If there was any justice in the world, we would give LeVar Burton, lifelong champion of reading, the last word on book bans. (There isn’t, of course, so we will have to continue writing about them any time some new Republican dipshit tries to ban a sweet book about a queer kid in order to keep other queer kids scared, or a book that tells the truth about slavery, because history hurts their feelings.)
Still, it’s heartening to hear Burton’s succinct thoughts on the matter, as expressed on The View, where he was promoting Butterfly in the Sky, a new documentary about the impact of Reading Rainbow. “It’s bullshit,” he said (in a moment that has been censored on The View‘s official channels).
I’ll be absolutely candid and honest: It’s embarrassing that we are banning books in this country, in this culture, in this day and age. We have this aversion in this country to knowing about out past, and anything that is unpleasant, we don’t want to deal with. This is not going away. Nothing goes away, especially if you ignore it. So read the books they’re banning; that’s where the good stuff is.
Watch the whole video (minus the extremely correct use of “bullshit”) here.