecting the right books, but ensuring the wrong books are removed. What kind of book is wrong? Among other red flags, almost anything published before 1973. Mark wonders, “how did they decide on that date?” Thanks to the internet, I have learned that 1973 was a major year for UFO sightings. I think the conclusion is obvious.

Like blogs on censorship? Rob has blogged on this subject and other literary censorship at http://censorshipdown.blogspot.com/.

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