Read Before You Speak

I read a few articles written this week about some students in North Carolina protesting the books assigned for their college classes. But the funny thing is they had no idea what they were talking about. Students at the University of North Carolina and Duke University refused to read books assigned to their classes for different reasons.

I’ll just tell you the books in question. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, In the Shadow of no Towers by Art Spiegelman, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.

The first was refused on moral grounds, the others were refused because the students claimed they were “sympathetic towards terrorism”. Now I haven’t read any of the books, but I have read articles from others who definitely have and it would appear the students have it all wrong.

Now you get my take. I have a real issue with what the students have done here. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t object to what’s being assigned, but I do think they should educate themselves (read the work) before making a huge deal about something. How can you criticize something that you’re not even informed about? Like all the people who criticize writers in general, but who have never read any of their work. I’ll say I won’t read this series or that one and maybe I’ll even joke around about the quality of the writing based on what many others have said, but you’ll never hear me reject a book or an author AND reject it on behalf of others if I’ve never read it.

Because I really feel like that’s what happened here. These students wanted to change the books assigned for everyone, even for people who had no objection at all. And that’s why they look stupid now.

What do you think? Are these college kids in the wrong? Or should they be able to object to assigned readings for any reason whatsoever, even if the reason has no real basis?

On this day in 2014 I published Let the Downward Spiral Known as my Blog Continue.