The drive to ban or discourage people from reading works of literary merit because they hurt somebody’s feelings continues unabated. From Robert Bridge at rt.com:
There are particular moments in history when no pleasure can be gained from being right. These are such times. Following last summer’s riot in Charlottesville, Virginia over the removal of a statue to Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general in the Civil War, I wrote on these pages that removing historical monuments is just one step away from “history books purged… for fear of offending somebody.” What I could not have predicted at the time, however, was that I would be writing on that very topic less than a year later.
This week, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) dumped a literary award named after author Laura Ingalls Wilder, giving it instead the soulless title ‘Children’s Literature Legacy Award.’ The stated reason for dropping the ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder Award’ was due to the “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments“ that purportedly peppered Wilder’s writing.
Before diving into that mosh pit, who was Laura Ingalls Wilder? Born in 1867, Wilder was a Wisconsin school teacher whose first book, ‘The Little House in the Big Woods’ (1932), wasn’t published until she was 65-years old. It told the semi-autobiographical story of five-year-old Laura and her life growing up in the rugged American Midwest between 1870 and 1894. In other words – snowflakes brace yourselves – it was a subject strewn with life’s occasionally vicious vicissitudes. A dozen or so other books followed, including ‘Little House on the Prairie’ (1935), which was adapted into a wildly popular television series that ran from 1974 to 1983.
For the uninitiated, Wilder’s work is ‘the real McCoy,’ the living, breathing, organic material that uncovers the very essence of the young, impetuous nation as it ambles recklessly towards an elusive maturity. ‘Little House on the Prairie’ is an artistic work of huge historic importance that provides a first-person account of a tumultuous period in America’s history; essential reading for coming to grips with the collective events behind our national origins. In other words, it’s not all roses and picnics, nor is it meant to be.
For example, in the book entitled ‘Going West,’ which has fallen on the radar of the liberal thought police, Wilders describes a character named ‘Pa’ after her own father who – like so many other adventuresome, pioneering Americans – dreamed of going “where the wild animals lived without being afraid… the land was level, and there were no trees.” And where “there were no people. Only Indians lived there.”