That said, the other reasons don’t strike me as much better. The most glaring one is the tiff about cocaine abuse. I mean, I don’t know this teacher, but I doubt he or she is teaching children that a diet of crack cocaine is the best path to take when living one’s life. Just a hunch. Maybe this story is the most questionable of the four, but it’s nothing to rival Scarface, or Traffic, or Blow, or countless other movies most of these kids have probably seen. I’m sure any of the Grand Theft Auto video games trump “The Crack Cocaine Diet” in terms of objectionable content, and it’s only one of the most popular video game series ever made. Now that that’s in perspective, let’s move on to a few more troubling, and less comical, book banning arguments.
Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” was banned because it supposedly exposed students to abortion. First off, aside from being written by one of the giants of 20th century Literature, a man many critics claim is actually a virtuoso of the short story form, this story is also basically a clinic on how to use Hemingway’s iceberg principle and tagged/untagged dialogue. Oh, and it never explicitly mentions abortion either. I don’t think the word is even used. Hemingway has been described as many things, both good and bad, by many people but his body of work has always stood for itself. Is his writing genius? Brilliant? Incredible? Yes. Is his writing filth? Unequivocally not. If nothing else, there’s tremendous literary value for students to be exposed to from this story. Let’s be honest, how many writers have been inspired to become writers because of Ernest Hemingway? I know I was, and this story was actually one of the major reasons that Hemingway blew me away from the beginning.
Finally, and to me, the most disturbing argument the group of concerned parents made is that against David Sedaris’ “I Like Guys”. According to the Telegraph, the parents, led by Republican State Representative Laura Gandia who lives in the school district, were concerned about homosexuality being taught to their children at school. Apparently, many parents took issue that Sedaris’ story “promotes acceptance—as opposed to tolerance—of homosexuality.” Personally, I didn’t know that there was a difference between the two. In fact, I am so flabbergasted by that statement that I don’t even know where to begin breaking it down. Frankly, I think it’s disgusting that the homosexual community still remains a target and can be blatantly discriminated against like this.