Texas got it Wrong

I’m writing this as I’m lying here getting ready for bed. I’m reading news articles on a number of topics. I just read one on the terrible job the Colts’ GM has done during his time at the helm, and that one was followed up by an article on books recently banned by Texas prisons.

Langston Hughes. Bob Dole. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Sojourner Truth. What do they all have in common? They’re all banned authors in Texas prisons. What does one even say to that?

There’s more. David Duke and Adolf Hitler are NOT banned. I’m not sure I’ve really put too much thought into this particular topic, but I have to say this is why books shouldn’t be banned at all. We have this big thing in September every year celebrating banned books, but when books are banned from state prisons they are actually banned. Not challenged. Not complained about by parents. BANNED. And then we’re faced with books we think should be banned that somehow get skipped over.

After giving the idea of banning particular books from prisons some thought, I can’t say I’m in favor of banning any. I know some would argue against books that could incite violence or some that deal with topics in a manner that is no longer accepted by society, but TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) should be more concerned about getting the prison population down to a reasonable level so that prisons aren’t operating well over capacity instead of banning 15,000 books from the system. The system needs more from its leadership.

What do you think of Langston Hughes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, and Bob Dole being banned from state prisons? Does that sound like a good use of time? Does it sound reasonable?

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5 thoughts on “Texas got it Wrong

  1. I used to work in a library in a jail. During my time there the security supervisor’s philosophy was that as long as they are reading they are not causing trouble. Things have changed since I’ve been gone and they are now banning certain books and authors. I would not be able to work there now.

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  2. I’m with you. Books should not be banned. At all.
    If they want to ban something, why not work on follow through of banned substances?
    If they’re going to ban something as innocuous as books, when will they move on to music? Or only certain, extremely limited selection of things from home? Take away the commissary? If they want that new tube of toothpaste, which is not their preferred brand, they have to work within the system to earn the ‘money’ for it since money from family and friends is banned.
    Banning books or anything else is ridiculous! Yes, books can lead to independent thought, but so what? There is so much ch we would not have without independent thought!

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