This week is Banned Books Week, when all over the country, libraries and bookstores feature books that are supposedly being menaced by censors. Of course, the Leftist organizers of Banned Books Week omit all mention of the real censorship threat today, which is coming not from conservatives, but from the Left.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Yet its list of “the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017” consists of nothing genuinely unorthodox or unpopular at all — at least among the Leftist elites.
One book was supposedly banned for “profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.” Another “was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.” Still another was “challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.” One book is even included because it “was thought to ‘lead to terrorism’ and ‘promote Islam,’” as if those things would make the book unacceptable to the people who run “schools, bookstores and libraries.”
The Left has a near-total stranglehold on the educational system, the entertainment industry, the means of communication, and the culture in general, yet Leftists still like to pose as fearless outsiders confronting the establishment. They are the establishment.
If Banned Books Week really wanted to feature books that are considered “unorthodox or unpopular,” it should highlight books by people who are hated by the Leftist intelligentsia that dominates everything: Donald Trump. Alex Jones. Gavin McInnes. Dennis Prager.
I wrote my new book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS as a challenge to the elites’ narrative about jihad and Islam. The elites, however, don’t brook challenges to their narrative. It’s clear that I am in their crosshairs. Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison has demanded that Amazon stop stocking books by people who are blacklisted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). No one in the Leftist establishment stops to ponder the question of whether or not the SPLC is really a reliable source as to what constitutes a hate group and what doesn’t. If you’re on their list, the Left wants you silenced, and is moving quickly to silence you.
Free people should thus seek out the work of those who genuinely differ from the Leftist agenda. To do so would be in keeping with the true spirit of Banned Books Week, which is to encourage free thought — albeit this would not be in keeping with the intent of those who run that enterprise now.
The establishmentarians who run Banned Books Week won’t tell you this, but I will: the authoritarian Left is working energetically now to ban all dissenting voices in the run-up to the 2018 elections. The elites are moving as fast as they can now to muzzle all dissenters. They will not stop after those elections. Alex Jones has been banned nearly everywhere, and for what? People may think his views are eccentric or offensive, or even crazy — I don’t know. But ultimately, it’s irrelevant. He should be able to speak like everyone else, and if a crowd gathers and believes what he is saying, it is up to his opponents to refute his claims convincingly.
That’s how things are done in a free society, which is not quite what we have anymore. What crime has Jones committed? What laws has he broken? When a man can be denied services because of his political opinions, everyone, of all political persuasions, is threatened.
And so this is the perfect week for free people to strike a blow for freedom, and to read a real “unorthodox or unpopular” book by an author who has been “challenged and censored.” The dreary Leftist conformists of Banned Books Week probably won’t like you to read any genuinely banned authors, and that is all the more reason why you should.