American treasure LeVar Burton gave his thoughts on the recent spike in book banning during an interview on “The View.”
Co-host Joy Behar asked his thoughts about the “ongoing push to ban important children’s books, especially about race, sexuality and basically American history.” Once she had finished, Burton gave a firm response of “Bullshit.”
The censor was fast and bleeped it, but the audience definitely heard it, and responded with a round of applause and some cheers.
“I’ll be absolutely candid and honest, it’s embarrassing that we are banning books in this country, in this culture, in this day and age,” the normally reserved “Star Trek” actor and director went on to say. “We have this aversion in this country to knowing about our past. And anything that is unpleasant, we don’t want to do deal with.”
Some viewers on social media were surprised by the expletive, but most supported the blunt and candid take on the issue. Reports of book banning or attempted banning have skyrocketed in the past year.
The American Library Association (ALA) does an annual State of America’s Libraries Report. The ALA defines a challenge as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.” They go on to clarify “Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.”
They found 729 challenges which affected nearly 1,600 books at public libraries and schools in 2021. That is more than double what they saw in 2020. It was also the highest number of challenges in the 20 years the ALA has been compiling them.
This problem is only expected to get worse in the coming years.
“This is not going away. Nothing goes away, especially if you ignore it,” Burton reaffirmed. “So, read the books they’re banning. That’s where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason why.”