Being a “prepper” has been a thing for decades.
Whether it was because you believed that the Other Side’s politics are wrong, or there is going to be a global food crisis, or you’re sure Aliens are coming (“space ships or immigrants, they’re both awful”)…the internet is rife with websites about food storage, bug-out bags…and lots and LOTS of weaponry.
But there’s something else that needs to be saved — and that’s knowledge.
I say it’s time to be an intellectual prepper. What’s that?
Someone who finds, saves and caches BANNED BOOKS.
Right now, the Alt Right and cynical politicians who want to ride those Alt Right types to permanent government rule are pandering to the lowest common denominators — the ones who fear, the ones who believe straight White Christians have the right to dominion of the earth (why do you think they call them Dominionists?), and the ones who want to make sure women stay barefoot, silent and pregnant.
Never mind if you’re a person of color, or a different slant than straight. Their precious children’s minds mustn’t be tainted with the fact that you even exist, let alone have a right to do so.
So what if Ruby Bridges went to school while white mobs foaming at the mouth were ready to tear her limb from limb if she didn’t have Federal protection? YOUR precious child must still believe there is no such thing as bigotry. YOUR sons and daughters must remember that America is Great And Never Makes a Mistake.
(Sounds a hell of a lot like the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.)
Of course, my question is this: if one is so afraid one’s child could be poisoned by a book about two penguin daddies raising a chick, how do they think their child will deal with life when said child leaves the United States and sees the world? Are they going to close the borders? Are they going to keep them behind barbed wire fences in their state? “Of course not,” they scoff.
Then reading one book is not what they should be worried about. It’s the child seeing the rest of the world where there is freedom of thought, a thriving intellectual energy, and countries unafraid to look at their history (Germany, South Africa) to learn to be better. The child is going to realize that they have been handed a bill of goods. That they are considered backward, ignorant, and, yes, racist. And they will realize the rest of the world is leaving them behind.
And when that child comes back and wants to know the real story about the world they inhabit…that’s when those of us who are Intellectual Preppers will have the chance to open their minds, and their hearts, and their courage, in order to realign the world.
We’ll give them the banned books, and a candle to read them by.