The practice of book banning has no clear beginning. But one thing that’s for sure is that it has been around for a long time. Most of the classic stories that people today hold very dear have either been or is currently banned in a certain place in the world, be it a civilized city or a small secluded community. Back in 1900, the always popular Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in New Hampshire schools for supposedly making sexual references and was again banned in the 1960’s over the fear that it might promote drug use (Buzzfeed Staff). And three Makes Tango, based on the true story of two male penguins living in a New York city zoo that hatch an egg together, came under fire after conservative groups said it indoctrinated children into accepting same-sex marriage. In 1958, The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams was banned in banned in Alabama for supposedly being an allegory for interracial couples and supporting integration, since the two rabbits were literally black and white (Listverse Staff). In 2006, Charlotte’s Web was banned in Kansas because talking animals are considered an “Insult to God”. And in 1999, James and the Giant Peach was banned from an elementary school in Texas because it contained the word “Ass” (Buzzfeed Staff). I believe that the banning of books in public schools and libraries is unethical because it forcefully takes away knowledge from the people, as well as promotes pro-dictatorship ideals.
This topic has always been controversial, and while some view it as complete madness, others support it. The people who do support book banning believe that it is essential for many reasons, but one reason is that they believe that some books are not suitable for their children. Mark Hemingway, a supporter of book banning, states in an article that some books are too adult for younger kids to be reading. “As it turns out, the overwhelming majority of books cropping up the ALA’s most challenged list are books written for kids that are deemed age inappropriate for one reason or another” (Hemingway). Another source says that some books have very sexual, almost pornographic contents that are not at all suitable for children, like Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James. “The ALA lists Fifty Shades of Grey as one of the most commonly challenged books of 2013, but according to the ALA, a child’s right to read this book should be protected. This is apparently more important than protecting children from pornography” (What Kids are Reading).
Religion also plays into why some books might be banned in some communities. Often, small rural communities with strict religious views would ban books because it conflicts with their beliefs. Books have been banned or censored because of unpopular religious views or opinions within the context of the book. Often, works that contain witchcraft, like the Harry Potter novels by J.K Rowling (Butler University Staff). Like mentioned before, Charlotte’s Web was banned in Kansas on 2006...