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Howard Zinn Read-In will protest censorship attempt by Mitch Daniels

Howard Zinn, who died in 2010, was a professor of political science and wrote extensively about civil rights, anti-war movements and labor history in the U.S.  Photo/Wikimedia Commons

Howard Zinn, who died in 2010, was a professor of political science and wrote about civil rights, anti-war movements and labor history in the U.S.
Photo/Wikimedia Commons

By: SARAH DUIS Editor-in-Chief An on-campus protest planned for Tuesday, Nov. 5, will op­pose attempts by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to ban works by anti-war activist and historian Howard Zinn from Indiana classrooms. According to a July article by the Associated Press, pub­lic emails showed that in 2010 during his term as governor, Daniels sought to remove Zinn’s writings from Indiana col­leges. “This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state,” Daniels wrote in an email to Scott Jenkins, his educa­tion adviser. “No student will be better taught because some­one sat through this session. Which board has jurisdiction over what counts and what doesn’t?” Daniels began serving his term as president of Purdue Uni­versity in January 2013. The emails released in July sparked anger among some in the academic community, and 90 of Purdue’s approximately 1,800 professors issued an open let­ter to Daniels criticizing his remarks. The protest will take place in front of the Schurz Library from 2 to 4:30 p.m. It’s part of a statewide “read-in” en­dorsed by the American Federation of Teachers. Faculty, staff, students and the community will be able to read out loud from “A People’s History of the United States,” Zinn’s most popular work. Participants will read for three minutes each, and are also invited to talk about the im­portance of Zinn, public education and academic freedom. In a press release for the event, Jake Mattox, an English professor and event organizer, said he finds it a dangerous violation of academic freedom that a governor should be attempting to ban books at a state university. “Our job at a university is to encourage debate and widen students’ perspective on the world, not censor and limit what they can read,” Mattox said. What do you think?

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