The Bryan Times,

Books, and books with chapters that I have authored, are now in 1,600 college or large city libraries in over 30 countries. The only exception is one book I authored, a 527-page tome that was number one in its category on Amazon when first released. Now in its second edition, this book, ironically about censorship, has now been censored. My last book, on C.S. Lewis, is in 282 WorldCat libraries, my censorship book is in zero libraries. I even donated a copy to the Defiance College library because I spent seven good years teaching there and met my wife of 36 years there. They never put my book in their collection.

Censorship is a major problem today in academia. Called ‘cancel culture,’ I am happy to say I am not aware of any censorship by The Bryan Times. They even regularly publish Ann Coulter’s columns. Ms. Coulter’s appearance at colleges has caused violent riots demanding she be censored. At one event, the home of the free speech movement, now the home of the growing censorship movement, A recent report noted, “More than a thousand young protesters linked arms and tried to physically block people from entering a speech by … Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley campus…. Rows of students chanted, ‘Go home, Nazi!’” The most common charge is that Coulter, a white woman, Ivy League graduate, lawyer and conservative, is a racist. Rumors of her affair with Black comedian, Jimmie Walker, aside, I’m sure this close friend of hers would not agree.

Tim Scott, the United States Senator for South Carolina since 2013, was recently called “Uncle Tim” amid a storm of condemnation. The response to this problem is not less speech (censorship) but more speech. Write articles to refute speech you disagree with instead of ‘canceling’ it. Censorship reminds me of Nazi Germany systematically destroying an estimated 100 million books throughout Europe, burning and looting libraries of “un-German” publications. As wisely said by nineteenth-century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, who wrote in 1821 the admonition, “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen": (Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.) Burning people includes disenfranchisement, such as banning people from social media. This event has happened to many, including our last president. In a few short years, we have indeed moved from burning books to burning (censoring) people.

Dr. Jerry Bergman

Montpelier

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