One-Liner Wednesday — Book Burners

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.”

Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961

Eisenhower was a military leader and a Republican statesman and politician. It’s amazing how much the Republican Party has devolved since Ike was at the helm. Today’s Republicans are all about banning books and about concealing evidence that any wrongdoings, particularly racially-oriented wrongdoings, ever existed in the United States. Ike must be rolling over in his grave.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.

27 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday — Book Burners

  1. newepicauthor March 23, 2022 / 7:41 am

    I like Ike was the campaign slogan and all these years later, it still sticks with me. My dad met Eisenhower when he was inspecting the troops one day. My dad was in the front row, and he was kind of scrawny looking so General Eisenhower stopped in front of him and asked him, “Are you getting enough to eat soldier?”, and my dad responded, “Yes Sir!” Eisenhower After the inspection, my dad’s friends asked him why he didn’t tell Eisenhower that they could use some better food and he told them that “Yes Sir!” was the only way to respond to a 5 star general.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 23, 2022 / 10:45 pm

      My aunt and uncle were Ike fans, but my folks were squarely in Adlai Stevenson’s camp. They were not “I Like Ike@ fans. I, of course, was way too young to vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren March 23, 2022 / 8:14 am

    A great quote. I agree with him turning over in his grave.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan St.Pierre March 23, 2022 / 9:13 am

    I find it hard to consider that all information and materials are appropriate for children. Correct me if I’m wrong, I assume your position is on this topic is a generalization made concerning the removal of books from the classroom. It seems rational to review school access to children of materials that may or may not be inappropriate and to consider parents’ concerns. There is a grey area for some of these materials and there are some that we would likely agree don’t belong in front of kids. Age appropriateness is a big factor and cultural sensitivity is another. The discussion of the matter is important. Not everyone will agree. But it seems pointing out materials of concern is far from a ‘book burning’. That’s why libraries have Children’s sections and everyone else has access to all materials. Parents should know about the materials and make their own decisions ultimately but making arguments against some of them is not at all a Nazi-style act. I find your absolute and ugly conclusion unacceptable. Every community, State, and family deserves a say when it comes to their kids. To conclude everyone should merely accept decisions concerning their children from the ‘state’ comes closer to a Nazi principle than objecting and asking for their removal.

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    • Fandango March 23, 2022 / 11:21 pm

      You said a whole lot there and some of it even made sense. Of course it’s in the best interests of schools and parents (and children) to ensure that the books their children are exposed to are age appropriate. But my issue is when school districts and parents are banning books for high school level students. As I pointed out in one of my recent provocative question posts, some of the books that have been banned Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye,” Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and “The Grapes of Wrath,” George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and “Animal Farm,” Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eyes” and “Beloved,” Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” Ernest Hemingway’s “The Farewell to Arms,” Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughter House-Five,” Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” and Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl.” Not to mention Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust fable “Maus” and a whole slew of young adult and children’s books. Are those really the kinds of books you want high school students to be prevented from being exposed to? Why not ban the Bible, then, with all of the sex and violence and incest and nonsense it contains?

      The ancient Roman statesman Cicero said, “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” But it seems mostly conservative Republican parents, politicians, and school boards don’t want to expose their emerging adult children to the harsh realities of the world. They don’t want to make their young adults uncomfortable with the the racist, sexist, antisemitic, and corruptions that have occurred in the past and are still occurring in our society today. These books can provide lessons from which our children can learn and maybe work toward a better, more tolerant, more inclusive future for everyone. But if books like these are banned, it’s like we’re hiding the past and turning our kids into ostriches by keeping their heads in the sand.

      I’m sorry that you find my “absolute and ugly conclusion unacceptable.” I think that concealing the past and shielding all of the ugly parts of our history from our children in order to perpetuate the myth of white, Christian, American exceptionalism is unacceptable and ugly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2022 / 6:01 am

        Nice answer! You’ve conflated many topics here. I hope you know that an argument on an unfounded premise is useless.
        You’re taking the “history of slavery” topic to an extreme. I learned about slavery in school and also the horrors of war and about the dangers of monopolies etc. It’s not and hasn’t been glossed over in traditional schooling. Evaluating it in deeper levels is for college courses. Having shame the point with modern kids as an afterthought is ridiculous. Shaming countries (not the people the system) who still allow it would be more instructive. I’ll bet the kids are instructed on modern day slavery with the same We got past that era and slavery was also quite widespread at that time. Is the purpose to say our country was bad or that the practice of slavery is bad?
        America IS exceptional as a planned Constitutional society. There’s actually evidence. The most current example are the millions of people at the border who want to be here. Many have passed through or by many countries just to get here. I’m afraid that some people think because our system had worked so well, we’re teaching our kids to think they are superior. Nonsense. They are fortunate not superior.
        As for those books asked to be removed. That sounds extreme. I’d bet it’s only taking place in particularly zealous places. Remember Portland summer of love? Zealous people exist.
        If I described my current day, you wouldn’t believe the errands and busy going on. I’d love to talk longer and I may come back but I want to leave you with a few comments.
        I enjoy discussions like this.
        I’m sure you also realize that this format is extremely hard compared to face to face. Misunderstanding is easier in text.
        Your shortcut to claim that Republicans are doing things and attaching it to a homogeneous group is offputting. I know you mean just Republican leadership sometimes.
        I’m afraid you’ve taken shortcuts in many areas. I try extra hard not to group people especially when I’m applying a type of blame. It’s a ‘thing’ for me.
        I am not a Republican, I am not a church goer, and only recently decided to pick a side on the God topic. I am a curious, seeker of truth. I enjoy discussion.
        I don’t agree at all that racism, and all the ‘isms’ are widespread especially as policies or systems. There’s quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.
        I don’t at all agree with schools assuming they need to teach values rather than skills.
        I don’t want race (or religious beliefs) ever to weighed into how much a single person is valued. Agreeing with people or not is not a value judgement. All you find out about people when disagreeing with them is whether they are worth debating according to their skills and sense of fairness.
        I believe that we are a nation of individuals not groups.
        And, I believe I’ve got to get busy now! 🤣 I may come back… we’ll see. It has been fun.

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        • Fandango March 24, 2022 / 8:54 am

          I’m going to need a moment or two (or maybe a day or two) to digest what you have written in this comment. Then I will respond to your charge of my useless conflation of many topics in order to build my argument on an unfounded premise. Or maybe I’ll just write your comment off as something so foreign to my way of thinking that it is undeserving of rebuttal. But at least you haven’t yet claimed that my belief that banning books for political or ideological reasons is a religion.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2022 / 6:30 am

        Oh, I messed up by typing on my phone while being pressed for time. Hope you get my basic messages.
        As an afterthought, that lengthy list of books you took time to list is appreciated. I suspect the concern is not about the content but the lessons and topics that are being extrapolated for classroom discussion. I’d need more information about the reasons for removing them before I’d condemn it. Presentation is the key. Getting more insight into the lessons is really the problem. They seem to be guarded and secretive which would make any parent nervous. (My daughter has tried and it’s like getting prompt transparency from the DOJ, impossible. LOL) Have a good day!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango March 24, 2022 / 8:47 am

          I thought that the whole point of literature classes in high school was to get the students to read, discuss, and learn the lessons and topics that are being studied in the classroom. To understand and put into context the authors’ words, meanings, and messages. To give the students an appreciation about their own cultural heritage as well as those of others. To help students develop emotional intelligence and creativity. To nurture growth and development in the students cognitive and critical thinking skills. Silly me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2022 / 9:34 am

            How it’s presented makes a difference. Age appropriateness is a must. Your points are good ones. Those philosophies are sound. But philosophical overviews do not and must not be a cover for indoctrination. Transparency would cure it all. Thanks for playing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango March 24, 2022 / 12:31 pm

              Parents, religious leaders, and teachers indoctrinate their children to embrace their beliefs: religious, political, and ideological, with no questions asked. Literature opens up the eyes and minds of children to different ideas, cultures, and beliefs. It doesn’t indoctrinate them, it educates and broadens them. That should be our common goal.

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            • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2022 / 1:07 pm

              The only people who have the supreme right and power to ‘indoctrinate’ children are the parents.[period] The religious leaders do with parental consent and a wide supervision opportunity. Teachers have no right, or expectation (until recently) to ‘indoctrinate’.
              There was a wide consensus when I was young on what a good citizen was and what proper manners were. Teachers were trusted on those topics then, merely because they were observed projecting those (then common) values or were locally raised and shared them.
              I don’t want my grandchildren ‘broadened’ by strangers who don’t freely share what they’re doing or those who haven’t similar values.
              Ah… I did homeschool my granddaughters during Covid-19 and may do it again next Fall with the youngest. It was fantastic. They blossomed and went back to school over- prepared to meet our local schools’ rather low standards. Seems a great solution for my family with a happy ending?
              The problem is, I don’t get back my tax dollars paid to the school for their education. Believe me, the costs were many for homeschooling.
              Worse, many parents who wish to homeschool can not afford that alternative. They’re trapped. Imagine being told you had to frequent only one store you didn’t even pick. That wouldn’t be appreciated at all.
              Seems like the most democratic and fair method to address everyone’s concern would come from tax money being attached to the child, not the school system. The ultimate “taking our business elsewhere”. At the least, school choice should be available for parents to ‘shop’ for better schools. The idea parents are trapped when it comes to their kids’ education and upbringing is terrible.
              Then? If they join hands to influence changes at their schools, they become possible targets of the justice department through the domestic terrorism unit? Not a just treatment of parents.
              Spare me any apologist explanation or denial. I know what I’ve seen and experienced firsthand. I’m not looking to be convinced. Hope this clears up where I got my opinions. Your approval is in no way required. 😁

              Like

            • Marleen March 24, 2022 / 6:44 pm

              I homeschooled my children (the oldest one through graduation from high school with a homeschool diploma while including a bit of participation, on his part, in community classes for adults after he could drive as well as some community college courses). My second son started at the local public high school after I moved when he was a freshman; in other words, I picked the school. In those English/literature classes, the teachers always sent home a list of what would be read. The intent was to allow parents to object to anything. A student could have a different book selected by a parent or student. I, however, never objected (in high school). [One of my sons “objected” in his first year of college to something an economics teacher was presenting. And the teacher was reprimanded.]

              Liked by 2 people

  4. Zelda Winter March 23, 2022 / 7:23 pm

    I imagine he is! This wave of concealing wrong-doings is like children trying to hide whatever mess they’ve made on a given day. Grow up, people–be adults, take responsibility for what’s on your side of the fence. Confession’s good for the soul, and can pave the way for real solutions to raw-edged issues. The topic makes me crayzee and cranky!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Taswegian1957 March 24, 2022 / 5:43 am

    I read quite a few of those books as a teen and young adult. I thought that they were meant to teach us something. As I think I have said before wiping these books from existence for students smacks of 1984 to me. Altering the past to suit the present. What is meant to be wrong with The Diary of Anne Frank for Pete’s sake?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen April 10, 2022 / 12:40 pm

      In some other thread, I quoted Jeff Bezos portraying himself as “misunderstood” in the sense of him being a good person who is a victim of criticism. Misunderstanding as a concept has a variety of uses as well as meanings. When it comes to some people, lately, they say Putin has been misunderstood — and that if we had got him right then we could’ve avoided his attack on Ukraine at this time. (I’ll cut to the chase and say I heartily disagree with that.) This historian says we have misunderstood Putin in a very different way.

      Putin being “misunderstood” – Ukraine is
      ‘Defending All Of Us’ from Putin —
      Timothy Snyder interview March 22, 2022

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen April 1, 2022 / 12:47 pm

    I’ve listened to a few recordings from the Library of Congress that are really great and enlightening, recently. If I included a couple, here, it might tap into the algorithm for you. (This one has the most difficult, or stumbling, presentation so far; is nevertheless important.)

    Religion in American History: Moments of Crisis & Opportunity

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen April 1, 2022 / 1:36 pm

      1619 and the Making of America

      Liked by 1 person

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