Im pretty tired of the whole “banned/censored book” controversy, but reading this past weekend’s Leonard Pitts column in the Miami Herald put me over the edge:
First, I do not agree with the actions of the Concerned Cuban parents vis a vis the Discovering Cuba book, and I find your sending a copy to each library missing its own quite honorable and noteworthy. Im curious, however, are you only sending copies of this “censored” book in particular, or will you be taking it upon yourself to replace all censored books in all school districts such as, for example, Huck Finn in certain districts of America’s South? As I understand it, Tom Sawyer’s fictional novel is the fifth most challenged book in the US, according to the ALA.
Also, let’s say there was a book titled, say, “Vamos a Selma”, wherein the South was depicted as “utopian before the civil rights movement.” And it showed photographs of African-Americans sitting in the back seats of buses and captioned “In Selma, all African-Americans are guaranteed seats in public transportation.” Or showed photographs of African-Americans lined up at a drinking fountain with a sign that reads “blacks only” above it and captioned the photograph “African-Americans even have their own water fountains in Selma!” And yet another photo of African-Americans in the cotton fields captioned “African-Americans share in the robust economic activity of Selma!”
Obviously, all of the above are profound falsehoods, not very unlike the same falsehood portrayed in the Vamos a Cuba and Discovering Cuba books. All three are, if I may, BS.
My question to you is, since your editorial takes the righteous stance of non-censorship and you take certain Cuban-American parents to task – including subtle innuendo such as calling those who agree with Dalila Rodriguez “confederates” and claiming that the Cuban-American community “have committed assault, banned magazines, blocked freeways and spent tens of thousands of public dollars pursuing constitutionally illiterate positions in court” – would you fight to keep “Vamos a Selma” in public school libraries, and would you take certain members of the African-American community to task, in as denigrating a fashion, for wanting to keep Vamos a Selma off the shelves?
Im just curious as to whether you truly belive in what youre preaching or if youre just jumping on the hypocrisy bandwagon.
I also want to note that Mr. Pitts complains about Cuban-Americans “blocking freeways and committing assault” and such. I guess he wasnt around or in Miami during the McDuffie Riots. Lots of assaults and blocked streets back then. Some pretty big fires, too.