Critics pound publisher’s decision to lift children’s book on slavery

The book publisher Scholastic has withdrawn a book about George Washington and his slaves for showing sunny images of Washington’s cook and his daughter. Scholastic said it was acting because the book may give readers a distorted view.  (The Guardian, January 17, 2016. by The Associated Press)

Free speech advocates were harsh in their criticism of the censorship arguing that withdrawing the book deprived readers of the chance to decide for themselves whether the book is misleading.  (The Guardian, January 25, 2016, by Alison Flood)

Three groups released a statement citing the problems with book banning saying in part, “This outcome [banning the book] is likely to have a chilling effect, leading authors and illustrators to hesitate in taking on racially sensitive or politically controversial topics for fear of public outcry and reprisals. Pulling books out of circulation simply because they cause controversy is the wrong decision.” (National Coalition Against Censorship, January 22, 2016, press release)