This morning I warned you all of a dire plot by a group of fanatics in the Netherlands to do something profoundly silly:
But of course, banning a book doesn’t prevent people from reading it. Especially in this day of instantaneous transfer of information, burning a book is simply raising a flag that says “We are ignorant” and “We are out of touch with reality” at the same time. If people in the Netherlands wanted to find a copy of [Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes], they could simply go to Amazon or any number of other online bookstores. Banning the book is therefore futile. Burning the book may have some kind of psychological satisfaction for the protesting group, but it is an outmoded and meaningless gesture.
Well, undaunted by rational thought or… y’know… bothering to read the book, these Jell-o heads have decided to forge ahead with their agenda of public stupidity:
The activists vowed to burn copies of the book, published in Dutch as Het Negerboek, in an Amsterdam park unless its name was changed.
However, group member Perez Jong Loy said Wednesday that they did not burn the entire work because it’s not the novel’s content they find offensive, only the title. ”We are upset by the title of your book because the name you gave, it’s insulting to the black community. It’s an insult,” he told CBC News.
Never mind the fact, of course, that Hill is a member of the black community, and is a prolific defender of black people. Never mind that his books have reached millions of readers across the world, and have thereby advanced the discussion of race and the history of slavery. Never mind that the title of the book is a direct reference to a historical document, and was intentionally chosen to reflect that fact. Never mind that burning a book (even just the cover) only serves to increase its popularity. Never mind that in the age of digital media, burning a book is about as meaningful as vandalizing the card catalogue in a library or fighting to close an adult movie store – people will find a way to read the book no matter what you do.
No, let’s ignore reality and reason, and instead make a big show of how angry and stupid we are. That’ll show ‘em!
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