Why Tucker Carlson Says You Must Build a Home Library

In a Q and A after his last speech before he was fired from Fox News, Tucker Carlson was asked what the greatest cultural shift of the past few decades has been. His answer surprised me. He didn’t cite the internet itself, but rather the growing censorship of the digital realm and the likelihood, in his view, that dissident information would become increasingly difficult to obtain. His advice?

Don’t throw away your hard copy books because they are the enduring repository of [Western civilization]. I’m dead serious. I’m not going to tell you to buy gold or ammo—although obviously you should think about it. But definitely don’t throw away your books because they can’t be disappeared—because they exist physically.

To most people, this probably sounds a bit over the top. The primary problem with the digital age is the sheer volume of information available and its power to distract, silo, and entrench—a far cry from Fahrenheit 451. But in the past few years we have seen historical figures cancelled, beloved museum displays torn down (my favorite childhood exhibit at the Royal BC Museum was destroyed in the name of “decolonization”), and statues toppled. Carlson’s advice seems less alarmist now that it would have a half-decade ago. The news cycle consistently reveals that the many of the elites would love to shovel quite a lot down the memory hole if given the opportunity.

In 2019, a francophone school board in Ontario, Canada, hosted a book burning to purge books perceived as offensive to indigenous people. Thirty books were burned in a “flame purification ceremony” for “educational purposes,” with the ashes being used as fertilizer to plant a tree. The symbolic gesture was just the beginning—nearly 5,000 books were taken out of libraries at thirty schools across the district and were either destroyed or tossed out. The purge included novels, encyclopedias, and Tintin, Asterix, and Lucky Luke comics (it was a problematic “imbalance of power” that      indigenous people weren’t the protagonists) and was formally approved by a school commission.

That’s an extreme example, but reflective of the current educational ethos. Progressive educators seem consistently stunned to discover that the writers of the past did not hold the values of the present, insofar as there were no gay penguinstransgender crayons, or gender-fluid children. Thus you have Cambridge University slapping “trigger warnings” on classic children’s literature, and researchers, according to the Daily Mail, “are reviewing more than 10,000 books and magazines to expose offensive authors after campaigners demanded teachers censor racial slurs when reading Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.” Not even a Pulitzer Prize-winning anti-racist classic can survive the new standards.

Lee is just the beginning. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie is allegedly “potentially harmful.” Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book was—and I’m not making this up—“slammed for its ‘colonial’ depiction of animals.” According to Salon magazine, Roald Dahl’s Matilda achieved the status of transphobic because Miss Trunchbull was masculine (don’t laugh, bigot). I had failed to pick up the racism in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but apparently the fictional Oompa-Loompas are bigoted to African pygmies. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is infected with “racist dialect and colonial overtones.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *