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Reader's View: Banning books doesn't help healing

The Lake Superior Freethinkers is an organization in Duluth that stands for, among other things, free thought. Thus, we seldom take positions on political issues.

However, since nothing is more antithetical to free thought than the banning of classic American literature, The Lake Superior Freethinkers' board decided to take a position against the Duluth school district's recent decision to ban "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" from the list of books teachers are required to teach. Both of these books stand against racism, but are being banned from Duluth classrooms. Instead of banning books, the district should take up the offer made by the NAACP to help train teachers to discuss these sensitive issues with students.

It is troublesome that there seems to be a growing sector of our society which wants to bury history and prevent civil discourse on important issues such as racism. In the news we see university speakers being shouted down by protesters. We see politicians unable to speak to their audiences because of a handful of protesters who can't see the value of free speech.

Opposing free speech is self-defeating. Attempting to bury American history by banning books will will not help us heal. Public education should not attempt to engage in misguided social engineering by banning the best American literature we have.

David Broman