Letter: Books allow you to see another's perspective and that's why they don't want you to read them
Jeff Lackmann writes, "I’ve yet to see a book ban that isn’t, beneath the sales pitch of 'protecting you or your kids from obscenity,' about an institution using and controlling you. If you see a book ban, look for the power grab.
Books are powerful doorways to different lives, and they have always threatened institutions that want to control you. Books do this because when reading a book you develop critical thinking skills and empathy for characters and circumstances that are different from yours.
If you develop critical thinking skills, you won’t just believe wholesale what you are told. If you develop empathy, it’s much harder for institutions to make you hate other people. If you don’t believe everything an institution tells you and that institution can’t make you hate other people, then the institution can’t use your hate and obedience to support their power grab. If they can’t use you to consolidate power, then the pesky inconveniences of liberty, freedom, and democracy restrain their authoritarian ambitions.
I’ve yet to see a book ban that isn’t, beneath the sales pitch of “protecting you or your kids from obscenity,” about an institution using and controlling you. If you see a book ban, look for the power grab. What other freedoms do they want to take from you?
Look close enough in North Dakota and you’ll see the tentacles of Big Government coming out at you from the margins of the freshly-banned pages.
Jeffrey Lackmann lives in Fargo.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.