A rule of idiots.
In any society the majority of experts in fields will be outnumbered by those who are not. However in most of the developed world there is a notion that we must allow experts to be heard over the layman while discussing a topic pertaining to expertise.
And while this is incredibly important in places like plumbing and electric wiring, it’s probably more so in cases of things like medicine. There is the notion of alternative medicine. You get to talk to a real medic and then they turn away from the scientifically proven medicine and from a person who may have spent thousands of hours learning his trade to talk to a Chiropractor.
I had the joy of speaking to a Chiropractic Neurologist who boasted about the close to a 1000 hours of education he had to do to get his degree.
I felt bad for him. A 1000 hours is a lot of work after all.
It’s just that it’s a little over a month for me to make that kind of hours learning my trade. I have put in thousands to get to where I am and I know it’s not the peak. He didn’t even realise how much effort it was to be a doctor.
We live in a world where in some fields people don’t realise the value of an expert.
And we see this in the schools.
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is not the science fiction horror story of absolute power and it’s corrupting influence but of a black man who is “invisible” in society. It’s a critical part of Black Existentialism and it’s plot criticises a lot of things ranging from the “idealised version of black life” and how the narrator was supposed to depict it to the allure of “communism” to black people.
And it has everything. From the fetishisation of black men, to the idea of token black men who are “Uncle Toms” or worse the very concept of the “House Nigger” (A slave who use to be in charge of the house. And this unfortunately meant he was seen as a sort of traitor. Think of how at Auschwitz, the prisoners who were “in charge” also committed abuses.
It looks at what it means to be African American at a time when there were attempts to redefine what it meant to be “black”. From the adoption of “African” Culture which failed miserably since IMHO it was the assumption that simple origin meant a deep inheritance. African Americans are no more from Africa than people from Boston who insist they are Irish while speaking in a lucky charms accent in England while ordering “Irish Car Bombs”.
From that book I realised that African Americans have their own culture and it’s unique and that’s something they should be proud of more than trying to imitate or lay claim to culture that their ancestors came from.
But it’s been banned. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that not one person on that panel actually knew what that book was on about. It does have violence, racism and sex in it. It’s about black existentialism and that is one filled with all 3. Even to this very day, black pop culture such as rap music is pretty much the meeting point of a venn diagram of violence, racism and sex.
I am going to assume that not one black person was on the panel or worse. The people who made the decision didn’t understand why that book is so important in not just Black People’s History but also American.
Invisible Man is a hard read. It’s not the language it’s the imagery. But to ban it is to harm a modern youth, particularly a mainly white middle and upper class from understanding their own history and the hardship suffered.
Also? I kind of bet Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged isn’t banned and I don’t think there is anything positive with that story.