So, you’re a parent of a 9th grader in Depew, NY, and you hear that the 11th graders in your school are reading a book. The parents of those children have to sign a release, because the book is “edgy.” If the parents don’t sign, their kids won’t have to read the book.
So you decide to read the book, even though it has nothing to do with your kid. And when you don’t like it, you try to prevent the older kids of those other parents from being allowed to read the book. That’s just how awesome a citizen you are!
John Green gives the details here:
John sums up what we all should try to remember about book banners: They aren’t trying to protect their children, they’re trying to protect someone else’s children. They aren’t wishing other people would make better choices, they’re trying to prevent every choice they disagree with. They know what everyone else should and shouldn’t read. And yet, overwhelmingly, their readings of the books they protest are flawed and simplistic.
Just remember: Book banners are not as smart, wise, or important as they think they are. And you’re much smarter, wiser, and able to deal with complexity than they think you are.
They are the junk mail of literary discourse.