Tennessee Rep Says He'd Burn Newly Banned Books


Tennessee Rep. Jerry Sexton, from Bean Station, said he'd burn the books that got banned by the legislation he introduced that would let the state decide what books could go in school libraries. The law passed moments later. This measure would take away the role held by librarians.

If it becomes law, librarians would have to submit all their book titles to the state for approval. (editorial: I think that's scary. "state-controlled" anything sounds very totalitarian).

Rep. John Ray Clemmons, from Nashville, asked Sexton what he would do with all the books that get banned. “You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire? Where are they going?” 

Matthew Fishburn, author of Burning Books, told Time Magazine about the defining moment in history of book burning:

“In the modern sense, it’s very much a mid-20th century idea, very much a propaganda thing that happens during World War II”

Time Magazine cited the year 1933, "one of history’s most infamous book-burnings — the one that prompted TIME to coin the word “bibliocaust.” It was that year, in Berlin and elsewhere, that Nazi forces led the burning of tens of thousands of books, from the works of Sigmund Freud to those of Jack London. Along with the Nazi ideology that there existed a superior race of people came the idea that there was one true cultural and ideological canon; that which didn’t fit was consigned to the fire.

“The old goes up in flames, the new shall be fashioned from the flame in our hearts,” Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels told the crowd then, as TIME reported.


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