Whenever a community of any sort starts banning books, you know they’re afraid of something, usually themselves. But perhaps the Arizona illuminati deserve a little sympathy. After all, there could be reasons for forbidding the teaching of books whose authors do not come from the “preferred” ethnicity. In the spirit of understanding, we offer the following:
Top Ten Reasons for Not Reading or Teaching Literature by Ethnic Minorities
10. Readers might have to look up some words like corazon or coeur.
9. If you have all that much time on your hands, you could re-read Twilight and its sucklings, which are about things that really matter.
8. Exposure to books by Thomas Sanchez, Carlos Fuentes or Helena Maria Viramontes might break through the protective armor of solipsism. Then where would you be?
7. You might start to believe the words of the sonnet by Emma Lazarus on the bronze plaque under that big statue in New York Harbor.
6. With all these confusing counter-narratives going at once, how can we construct a cozy American myth?
5. Entertaining movies made from the books and internet summaries might be hard to find. And then where would you be?
4. Readers with ethnic heritage similar to the authors of the black-listed books might find encouragement and entitlement, which might make them stronger, more active members of the national community.
3. Newt might not get to send minorities to his proposed fifty-first state, the moon.
2. The forbidden books might explode and blind readers.
1. As John Milton wrote, “That which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.” Doesn’t that just seem like a lot of hard work?