In a time when we have a president who is actually attempting to hide photos purported to show United States military personnel allegedly raping prisoners during torture sessions in Iraq, author Toni Morrison is speaking out in support of free speech. The two things are related because of the government’s use of fear to justify hiding the photos of brutal criminal conduct by U.S. personnel.
Over the years, Morrison, author of Beloved and Song of Solomon, has had several of her novels threatened with being banned for their content.
Here’s a sampling from an Associated Press article about the launch of the Free Speech Leadership Council which includes Toni Morrison:
Morrison said the problem was fear — fear of information, dating back to the book of Genesis and the fatal temptation of the Tree of Knowledge.
“Knowledge is bad” is the Bible’s message, Morrison said, while being interviewed by author-humorist Fran Lebowitz. “It is sinful. It will corrupt you and you will die.”
Freedom of speech and information is under far greater threat these days than most people seem to realize. It is extremely important for well-known authors to discuss the issue openly.
The photo is from AP’s Seth Wenig.