Indiana high school students had to quit reading Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Wednesday, because administrators were offended by its "sex, violence, and profanity." Here's why this is bullshit.
According to Cindy Marshall of Indystar.com, 11th grade AP English at Franklin High School were already halfway through the book when the school board pulled it. "I wouldn't want to expose my children to that garbage," said board member Scott Veerkamp of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel, which also helped Morrison win the Nobel Prize. Veerkamp objected to the book's "descriptive sex scenes, profanity, demeaning language and suicide," and commented, "I was about as appalled as I've ever been in my life." Presumably Veerkamp has been lucky enough never to witness actual profanity, insults, or sex.
Of course, school districts and parents try to ban books all the time, but what makes this particular effort so obnoxious — and such a good illustration of why the whole idea of banning books sucks — is the remarks of those defending Song of Solomon. Marshall writes, "Millie Davis, director of communications for the Illinois-based National Council of Teachers of English, called Morrison's novels 'modern-day classics' that make you 'really think about the world.'" True. But then: