FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is USABB protesting book banning?
As students (and the members of USABB are), we find the attempted censorship of many literary works to be insulting and unfair. It is insulting because censorship assumes that the reader has no personal judgement. Though some books do
have upsetting content and contain characters doing some upsetting things, they are works of fiction and are meant as a lesson, not a recommendation on how to live your life.
We find censorship unfair to the reader and to the author because it deprives each of something: the reader loses the opportunity to draw their own conclusions and it deprives the author of their right to have their book read by willing people. The attempted banning of many famous works (including Of Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, The Diary of Anne Frank
and Brave New World
) has infringed on the elementary right of freedom of expression and speech of their authors.
2. Does USABB support any kind of censorship?
We consider anything that does not
promote violence or other crimes to be legitimate material that should not be censored. Anything that has in it encouragement to hurt people or animals, or anything that invites crimes of any sort does not
have USABB’s support. We feel that the small amount of truly damaging literature out there should not be taught in schools. This includes literature that is nourishing or preaching hate, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, religious discrimination or any other type of damaging action. We feel that books that meet the following criteria have no place in schools. (We feel that books that discuss
these issues are valid literature: only those pieces which incite violence are harmful. These issues need to be explained and understood, so that we can prevent them.)
3. What does USABB want to do?
We simply want to inform people about their rights where literature is concerned. We want students especially to see the value in literature that contains controversial subjects. We would like to fight back passively against groups who wish to censor important literature for the wrong reasons (eg. groups who wish to censor Of Mice and Men
for its usage of the words ‘God’ and ‘Jesus Christ’).
4. Who founded USABB?
USABB was founded by your four webmasters: Martin, Mariel, Karla and Meg. We are four Canadian grade 9 students who decided that people saying that certain books were offending was offending us.
So we decided to do something about it.
5. What can I do to help?
We are always happy to have people wanting to help! Simply send an email with "Membership Please" in the subject heading to our email address. You will receive a double-monthly email newsletter about book banning and will be informed about events. We always need a little bit of help, so you might be asked to spread the word or to send us any related articles in your local paper.
6. I am offended by your web page. Who can I speak to?
We don’t really like getting hate mail, but if you have a legitimate concern about the page, please feel free to email us. However, we will not reply to letters full of insults unless we feel something should be said, and then you will be the recipient of a very cold reply (courtesty of Karla). Feel free to argue with us over censorship, but do it intelligently. You might be offended by what you see on this web page, but it was never our intention to have everyone agree with us… wuss.
7. If I have something I think you would be interested in, can I send it to you?
Absolutely! We like mail. Please forward us thoughts, articles or ideas.
8. When can I expect updates?
Whenever we have business class! We aim to update as often as possible, so try back here every two weeks or so and you should see a lot of new stuff… we hope.
9. Uhhh... what's with the music?
The music on the main page is a midi file of Bob Marley's One Love
which is a great song. It doesn't have any words because if it did, it would take too long to load and you'd get mad at us. We are big Marley fans. Look for more of his stuff on this site soon.
10. Who or what is Dante the Chicken? (What you really meant: Are you guys nuts?)
Dante the Chicken (above) is the USABB mascot. He is named after the author of La Comeida Divina
(The Divine Comedy
, a journey through a Catholic hell, heaven and purgatory) who has endured a lot of censorship over the years. Dante used to dance, but ever since the Alliance Party of Canada was elected as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the Federal Election (this party has several platforms about banning books) Dante has danced no more. Dante even has his own award! The USABB Rag Blue Chicken Award for Close-Mindedness goes out annualy to the most closeminded, fanatical, pro-censorship website on the net. Any website that we find to be insulting and offensive in its platforms about Censorship can receive this award. Go to the Mascot Page to learn more. (Our answer to your real question: Yes, possibly. Life is more fun on the edge of madness.) We hope this has answered your questions!