[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Final Decision on Cuba Book Soon?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Final Decision on Cuba Book Soon?

Yesterday, a panel recommended that the Vamos a Cuba book currently in Dade County school library shelves remain. Based on this Herald article, Superintendent Rudy Crew is expected to uphold the panel's recommendation.

I posted my feelings back in April, and I really haven't changed my mind much. I'm not crazy about outright banning of books unless the material is extremely offensive and can cause harm. Based on all accounts I've heard and read, the book is pretty much all fluff and little, if any, substance. It is for young children to read and absorb. I acknowledge that kids at that age don't understand communism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism or any other -ism out there.

So, what's the harm in a stupid book about Cuban kids?

I don't know about the book, but I do know about the stories and the experiences that virtually all Cuban parents have from their childhood in Cuba. It may or may not justify banning the book, but it doesn't make their passionate and just concerns less valid. People need to hear both sides, and those who are dead-set against banning the book, who feel that "those Cubans are at it again acting like castro" really need to open their minds a little and understand exactly what those people have gone through. Having a part of your life misinterpreted is not a good feeling, I don't care who you are.

Val posted some good and thought-provoking stuff today which is worth reading.

As I posted back in April, if they want to keep the book, fine. But let's make sure that kids and parents are forewarned about the crap they are about to read, along with some suggestions on how to counter with factual information that they and their kids can have access to. They are owed at least that much.

A parting thought: what if the book in question was about Nazi Germany or Apartheid-era South Africa? What would be the reaction to those books?

Not a fair comparison, some may say? If so, please feel free to tell me why.


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