The young adult author John Green (Looking for Alaska; An Abundance of Katherines) noted on his blog today that Time is reporting that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin pushed to ban books from the Wasilla Library. Here’s the telling quote from the Time piece:
Mayor Palin: A Rough Record
Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2008 By NATHAN THORNBURGH
. . . as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. “She asked the library how she could go about banning books,” he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. “The librarian was aghast.” That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn’t be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor.
As we’ll see when we look at censorship in my 311 class later in the semester, “inappropriate language” is often code for profanity. It may be that the religiously conservative Palin sought to remove books that struck her as blasphemous. If this allegation proves true, Sarah Palin may have another scandal on her hands–at least in the view of many English teachers.
Thanks to former student Kevin Dwyer for the heads-up on this story.