Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Vamos a Cuba!

Today I learned that in June the Miami school board banned a book for 4-to-6-year-olds entitled Vamos a Cuba. You know, it doesn't even matter why. Book banning is wrong and stupid and evil. But I'll tell you why anyway: because someone complained it "portrays a life in Cuba that does not exist." Not one but two panels upheld the book's presence in libraries after reviewing it, but then the Miami school board voted to ban it anyway. Furthermore, the board ordered removal of a series of travel books by the same publisher, even though there were no complaints about any of the others. Is this who you want in charge of making educational decisions for your children?

"Portrays a life in Cuba that does not exist." Really? I read The Wizard of Oz as a child. It portrays a life that does not exist, too. Anyway, how would they know? I've just about had it up to here with people talking about Cuba who won't even bother to go there and FIND OUT before they start running off at the mouth.

Cuba. North Korea. Formerly, Libya and Iraq. We're told these places are "bad" and an oft-cited "reason" is that they "don't let" their citizens travel and they "restrict free speech."So the U.S.'s oh-so-logical response? Apparently, to not let its citizens travel there, and to censor. How does that make sense?

(Here I will point out that I had plenty of Cuban acquaintances/ friends who had exit visas FROM Cuba but couldn't come to the U.S. because of the strict limits on the number "we" let IN!)

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, among others, challenged the ban. A district court judge in Miami said the ban was unconstitutional. It's now headed to the Court of Appeals.

"We're still building churches, burning books,
killing the babies to feed the crooks
Who said the world would turn out fair?
So I guess I'll dig myself a hole
ask the devil if he wants my soul
and do something real like cut my hair..."

-- The Wonder Stuff

1 comment:

Walter Lippmann said...

Comments very well-made. These people have prevented people from the United States, which is supposed to be a free country, from going to Cuba for many years except under the most unusual circumstances. Today, Cuban-Americans cannot visit their families in Cuba more often than once every THREE years, and they're only allowed to visit the very closest of relative. Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins don't even count.

To learn more about Cuba, I have a website and a Yahoo group:

Walter Lippmann