Letters to the Editor: Germans might have something to say about our book-banning madness

A person reading a graphic novel.
The graphic novel “Maus,” a prize-winning book about the Holocaust, is among the books recently removed curriculums in school districts across the U.S.
(Maro Siranosian / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Book banning, a degenerate first cousin to book burning, has engulfed 39 states. Its adherents claim to protect their progeny and cobweb sensibilities from ideas, ideology and information that (the horror!) provoke independent thought. (“The recent onslaught of book bans is a strategic part of wider attacks on our democracy,” Opinion, Feb. 20)

For years, American students have been rhapsodized to about the Founding Fathers, the Boston Tea Party and the America forged from the tyrannical British monarchy. Today, obstructionists lambast critical race theory as the bogeyman, but it offers objective and accurate appraisals.

South Carolina House Bill 4605, which Suzanne Nossel mentions in her op-ed article, aims to immunize students from material that might cause discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress, due to race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or other characteristics. That jaw-dropping legislation creates enough room for an 18-wheeler to barrel through with comfort.


In contrast, German high school students are required to study the Holocaust, and they routinely visit museums and the sites of concentration camps.

And we’re the home of the brave?

Marc D. Greenwood, Opelika, Ala.


To the editor: This latest book-banning idiocy, along with the impugning of our true history, continues to demonstrate the harm that fearful, regressive and downright stolid conservatives can bring to American culture.

Politicians in South Carolina and other conservative states declare they are “protecting” students from all kinds of imagined evils. The Palmetto State has passed a bill to keep students from experiencing “discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress” related to themes often taught in history and other subjects.

Conservatives from the state that fired the first defiant shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861, like in other secession states, seem bent on perpetuating the old myth of the “lost cause.”

But is this kind of “corrected” curriculum really what we want taught to our students, who will soon become adult citizens living in a rapidly changing world?

June Maguire, Mission Viejo, Calif.


To the editor: I was shocked to learn from this op-ed article that school board members in my hometown of Redding, Conn., had “stepped down last year after receiving death threats in the course of curricular battles.”

Redding’s Mark Twain Library, founded by author (who lived his final years in Redding), holds a notable book fair each Labor Day weekend, carrying on the town’s literary and artistic legacy.

If the madness can come to Redding, it can come anywhere.

Treadwell Ruml, Redlands