“Don’t join the book burners.”
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
President Eisenhower gave the above advice 70 years ago to the graduating class at Dartmouth College in 1953!
Seventy years later, we are witnessing a host of book banners. They are “burners” or banners of books based on their extreme right-wing, political ideology. Book burners and banners are insecure, fearful, faithless, anti-democracy haters.
President Eisenhower had witnessed book burning and book banning in Nazi Germany. He had seen with his own eyes the concentration camps, the ovens and the human ashes of the Holocaust. He had led the Allied Forces in Europe and the D-Day landings. He had seen the ashes at Auschwitz, and the bones of Buckenwald. He demanded that these horrors be photographed in order that future generations would not be able to deny their realities. However, we have, at this present hour Holocaust deniers. He had witnessed the consequences of political, religious and racial hatred and persecution. He led the Allied Forces against the inhuman madness of anti-Semitism, racism and dictatorship.
President Eisenhower had participated in the formation of NATO and witnessed the formation of the United Nations and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Eisenhower, I repeat, led the Allied Forces in the defeat of Hitler and Mussolini. They were decisively defeated. However, Nazism and Fascism are yet to be defeated. Book burners and book banners are still alive and viciously active.
President Eisenhower could speak with authority and incredible experience to the Class of 1953. Who will speak to the Class of 2023?
President Eisenhower was speaking as a representative of the Party (the GOP) of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Hiram Revels, and Harriet Tubman. None of the above would be welcome in the Republican Party of Desantis, Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene. How did the Party of Lincoln, Douglass and Eisenhower become the party of book banning and book burners? The banners are disciples and co-partners with the book burners, in my opinion, the book burners of Germany in the 1930’s. How did the GOP go from the Party of Emancipation to the Party of vilification and hate? Remember January 6, 2021? In my opinion, January 6, 2021 was an attempt to re-enact John Wilkes Booth of 1865 against the President-elect of 2020.
In my opinion, the insurrection of January 2021 was the extension of a defeated President of 2020. If this behavior were to be carried out in sports or even Las Vegas it would kill the NBA, the NFL, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, Las Vegas and all related enterprises.
The words of President Eisenhower in 1953 should be a lesson to every student, parent, elected official, religious leader, educator and all humankind on the planet in 2023. Do Not Join the Book Burning and Banning!
Book burning and banning are Nazi, Fascist, racist and enslavement endeavors from age to age…from slave ruler to slave ruler…from dictator to tyrant. We must forever resist their anti-intellectual efforts to ban and burn truth, crucify freedom and lynch democracy.