Banning racist material doesn’t solve problem

Anyone out there ever read “Slaughterhouse Five” or listen to the Beatles? You know that they were once banned, burned or just generally condemned along with a score of other materials now widely accepted.

It seems like NIU is facing a similar situation with this Thunderbolt publication. It is a racist publication which some argue should be removed from the shelves of Founders Memorial Library.

The controversy over this magazine has been going on for several weeks now, and I have just taken my first look at Thunderbolt. My opinion hasn’t changed.

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to be disgusted by and/or get a good laugh from this garbage, let me share a few of its points with you.

The topics of the magazine range from the spread of AIDS by mostly “bisexual negroes” to “Do Negroes Have the ‘Necessities’ To Manage Baseball?” and the brutality of “negro murderers.” Spare me.

First of all, the magazine asks, “Who is to blame for the spread of AIDS to white girls?” and goes on to accuse bi-sexual black men. Give me a break. White girls are responsible for the spread of AIDS to white girls. You play, you pay, no matter if you’re born purple.

Secondly, the writers of this magazine picked out several grotesque murders committed by black men and attempted to use them as evidence that black crimes are more violent than white crimes. How about John Wayne Gacey, Son of Sam or Charles Manson, just to name a few?

Now the reason I’m bringing up these things is just to point out how asinine this stuff is. And fortunately, I have the ability to criticize, attack and ridicule this material because it is available for me to do so.

I don’t think there’s one point in that magazine any halfway intelligent human being can’t argue into the ground. The people who wrote Thunderbolt are so far on the fringes of society that, not only are they beyond the capacity for rational thought, but they are certainly nothing to fear.

What is scary is to think that this and other controversial publications might be removed from library shelves because we don’t agree with them. Things such as these deserve public scrutiny and educational discussion.

Ignoring blatant racism isn’t going to make it disappear any more than the Beatles. Driving people of this mental caliber underground only poses a bigger risk because it makes them that much more attractive to other vacuum-brain outcasts.

Maybe because I’m not black, I can’t quite grasp the scope of insults such publications present. And I can imagine it must be quite frightening to have such demented anger directed at you.

But in the same respect, I think it’s important to believe that common sense will prevail and if people are allowed to read these things and analyze them on their own terms, the general consensus will be that the Thunderbolt authors are indeed neurotic no-minds whose opinions mean zilch.

Now you can’t ignore the fact that these same types of materials are being put out by blacks against whites. What I propose is that we allow Thunderbolt and other publications of its kind to remain in the library and, if they’re not there already, put the ones against whites right along side of them.

Let us take our pokes at them. It has to be obvious that the only way to combat racism of any type is through education. If someone is brought up with racial views, they aren’t going to change much after 30 years. So you start with the young.

You teach them about today’s racial problems just as you teach them about slavery in the hopes they’ll one day achieve the unity that we can’t seem to get a grasp on.

The way to deal with racism or any other social, political, scientific or religious problem within society is to confront it, analyze it and, hopefully, learn by it—not hide it.