Skip to main content

tv   Banned Books  CSPAN  October 30, 2016 8:00am-9:16am EDT

8:00 am
conference. ..
8:01 am
michael hasn't been challenged, fingers crossed but one thing i should say, it's about the three characters that customize their car, it gets customized by outer space and it is written in spanglish and i noticed on good reads we've gotten comments from teachers very irate that the spanish isn't correct . so one of the things that they're saying in effect is that we don't want the spanish spoken that we live to kids, they want sort of a perfected, not stylized but almost strict spanish almost . and it's interesting because where we are connecting, where the book is super popular is texas, california, the southwest, right where
8:02 am
spanglish exists so in the spanish people , some people read it and if you don't know what spanglish is then it doesn't make sense to you so , but i wanted to bring that up because there's also a lot of passive censorship, not passive but almost unknown censorship. librarians just choosing not to buy books and that's another thing i will notice if i'm at assigning and it's say a whole lot of librarians from oregon. many times the librarians that will come to mind by my book will say i have latino kids but they won't necessarily see if somebody has an all-white classroom and i think they should read this book so there can be a lot of censorship before it even gets to the shelf. >> for me , my experience is that i drew this book with my
8:03 am
friend and k, "americus" about censorship. it's about this kid in the small town of oklahoma and he is, his town kind of sucks and the only thing he has is reading because it helps them escape from this small town and one of the books series that he loves is challenged by a mother in the community so it's sort of just like an entry way for people to start talking about band books and how to fight censorship and how to stand up for things that you love . but i also have a story about censorship that i was involved in censorship when i was in high school because i went to school overseas, i was in kuwait for most of high school and it was an american school but the kuwait government still was in charge of what was approved and what could be bought because it was a muslim country and how they would do that though is they
8:04 am
would give high school students the new books we get at the end of the year and give us all sharpies and they would give us a list of things we would have to blackout. but the thing is, when you give that to students that are high schoolers that are sort of wise asses. we were supposed to cross out instances of the holocaust and also persia , the word persia but my friends and i would just blackout all the words around that word that word was just sticking out. i hate to admit i was part of censorship but i was really bad at it so that's my bad censorship story . >> a lot of what i do at the comic book legal defense fund is working about like kids like the kids in "americus" who are affected by library professionals who are affected by censorship. the teacher will call us up and say i have this problem,
8:05 am
how can you help ? so we will counsel behind-the-scenes, create resources for those folks to help them deal with the process and fight the challenges and that brings us to a point that i think is lost in banned books week because we get interested in statistics, we get interested in what books are banned because that's what we want to lead read but behind every one of those there are two stories that are seldom told. the first is that library professionals, that librarian or that teacher that got that book because their community needs this and they are putting their livelihood on the line to serve their community and get that out there and the second person that we really never hear about is that person in the community that needs access to this material , either because they see themselves in it or because it speaks to a life experience that they are going through or it simply opens up a window onto a world they would not otherwise see and when we get
8:06 am
into dealing with young kids, you're thinking that if there is something wrong with me that that you are taking this book away , a lot of my experiences interacting with those people and trying to say there's nothing wrong with you. you're okay if you need to have a conversation about things that are upsetting of people about this book so we can land on the same page that we all have the right to choose. >> anybody else have anything additional to add to that? this theme of this year's fan book is first books. and so the question i would put to you all is why aren't more books by women, people of color, transgender, bisexual individuals and books in those communities proportionately challenged and banned ? >> i'd like to give a little bit more context to that candy that according to the
8:07 am
ala office of intellectual freedom, more than half of all banned books are by authors of color or contain events surrounding diverse communities. of the graphic novels that have been on the american library association's list of most frequently banned and challenged, there were 10 of those books , six featured a female central character and four were cocreated by a woman so this isn't just fact, the statistics show there is a disproportionate emphasis on diverse content in band and challenged . >> there was actually a panel called library yesterday that was specifically about banned books and diversity in banned books and something all of the panelists agree on is that it really is about out of people's comfort zone and if it isn't that in that comfort zone, that bubble you live in, it's a lot easier
8:08 am
for you to not read persepolis because you might empathize with a muslim or an iranian family and what they went through and how their lives are if you don't create that empathy, you can paint them as the villain and not understand them so that's what a lot of that is is not trying to understand what someone is so you can villain ice them . >> i think another thing that's interesting that's going on and corey can probably talk about this is we now have social media and that's given a huge amount of voices a way to test themselves and a way to comment in a way that didn't exist before and where i've noticed that especially is in the world of children's books and in the world of comics and if you think of it as a very closed society , for example children's books was mostly white women publishers, white women librarians and people that like children's books and if you look at comics, it was
8:09 am
white guys that were fanatics about comics and for both of them i think it's really important to also realize these are fantasy world. it's a place that people kind of escape to so they suddenly have voices outside of their group saying wait a second, like in comics you have to have women and you can't draw women that are always just. [bleep] . they have to be thinking and stuff. i bring that up because there's been in gaming, the gaming world we are seeing that. there's been horrible backlash. you should be able to have a discussion like we are having without death threats or having people feel like they can't ever go online again and they have to wipe out their twitter account or something . so that was making me think, why is this so vicious? it makes me think there's a connection, it's a fantasy world that's kind of like the
8:10 am
den you retire to where you don't have to think about politics, you don't have to think about these things and now suddenly there's other people at the table that say we are here to and we have a voice . i'm rather american and the other thing i want to bring to this discussion is that the censorship starts the minute you write a book and you try to get it published , to sign an agent, to find an editor. the kinds of comments you get , when i was sending low riders out i got people who were like, great story, to art , to marginal an audience. that's me saying in my cover letter that by 2050 third of the country is going to be english spanish speaking. this was sending it to top agents that represent graphic novels. that that wasn't in their marketing scheme. and i think that you know, now it's moved into that
8:11 am
both, like publishers and agents, it's not just that we don't have enough diverse books, it's that we don't have enough diverse publishers, diverse agents and diverse reviewers that understand what they are reading and know how to address that. >> i'd like to add something to this too. last month that mike county library program there were a group of diverse women and they talked about the publishing issues and how hard it was to get and they added a different thing, the publisher chooses what the picture is on the front of the book. and a number of them had , the publisher sort of whitewashed what the book was really about and would have a picture that had nothing to do with the book and one of them at least refused , went to get another publisher as a result. some of them felt they really wanted this book to be published so much and if people read it they would know so they were somewhat intimidated about it. it's a very big problem .
8:12 am
>> i think we are circling around the idea that this is multifactorial. publishers are not objecting to people of color on covers of books or people of color because they are implicitly racist. it's because they have this unfounded superstitious belief that this will not succeed in the market and maybe a non-superstitious belief that buyers from the fairly small number of significant chains and other acquirers for trade books will not buy the book , so it's not a big order. that may be true. they may be successfully assessing what it is that the five or six big accounts for those five big publishers , how they deal with books. and what their superstitions are or what their beliefs are. so that's definitely one factor because without breakout books that have people of color on the cover,
8:13 am
it's hard to deal with the superstition that you can't sell books out of person of color on the cover and it's a vicious cycle. then there's this dimension of empathy which is well said . that often times , these narratives of marginalized people are narratives about what it feels like to be on the other side of a bunch of interactions that are in mainstream fiction presented as really wonderful. the canonical example was a case that went all the way to the supreme court where a woman called the wind done gone which retold gone with the wind from the point of view of margaret mitchell's slaves and enslaved people instead of the people who enslaved them.as you might imagine, gone with the wind is a really different story from the perspective of the people who are enslaved to the extent that fictions trick is to make you empathize with inconsequential, imaginary people who never lived and never made any difference,
8:14 am
you have bought into the consequent reality of these imaginary humans . then you find out that having gone through it all and having spent years thinking about them, identifying and relying on their strength and all the rest of it that they are horrible people, at least in the perspective of some of the other people in the story and it's hard not to feel like how is he making me empathize with these other people? then a certain amount of it is just rate races and and homophobia. the reason why people don't want my , johnny has two mommies or whatever that book is about, heather has two mommies. it's because their homophobes . that part is easy. sometimes books by people of color and diverse people are censored because they are homophobes and racists and stuff will object to it and the other piece of that is that these are people who have craftier lives than the people they normally feature
8:15 am
infection are not as upbeat and when we're talking about kids books, narratives about people who are generally happy but living in shady circumstances, whether that's anne frank or contemporary narratives about people growing up in very racially divided america with police shootings , those people's stories , i don't want people to read my stories that are sad, is disturbing, downbeat, whatever so that's not a totally illegitimate thing to say. i wanted to as a parent when my kid understands stuff that might bring them brief but it's also a certain point beyond which it's like well, they are 14 now. when are you going to introduce them to the fact that not everything is perfect outside of your all-white silver. all those factors swirled together to create this perfect dumpster fire of mass censorship of books by marginalized people . >> i think another part of this is you get to corey that
8:16 am
censorship is about control, largely and it's about exerting a sense of control, particularly in circumstances that are swirling around that are not something you can oppose. if you are talking about your kid that is exiting childhood and answering adolescence , there's all these factors of loss of control that are happening in your life at that moment. are you really upset that your kid is reading a john green book that has issues about teen sexuality? are you upset that their reading this month's summer which addresses miscarriage and teen pregnancy? are you upset they're about to enter a phase in life where those are real consequences and maybe you're not ready to have that conversation . when you drill down, a lot of censorship begins with concern. these really aren't bad people usually. yes, you've got the homophobes and racists but largely you've got people that are worried about their kids and are just entering
8:17 am
into the conversation from the wrong starting point that if the value that you instill in your kids as they were growing up are durable, your kids are going to be able to parse this fine and part of the job of parenting and part of the job of teaching is having an open door to have a conversation about the media they are engaging with go-ahead class among other things i wanted to say as a librarian, i laugh when i talk to kids because they say just because you read this book about suicide , it doesn't mean i'm going to see you all lined up on the hawthorne bridge jumping off like lemmings. and it's equally as likely that you might down the road have a friend call you late at night and be really depressed and because you read this book, you are going to be sensitive and know what to say. it's easy for people to make that jump that if you read this, you will do it.
8:18 am
and in actuality, books that probably our most productive that way is the bible, right? in terms of books that make people act and do things, it's probably religious texts . join a group, give money. start a war. [laughter] >> i remember you once floated the idea that maybe parents are so freaked out by the idea of what their kids are reading because it's literally the only part of what they get assigned in school that parents can influence . they have testing in common core, and also like where your kids aren't allowed to walk around in the street on their own because of stranger danger and when it's not stranger danger is because of the danger your kids present to everybody else. that's really like the only time you get to say i really think my kids should be learning is about what book they should be reading and it's also something a lot of people feel qualified to
8:19 am
comment on.i think everybody knows when you talk about , i think of nine different ways my kid is being made to learn to solve a fraction are nonsense. there's only one way to solve a fraction, i learned in 1975 and it's good enough or me. everyone agrees they sound like an idiot when they say that because they had solved the fraction in a long time but lots of people qualified to discuss what makes a good book. as i discovered to my great dismay as an author. >> i think that's right. it does come down to so much of the world is beyond what you are capable of influencing and books a lot of times come down to the values that we hold close. that's why they hit a nerve. art has power. it's why people try to suppress part but the more productive conversation is to really engage with it. it is a marketplace of ideas
8:20 am
and there are bad ideas. there's a lot of bad ideas but if the answer to those bad ideas is to say we don't want to allow that in the community and therefore amplified 50 fold or is it going to go no, there's a crappy idea and here's a better alternative .>> many people assume that most of the challenges to materials are done by , are conservative reactions to books and other materials they disapprove of. is that accurate? >> this is a question that i wanted to bring up because we live in a very liberal city, portland but as a librarian, anecdotally i've heard and read that a lot of the challenges are coming from left-wing liberal people and i can name to that i've heard of from school librarians so one was , there's a book, an alphabet book that has military equipment and its abc but it can send guns and things like that. that was challenged at our library here because of the
8:21 am
violence and the hate. and then a school librarian told me that he's received multiple complaints from his parents about the comic book bone for being racist and how he described it is the main character is white and the other characters are of color. i don't know if that was just based on the colors or if there's of a white colonialist team because i haven't read bone but i wanted to bring those up because i think it's easy when i talk to liberals to kind of laugh and go ha, they wanted to then harry potter because of the magic but it's a little different when you start hitting home two things that you agree with. and you know, i think that's important to pay attention to and it's also a little different depending on the context .
8:22 am
for example, in the library we believe a lot of things should be available. it's not because we are pushing them or because we have an agenda. it's because we buy books based , the public library buys books based on the population it serves. and just a quick thing to go through, usually a big library, any good library to have a selection policy which says why you buy what you buy because nobody ever has enough money to buy everything. but then if a book is challenged, it's not one person's buying the book and it's not one person defending the book. you have a statement that you turn to that says this is why we have say, gay and lesbian books because we have a gay and lesbian population that gives us tax money and if you don't like this book, there's probably a book that you will like. so it's not that every book appeals to everyone but that there are some books that appeal to everyone.
8:23 am
other libraries like our religious library or school library have different selection policies and a school library would be expected to have books for phd's if it's an elementary school or things like that so those selection policies can differ . and as we said, if the book is challenged, it will usually go to librarians and board of directors or whoever oversees that library and then they will have discussions and either the challenge will hold and the book will band or moved or kept behind a locked door or it won't and it will be available . >> i have a question, i am frequently asked by individuals who work in religious organizations about having materials that are counter to their religion and what i always say to them , i suggest what they do is talk to the persons doing it area this institution is for
8:24 am
learning. it's also for policies of their church and how can you be out defending your church unless you really read what the opposition is? because you are not going to have an impact, if you have not made available. and you may not want to have them in their home but having them in the library is another thing because nobody will force you to read it but you can as a matter of fact find out information that will make you more effective . >> i think there's a lazy way of dealing with criticism that equates it with a censorship attempt. it's the idea that is if the answer to bad ideas is more ideas, we should expect people who object to the content of the book to say forcefully what they think is wrong with it and if it stops short of, and that's why the library shouldn't have or that's why our kids shouldn't be allowed to read it, that's what we want so the poster
8:25 am
child for doing it right is feminist frequency which did this fund raise this program to do a series of videos about why games that we all love which are fun and good games have elements in them that are dumb and terrible and gratuitous and it relates to the way they handle gender and particularly women. and the answer to that was what you referenced before, this sort of uprising among people who are angry who said by telling me that you think there are things in my game that are bad , i think what you are saying is those people shouldn't be allowed to make games or i shouldn't be allowed to buy those games or i should destroy the games and what was interesting about her critique , a woman who made these videos, a wonderful media critic was that she focused on how it
8:26 am
was that things that were wonderful and fun could also be troubling. and how you could separate the two. how if you are going to sit down and make a game today, you didn't have to make a game that was fun except for when you thought about it for 10 minutes and then it was a dumpster fire. and that's like, that's what a critic's job is and i hope that when you critique these things today that they land there. obviously sometimes they don't but often times the response to a criticism or critique is to say well, that's the same to me as i'm not allowed to have my book. no one is saying goes. there are also a lot of instances increasingly where it goes beyond into this inviting the person who makes the argument that we disagree with. there's a new york times article yesterday that coined the phrase where a nice outrage to discuss the phenomenon of speakers being
8:27 am
disinvited from college campuses and the attempts to suppress certain kinds of books in classroom environments because they hit something that people feel is inappropriate for discussion, whether it's representation or other sorts of issues and i agree 100 percent with corey that those criticisms are 100 percent valid and i think should be brought up, should be part of the conversation because the 21st century is a different time. that's how values evolve but the idea of suppressing the people that we disagree with doesn't move anything further down the line. it actually creates enemies where you might have had allies. go ahead. >> i was going to say that one of the basics of censorship is always somebody that has read something or propose to have read it and they say that others shouldn't. so it goes back to but wait, you got to read it. you know? it's like somehow they looked
8:28 am
at it and no matter what they say, it's like they don't want others to so for me, that's when my library inside gets upset because it's like, at least let me look at it and decide . >> there's a particularly pernicious version of the argument goes, this media, and it's a science fiction, games, novels and books are where this often lands. this media is said to be inconsequential and silly and lightweight and nothing significant is supposed to happen it and you've written something that deals with weighty issues and therefore you've done something wrong because there are unsuspecting children who are thinking that all they're going to do is direct a yellow walk around the maze to eat power bills and all of a sudden you've made a game about depression and you're going to spring this on them all unawares.
8:29 am
they come to your children's book to read about cats and hats and now it's about suicide and how can you mix and match in this way? that's a particularly silly one because really people are saying this thing that i love is meaningless and i take pleasure from things that have no gravity and the world would be different if they were gone. i always feel like that's the easiest argument to counter. if you love it so much, why shouldn't it have consequence? >> one more question and then we will have some questions. are there any kinds of books and other materials that libraries and bookstores should not make available? >> apart from books that are, i guess we were talking about this before and i think we need to draw the line between books that life, every library and bookstore doesn't make some books available because the space of all these books are smaller than what you can fit under one roof so it's really books that you are not making
8:30 am
available because you don't want people to read them, not because you don't think people will buy or check them out. >> my question is more like books that should not be at all and the only thing i could think of is what happens occasionally, and author will have a book published and it's found out later it's not. >> the question is i know that was a big issue . a couple of times and the question is if it's plagiarism, should you still have the book? >> one of the things i argue is that we have mein kampf in libraries and it's because people do research. times book like that is valuable because of the history of it or what it represented about the time. again, it depends what your library or store is featuring . so i don't know that that would be the ultimate thing not to get them. i'm laughing because years ago i worked at the library where when madonna's book came out and what we had to
8:31 am
do was keep it behind the desk and people had to leave their id . more people read that book then probably any and it was battered, it was falling apart by the end of the time but it was a way that we can at least provide it so people could look at it and decide . >> i worked worked for vancouver read regional library and we had to do that also. >> i had this vision of fish and chips banners. >> awful, yes. >> we would have liked private study copies in the library . >> to people distinguished here and one is that again, it is a marketplace of ideas so to your plagiarism example, that is a marketplace of ideas issue where if it has been plagiarized and the consequences are on the
8:32 am
publishers side and on whether you want to keep that book in circulation and there's a legitimate argument to pulling it from circulation that ties into what corey was saying about business decisions and shelf space, the second thing is we need to distinguish always between content versus conduct. so one of the examples is the anarchist cookbook. that is a book that is full of ideas that can lead to illegal conduct. it's a business decision whether the store wants to offer it or not. that's a legitimate marketplace of ideas thing. when you are talking about , someone goes out there and does these wonderful books that address sexual violence and child sexual violence. that is constant. she's not advocating for it, she's talking about life experiences that happen to people. that's different from child pornography which is the crime of a real person that
8:33 am
is being abused. there's all kinds of key ideas. there's all kinds of dangerous ideas. there's ways people can take what they learn in the book and do harm from it, that doesn't mean should not be available to discriminating members of the community to distinguish between where you don't want to take away something that has value in the cultural conversation because somebody might do harm, that creating a literal fire. >> i agree on that . >> something that you said last night charles and that is that a lot of it is about duration. not every book should be available to everyone all the time. especially when we are talking about kids or teenagers, kids always read like a grade level above what they are supposed to be reading but that's because you're going through all these changes and you want to know about what's coming up but yes, it is. there are things that there shouldn't be books available but you have to sort of know when to let certain age groups access those information . >> as a selector i was selecting graphic novels for
8:34 am
kids and so what i was told was that with manga, if there's anything with. [bleep] on it, put it on the adult side . i opened up this one manga and the story involves this woman having multiple. [bleep] all over her front side. the text read boobs, boobs, boobs. so i put it in adult thinking no adult is going to read this. but i think there's also that coming of age for kids . and i know myself and probably all of you can think of books where you are coming of age, where you read something beyond your experience that was scary, maybe you stop reading it. but whether it was sexual or violent , it was also your way of exploring area and i often tell parents how much better to have a kid do that in a book then out on the streets ?
8:35 am
and often times, like i said, kids are lemmings. it's a way to push those boundaries and think what would i do? how would i experience that? >> i'd like to circle all the way back to your introductory remarks about how this is more than about books, it's about websites and lots of other things. there are definitely things on the web that i think most people shouldn't see including me. there's a larger set of things i don't want my-year-old to see. but we are really struggling with what to do in schools and libraries and in other places that make internet available to the public about this. we have big problems. one is that we don't have filtering technology that works. there's like a not a basement big enough that you could fill it with enough prudes that they can look at all the webpages and decide what the world should see and no one is ever going to construct
8:36 am
regular expressions so perfect that it will only last the good sites in and the bad ones through. we did a study where we took the top 100 terms from the comic curriculum and took them to the top 100 websites and ran them through school filters mandated under the communications decency act which is another 90s era internet law and we found that in some cases three quarters of those websites were blocked by school networks. so there's over blocking, there's also other blocking because if you mess one percent of 1 billion porn pages, that's still on hundred million porn pages that you will miss on your school filter and in practice is a lot more than one percent so we have this failure and we are not getting any better at solving it and in fact we are doubling down on all the things that didn't work . so one of the things about network filtering that i think is often missed is that unlike library censorship where if i go into your library and take america's off-the-shelf, it's off-the-shelf. if i block persepolis.com or
8:37 am
americus.com in your library, the only way to stop people from visiting that website is to look at every click everybody makes so i have to know all the things that everyone in the library reads in order to stop them from reading the bad things and the companies that provide this filter where are mostly companies that supply stakes so they supply the frame, they supply syriac, they supply saudi arabia, the soviet states with medical center where. which they repackage for fortune 100 companies in american schools. and they have really terrible policies so we have everything that our kids look at being harvested totally indiscriminately by companies that can most charitably be called unindicted war criminals in the name of
8:38 am
stopping them from looking at stuff that in some cases they really shouldn't look at while not stopping them from looking at that kind of stuff and blocking up to three quarters of the things they should be looking at and in the course of doing this you also meet all those kids totally unequipped as you were saying to deal with ideas that disturb them . i moved from london to burbank a year ago and i'm an eight-year-old so she was seven when she left and we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of nightclubs and a lot of poverty . that got everything all in the same neighborhood so we would go to church on sunday morning and pass people who were passed out because they were partying and passed out because they were homeless and there would be people in doorways and stuff and she was with me and when she noticed it she could talk to me about it and i could give her real-time views about what to think about that that were age-appropriate so that in the future when she's not with me, she will know she can come and talk to me about it. because there is no future in which he doesn't see people
8:39 am
on the street doing things that are disturbing, we live in los angeles but the only way that we will ever be able to get through those years is to have adult check ins and dialogue which you can only have if you have a culture of when you see stuff that's not quite right, you talk to the grown-ups around you , not worry you are going to get suspended from school for bypassing the filter. >> if i can that, briefly i think this gets to one of the hearts of the issues when you are trying to censor books that are age-appropriate like one summer were like drama is what kind of service are we doing our kids when there's all this stuff that is legitimately difficult and threatening to navigate and we are worried about if they see boobs? that cat is out of the bag.
8:40 am
what are we really protecting here? are we protecting our own sensibility? we don't want to have that conversation, we are embarrassed to have that conversation? are we giving them the tools they need to intelligently navigate and become adults? >> one of the things that we rarely censor but is everywhere is advertising. when you think of how influential it is, how much money it has, how much of a voice in advertisers are insidious about reaching out to young people and now with the internet they have a private channel to do it so you don't realize that your kid is getting these ads and ideas. i think that in the past, it was more parental, religion , teachers whereas now we have this other voice that's commercial. >> when my kid was really small, three or four, she just about how to work a tablet but she was preliterate so she would say mommy, dora the explorer
8:41 am
video so i'd go find her a video. then there's something that's related videos so she can't see that it's like dora the explorer in as faneuil . so she would just click on one and be like, it's in russian, that's okay. then eventually it would be like the explorer swearing remakes and she click on it and it would be dora the explorer with someone screaming square words and she did say the tablet is not showing me dora. and she handed back to me and there was never any trouble with it and one day, we had the filter on and one day she clicks on a video clicking from a related link to related link and it 45-year-old, maybe a little older girls framing her barbie collection and these are sponsored videos. these are kid play bloggers and she was mesmerized. it was the first time in her life that i had to argue with
8:42 am
her about whether or not i was going to take what she was watching off youtube . there is a parental filter in the world that blocks youtube sponsored kids play bloggers. that stuff is like kid appropriate . and my kid never seemed to mind the swearing and it was really, really instantly mesmerized by the schilling. >> okay. well, i think it's a good time now to transition into questions and remember because this is all being recorded that you raise your hand and i will recognize you and then you will have to wait until a microphone comes you had a question, would you like to speak? >> i also like marianne of 20 years and i was given this selection for fiction books and i'd often be tempted to i
8:43 am
guess censor because i didn't want to, i would end up buying it because it was a bestseller but no o'reillys biggest book . there was something in me that i knew it was a crack book that i didn't want to buy. [inaudible] [laughter] i would just, you know, get it . >> one of her qualifications as a librarian is people will check it out multiple times instead of buying it . you are taking money away . >> you were talking about , mentioning mein kampf and how often times in terms of not being a collector but in terms of giving direction how you know, i understand that it's not in any of these books but it was difficult when media skinheads would ask me .
8:44 am
>> again, you are connecting lines and you don't know . you don't know. maybe he's doing it for a homework assignment , you know? >> i like to confirm that i don't think libraries take money out of our pockets for the record here. >> i have a question i would love to hear from you all on. most of us are here because we agree in principle that censorship is a bad thing. but we are having a conversation about this and i personally have already learned about a couple of books i need to go home and read that i would not have been aware of if they hadn't been banned. so to go back to something like you were talking about , the streisand effect, do you see any benefit from kids being made aware of books that they shouldn't read , because we love the thrill of
8:45 am
the forbidden and mommy and daddy challenged us at the library and now i have to read it. do you see any upside to people challenging or banning books or other things? >> i think when life gives you sars you make sarsaparilla but that doesn't mean that life is good. i think my story is pretty instructive. we salvaged something from it and i think some of those kids really did learn a good lesson from it, i think they're a couple of kids in that school who have learned a healthy disrespect for authority . but the wider goal of that project which was really unknowable one was frustrated so i would rather compete in like a marketplace of ideas on the basis of having the most interesting ones, not the most challenged ones and try and get kids to read my book because they hear it's good. also as kids do, they do it
8:46 am
because they are lucky enough to live in a big liberal coastal city where books that people attempt to ban are still available as opposed to everywhere else in america where an attempt to ban the book actually ends up banning the book . >> we are talking about a problem that gets a lot of publicity but the ones that don't , there's a pen report that just came out and the library journal wrote it up and it's talking about diversity but one of the things they talk about is the effect of some of these challenges on the librarians and they mention one where she had her tires split, especially in a small town where everybody they said grocery jerk clerks would shun her, they wouldn't serve them just for buying a book and standing up for it. in most cases if you don't get national attention and support, whether it's bad or not, it has a huge reaction. i think the discussion is always good.
8:47 am
the discussions we are having but it would be nice to have that without . >> going back to this question of what publishers buy, if publishers think if i buy this book, while librarians who buy are going to get into an enormous amount of trouble and a certain percentage will not survive because they don't have the advertisement for the fights in the don't buy the book. this goes all the way back up the pipeline. one of the things about self-publishing and online platforms have done that school, if you want to find a ton of super diverse books, they are on amazon self-publishing platforms. a lot of other things about great . >> right back here? wait until you get this. >> hi. okay. my question might be aimed a little bit more towards the librarians or the recovering
8:48 am
librarians at the panel but i was curious to know if you got your lis degrees and if you did, if your education covered this topic and maybe how you got educated yourself about this and what to do in these situations. >> yes, it did but i think i got more education on the job because it's a changing subject. whatever you learn in library school, when you get to the situation it will probably be different. life corey mentioned, all the technology, what the issues are . so it was both on-the-job and in school. >> i like to say to, i teach intellectual freedom and privacy to universities. the program for librarians, it's here in oregon that they are all over and i do it online.
8:49 am
it's fascinating to me because there's a lot of difference between what people understand before they take that course and afterwards. and there are , not every library does that but a good majority do. >> i was a lowly page and staffer so i never went to an lis program but the press association was amazing on this i've done a lot of work with intellectual freedom and internationally, i so which i used to work with when i was a delegate at the world intellectual property organization in geneva are forces of nature. these big corrupt un specialized agencies nominated by the pharmaceutical giants and motion picture organization and then there's this cadre of ninja lawyers for free expression who are of course better organized than anyone else in the room and they have this enormous moral authority. no one goes you only became a library to get rich from book circulation.
8:50 am
whatever else you think about libraries, clearly they are out of the public spirit. so it's really good and the national organizations in other countries are still up there that are really good on this stuff. >> right there. >> yes, i thought a lot lately about newspapers and stuff about china and censorship, china trying to censor hollywood and the internet and i was wondering if any of you had anything specifically to say about china with regard to banned books and censorship x china is going to china. i don't know , that's a totally different culture, different country and they lived in that culture for a long time so i don't know . >> i can say something to that myself. my husband is a professor at portland state university and a public administration and he teaches at one john university and there's always a communist official right
8:51 am
there when he's teaching. he's never , of course he's going to say what he's going to say but they actually have never done anything but it's a chilling effect when it first happened, he said well, i don't have to teach you. so yes, there's a lot of that kind of monitoring going on . >> i also think they are having a problem to with the internet and information being so easily accessible that it's like countries like that and like vietnam, they are playing whack a mole because these people that are trying to fight this good fight, they are not going to stop. they're not stopping no matter whether they're getting arrested. sometimes there even in prison for a long time or even just killed. someone else that believed that fight is going to fight that fight so those communist countries are having a hard time with this access to
8:52 am
information so i think we have to give props to those people that are fighting that fight in those countries x there's practical ways in which the chinese national censorship does, they are mostly in film but china's marketers become making a film that successfully crosses over into the china market has become a way to realize giant box office returns that beggar belief so all these are chasing them and that's created a self-censorship effect where people are steam steering clear of production on films that will play well in china. the other side is adding footage in china or gratuitous things are a different matter but ghostbusters didn't open in china because supernatural themes and the party don't play well so there are elements of that that were founded on western media because we have this globalized market and a winner take all marketplace for it where a movie has to
8:53 am
be a $500 million movie . $200 million returns. so that changes what movies get made. on the other hand, china tends to export some really good literature. three volumes one hugo award this year. a fantastic novel in translation from chinese to hugo, that maybe the first novel in translation ever to win a hugo, it's an amazing book. then the last thing i wanted to mention is to understand chinese censorship, there's a good book called consent of the network by rebecca mackinnon and she use to cover china for the wall street journal and now works for the new america foundation and one of the points that she makes is that a major source of chinese censorship is not blocking things international firewall is having a giant troll army of people who search out comments that are contrary to party doctrine and rubbish
8:54 am
them. just say like, you're an idiot, i think you're lying, that's forged evidence . i know you, i went to elementary school with you and you are always trouble then and to cast so much doubt on those subjects and make them into such a difficult area to discuss that they disappear from the discourse and that's been super effective . what's interesting is two years ago, hb there was a huge us military contractor was hacked by someone from the anonymous group who dumped all their email and one of the things in their email was then working on a bit for the air force office of intelligence for something called persona management software that would let a single person run up to 20 online identities to do this to offshore message boards in the arab speaking world for example where people were talking about ideas at the air force like fake personas to that. so these are strategies that lost government including the
8:55 am
government of this country had on. >> you had your hand up? >> yes. i've been hearing about this new digital age phenomenon and i think it's still pretty rare but it's easy for people who are gatekeepers to redact or in some way change the content to make it more palatable and it's not only really offensive to artists and writers when they think this is happening but they also take away the discussions that i had when i was in my high school when we read the merchant of venice or huckleberry finn, talk about those parts that were problematic and now they are either excised or altered in some way . >> it's a really complicated one, that one. it's a service to where if you bought an e-book and you have it on your device, you
8:56 am
could tell us to turn some words into other words. you could tell it to turn the f word into darn everywhere where it was and writers are affected to this and the basis for their objection was i wrote the book and you have to read it as i wrote it. i think there is a difference between free speech and compelled attention. my rights as the reader is to read it as i choose. it's a different matter if you insist as a third-party at the library acquisitions person, as a school administrator that everyone under your chart or all the people who rely on you have to read them in this way no one was doing that. instead, people who for whatever reason decided they would prefer word substitutions were reading these books in word substitutions and the theory that the author advance was a copyright series that clean feed by changing which words were displayed on your screen
8:57 am
at your behalf were party to a copyright infringement that you as the reader made by making a derivative work from the book . this is like the technical legal name for this is crazy. it is your right as the owner of the book to tear pages out, make paper airplanes, scribble notes in the margins, cross out a word you find offensive, do whatever you want. it's your book. it ceases to be my book once you've got it. for someone to misrepresent which words or are in it or for you to produce your own addition that changes the words, put my name on it and pass it around, it's a totally different matter but that's not what they did and then they went into business so it's moot. there will probably be more of this . anyone who's ever played with an instagram filter that turns one face into another knows that this is coming.
8:58 am
we can change print in real time. if you've ever used google translate, it's awesome. you go to a foreign country and you hold your phone up to a signed written in another language and the sign appears in english which is amazing but it means you are going to have a real-time bomb filter that lets you read a book this way that replaces it with murphy every time it finds it and that's got to be okay because it is your right to decide what you see. compelled attention is just as bad as censorship.>> yes you mentioned problems with school computers or library computers and how that challenge of blocking effective or needed science . have you noticed things with longtail distribution, different publishing formats, different publishing formats ?
8:59 am
does that change how censorship is affected? is it more effective, less effective? >> it's totally okay. the company treats this stuff is trade secret. they say it makes it a crime to break drm is obtained when it comes to breaking open the sensor where your school bought to find out which words are being blocked or websites. we do have a problem and it's yet another reason that this is a stupid approach that if they tell you which urls they are blocking you are they are telling you where to find porn. you see why that's not a great approach if their goal is to stop kids from seeing it . so for all these reasons we know pretty little about what they do. it's a black box which never bodes well. no one ever said you know what would make this sign better? not telling anyone out work. so they are able to,
9:00 am
wikileaks published a swedish, danish and australian national firewall list. it was supposed to be images of abusive children and there were 97 and a half percent not that because they had these unaccountable buckets that they could shovel anything that people who work for the state didn't like and no one would ever stop them or find out they done it . and it was site that gave you advice on suicide and just regular corn and you know, sites about that you gamble and whatever.sites about how to get on the darknet. it's stuff they didn't like, stuff that was never banned by statute, stuff that parliament never banned, that was a beyond their remix and that was a big problem. this keeps coming up. it came up with facebook and vietnamese girls covered in maple. there just isn't a boiler room big enough filled with people well-trained enough to make those calls.
9:01 am
you don't have a great answer for it but the answer can't be well, we just lost one percent of 1 billion area cause that's bigger than the biggest library we've ever made. >> okay. i'd like to thank the panelists , thank all of you and for coming here tonight. [applause] [inaudible conversation]
9:02 am
>> with the upcoming presidential elections, book tv and our companion network american history tv have teamed up to bring you programs about former presidents and presidential races. now on book tv we bring you or went down who recalls the relationship between president dwight eisenhower and his vice president richard nixon. a few minutes after this program ends, turn to c-span three, our american history tv channel to watch the debate from the 1960s campaign between incumbent vice president richard nixon and massachusetts senator john f. kennedy. >> so now our first speaker, irv gettleman is an author of books on for president. he's at chapman university
9:03 am
and now at franklin marshall college in pennsylvania. he authored a book on president nixon's years in congress called the contender and is currently working on a book about the nixon kennedy election. his most recent book is the subject of the talk the knights called president and the apprentice , eisenhower and nixon from 1952 to 1961. the monuments of research and scholarship, endnotes and bibliography are 1800 pages, he put a lot of work into it. a great scholar and the great american, irv gettleman. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, before i start , one of the things i like to do is reintroduce leanne savers
9:04 am
moriarty who without her kindness , her generosity to my wife and myself , this book would never be written. she was as good as it gets and ... if you read the dedication that she has and the gentleman that's coming, this is her book and it is her book with my thanks . and i appreciate it. in addition to that, what i appreciate is all of you who, . it's beyond thankful for some of the people that i know that are here and i haven't seen in years.
9:05 am
is ben and barb are here? ben and barbara, could you do me a favor and stand up? barbara? could you stand up please? i can't mention everybody but these are two of the best people that i know anywhere . barbara has put up with ben for i don't know how many years. and it always looks at them the same way my wife looks at me and says i can't believe ben that you did that. but he's still here. and both of you guys, you are the enemy of what is good in the county and the state and anywhere that folks that are good and gracious can be . thank you so much for being here and thank you for helping me out. [applause]
9:06 am
>> that is typical ben where he's the spelt lover. what i would like to start off with if you don't mind is a story . not true but it's a story. richard nixon and eisenhower , dwight d eisenhower, didn't like one another. they may have hated one another. they may have gone even lower than that. they both may have been in dante's knife circle of hell. but the story that is told is done for one reason and one reason only. and it's to prove that both richard nixon and dwight eisenhower didn't get along for a reason and the reason was if they couldn't get along , the party couldn't get
9:07 am
along and they themselves as representatives could not get along. and the people that write this , i hope you're not shocked are democrats. and it's a story that is done purposefully. it's not a story that's done because of some mistake , it's a story that's done because if you are a democrat and you are a partisan or if you are a liberal persuasion and you are partisan , the story fit. it is a good story ,
9:08 am
how evil richard nixon was because as his brother knows better than most, you have to make richard nixon and evil before he was even born. there is a lady that wrote a book called richard nixon by
9:09 am
fond birdie. i kid you not. on-the-fly jacketed since even before he was born he was alive. that kind of stuff is crazy. but that is the kind of thing that we are lucky now. so what i want to do as i want to tell you what really happened during the crisis and take you through it as logically as i can without being a democrat, without being a republican come without being a socialist or anarchist or anything, but just give you the fact pattern and the way it occurred and see if what i'm telling you makes said. the first thing that i want to say is the campaign really started on to number seven team to 1952 with nixon checking out of the los angeles train station and going up to the inner
9:10 am
valleys in california and then further on. as he was going on, there was this rumor, hard to believe it was planted. but there was a rumor that richard nixon had a slush fund. gee, how many times have we heard the banality of somebody having a slush fund. that is just terrible. in his slush fund common secret rich man's trust bank keeps nixon and style far beyond his salary. that is the banner headline. if any of you wish to read the article, there is nothing in there about a secret man's trust fund. there is nothing about millionaires and there's nothing about richard nixon and living beyond his style of life. but if you look just at that,
9:11 am
that's pretty bad stuff. why in the world would people believe that? the answer is simple. the democrats were running adlai than against a five-star general who's probably the singular best known man in the world like eisenhower. so they were searching for anything that they could use to somehow debilitated in 1952 campaign. debilitating the campaign was really simple. if richard nixon had the secret fund and is using it to move beyond his standard of living have him fired. again i hope this is not shocking to you was the chairman of the dnc.
9:12 am
now why not? if i was the chairman of the dnc and i had something i felt was wonderful to work over my opponent, i would use it. and he certainly did. he called for richard nixon to be fired. of course there was a couple of problems. first problem, there is nothing that said anybody could get rid of the vice president of the united states. too, there is not a man said dwight eisenhower could get rid of richard nixon. like so many other problems when you have a ticket, if you did get rid of richard nixon as vice president, then you have to start all over again with another vice presidential candidate that the people would be happy with. think about the veracity would have to go through to do that. it would be virtually a war zone. so they have this story out there september 8th 10 and the
9:13 am
other thing that was a huge problem. i'm sure some of you have heard of cell phones. there were no cell phones in 1952. you had two men running separate campaigns were separate trains they didn't stop at the same time and they couldn't get in touch with each other at the same time. so she's dwight eisenhower moving a blog who does amazing to hear about the charge of the secret fund until the next morning. and here is richard nixon going along figuring this is the normal partisan stuff we have to deal with. nothing is going to happen. all of a sudden there are move in. get rid of richard nixon for doing this evil thing. richard nixon doesn't know what to do.
9:14 am
how in the world do you respond to somebody wanting to get rid of you? again, to go back the fable is dwight eisenhower wanted to remove richard nixon from the ticket and quietly behind the scenes with stealth type about getting rid of them. there's only one problem. it never happened. dwight eisenhower never made one mention of richard nixon being removed from the ticket. it never happened. and yet, that is the story that you hear. the story is false. the story has no reality, but most of the people write about it. as you'll see in a little bit it really is not a honda make up becomes when it's really
9:15 am
fiction. so here is richard nixon charging up towards washington on its trade in turn are getting nailed for having the secret fund and at the same time, here is dwight eisenhower traveling on history and in the midwest. as nixon is going up the spine of the west coast, there are people standing out there. and again i know you'll be underwhelmed, but they were democrats who are saying get rid of him. where is the money, richard? what are you doing? how are you living with this kind of taint on your life? now, for some reason during this story, adlai stevenson who is running again dwight eisenhower doesn't say anything.

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on