Georgetown University Library Bans Books that Offend Students

Book burning and banning seems like something of the past – or the stuff of fiction – but one college is taking a big step closer to censorship and banning books that they feel are “offensive”. The charge to ban books has been led not by stuffy school officials or overzealous politicians, but by the students themselves – who feel some books are just too offensive to be allowed to exist on campus.

A recent report by the College Fix reveals that Georgetown University has already removed hundreds of books from libraries on campus. Students say these problematic tomes should be banned – because they contain bigotry. One student, Alexandra Bowman, complained to the school about a single library book – one with an illustration of a Native American on the cover. The action was swift and brutal – and both the Reynold’s and the McCarthy libraries went on a banning and censoring spree.

“While some were simply raucous crime noir murder mysteries representative of the literary and cultural time in which they were written, other books included extremely problematic and damaging elements, including the glamorization of rape, including that of underage girls,” Bowman said in a short comment. “Completely naked women of all races were frequently featured on these books’ covers. Further, many books fetishized young nonwhite women.”

Georgetown seems to have taken a dramatic step towards book banning and censorship based on insights and complaints from one undergrad. The “inquiry” into the library’s collections led to the removal of hundreds of books:

“Upon looking further at the collection of books in the library, we noticed other serialized books, most published in the mid-20th century, with similar pornographic, racially derogatory themes,” Bowman wrote during correspondence with a Georgetown student newspaper. “Ultimately, the removal of the books was what we expected to come as a result of our inquiry.”

While Bowman led the charge against the books and free speech, students at Georgetown were quick to join the cause. The student newspaper, the Georgetown Review, supported the decision to remove the books – a mixed group of publications from the last century. According to the College Fix, Legion, the sequel to the classic horror novel and movie “The Exorcist” was on the list of books that are no longer shelved in libraries on campus.

According to the College Fix and the student papers, the criterion used to dispose of more than 40 nonfiction books and novels was simple — look at the cover and see if you feel offended. If you do, the book needs to go. This basically means that the people in charge of determining which books to censor were making these hefty decisions by looking at the cover alone. Then guessing.

“But upon first encountering the books, we documented nearly forty of the most problematic ones, predicting they would clear the library when questioned. Keep in mind, except for one book (the last in the series pictured at the end of this article—Death of an Informer), the offensive content was surmised from just the books’ front and back covers.”

Was the school’s explanation of how books were chosen to be banned from campus.


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33 responses to “Georgetown University Library Bans Books that Offend Students”

  1. It’s hard to believe but in 2020 book burning because someone is offended by content or words has reared it’s bigoted, racist head again. It seems to me the Academic world would be abhorred about eliminating speech, ideas, opinions, and philosophies. It seems to me the very thought of book burning should stir everyone who calls themselves an academic, professor, scientist,scholar, or teacher would stand united on a college campus where exercise of free thought and expression is supposed to be a pillar of what an institution of higher learning stands for. I guess not. The disease of Liberalism has firmly impaired the minds of those who light the match. Shame on them and the universities who support such bigoted hateful actions.

    • This is the kind of work the brown shirts did in the late 30’s early 40’s before the start of ww2. Yes! The Nazis or what they called themselves, “German Socialist Party”.

  2. Odd. The liberals of yesteryear made the argument to have these books against the wishes various PTA’s church and family members, all for free speech. Now what’s happening. I just might live long enough to see the cycle change again. We need to return to apprenticeship programs, because most colleges and universities have lost there way and the degrees they are giving away(not for free though) are not worth the paper they are printed on. Let’s not even get into what’s happening with K thru 12 education a nightmare in the works.

    • This is ridiculous and shows where these liberal institutions are leading our country. In their minds, their ideas and thoughts are the only ones that matter and no other thoughts or opinions will be tolerated. Will lead to total stagnation and destruction.

  3. If students are too frail and this easily offended, they should be sent home until they are mature and mentally stable enough to attend university.
    Society does not advance without constant growth and reevaluation. We learn from the past and if we don’t, we are doomed to repeat tragic episodes.
    Currently, students do not know it was a black man with an indentured servant who ran off who went before the SCOTUS and started slavery. They do not know the countries largest slave holder was a black man. They do not know white Scots were indentured as slaves. They don’t know our founders tried to stop slavery and were defeated by one vote. They don’t know slavery was prominent in Africa and still continues today. They dont know whippings were a common form of punishment for both black and white, however, because black people held value to their owner they were usually treated better. They don’t know their forefathers paid a price for the innumerable rights and priveleges they enjoy today that do not exist in many parts of Africa. Ignorance is the tool beong exploited by those who wish to enslave our country by turning us against each other.

  4. Instead of banning the books or throwing them into a pile and burning them, why don’t the colleges take a note from Harry Potter and create a Restricted Book Section? Because book sensorship, especially if only determined by the cover, shows a certain lack of college-level problem solving.

  5. They are just demonstrating their stupidity. And low iq. Plus the tools are feelers…it makes them feel good to do something stupid especially if they gain attention which is their personal gain…stab you in back. Hang you by the neck…feelers are known for their viciousness…check out Myers briggs

  6. All Federal and state funding too ALL colleges and universities need to stop. These pussy losing students are the worst of any generation that have ever been.

      • In just a few years everyone who learned about Nazis and the holocaust will have died off, and the cycle will begin again. It is sad to think that the Jesuits are at the center of suppressing information when they pride themselves on being such great disseminators of knowledge! Shame on Georgetown!

  7. can’t learn if you don’t have books , soon the stupid people will have no more books then what ? more stupid people himmmm that’s what communist want , first make people stupid then fool them into given up the only way to protect them self,gun control. nazisim dem’s in leadership sounds the same, and we the smart one’s do nothing because we are laughing or crying to much.let’s just get rid of all colleges pay for diploma yea burn all colleges,

  8. Perhaps they should also ban The Vagina Monologues as that is one of the most offensive books I’ve ever read. It’s amazing that an institution of higher learning, of all places, would be banning books. Isn’t the purpose of teaching and learning to educate in a well-rounded manner, i.e., looking at all sides, including the history of a publication? It’s especially disturbing that Georgetown would be the institution to stifle knowledge. It’s like this: I once subscribed to the Soviet Union’s English edition of the newspaper Pravda. I didn’t read it because I supported the USSR, but because I wanted to learn about their thoughts, ideas, ideologies and mores. I guess Georgetown doesn’t want anything like that to happen in today’s world, though. Sad. Disturbing. Terrible.

  9. I agree with all the above statements. I find it a sign of extreme ignorance. I am shocked that a university of the caliber of Georgetown goes along with this terrible idea of burning books. How do we teach college students to think. When I went to college, I was introduced to many new subjects and taught to decide for myself which I would adhere to and which not. What is happening to EDUCATION in this country? Have we completely gone mad?

  10. Remember when “Catcher in the Rye” was banned? Some books do not belong in a school setting, perhaps from offensive, salacious content; but, to judge a book’s content by its cover only, is myopic.

  11. I REFUSE TO LET SOME SNOWFLAKE TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT READ. I HAVE AN ECLECTIC TASTE IN LITERATURE AND READ EVERYTHING FROM J D ROBB, MURDER MYSTERIES, TO TOM CLANCY AND JOHN GRESHAM (?) . AND I ENJOY THEM ALL, NOT BECAUSE THEY MIGHT HAVE SOME “SEX” SCENES THEM, BUT FROM THE AUTHOR’S CRAFT IN BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE. BANNING BOOKS IS TANTAMOUNT TO SOCIALISM AND NAZISM. NO WONDER GEORGETOWN IS SO UNPOPULAR IN SOME WAYS AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM.

  12. Welcome to the 21st Century version of the 19th Century Bowdlerization movement. This University’s action is reminiscent of the Nuremburg book cleansing of the 1930s where universities were complicit in thought control. It is not a wonder to me that students are graduating with no skills of any kind. They are badly educated and unable to self-teach. A lifetime of ignorance. You have to be concerned about practical knowledge. Should medical textbooks, physics textbooks, or math textbook be banned because someone is offended by them?

  13. Ok then here is a list of BOOKS or reading material that many find offensive lets see if you ban them from your campus.

    That communist manifesto book written by or about Stalin

    Anything that is from planned parenthood.

    Anything that Hitler wrote to support his atrocities.

    Anything that promotes socialism as being anything but the failure it is even the first colony that tried nearly had everyone die because of it. If not for the intervention of Native Americans they would have starved to death with just a couple of people working and the rest expecting an EQUAL SHARE without doing anything for themselves.

    Anything that spouts about TRANSFORMING America away from the free constitutional republic were by law ALL ARE EQUAL and the authority of the government is LIMITED not absolute (ie they can not abolish any of the bill of rights for getting in the way of their socialist agenda).

    Anything promoting a Democratic candidate or spouting HATE towards those who fight against their socialist agenda.

    This list can go on for pages but you should get the basic Idea remember FREEDOM of SPEECH is not able to be restricted simply based on what OFFENDS another that is in fact the CENSORSHIP the founders intended to abolish when they wrote the first amendment.

    So if burning one type of flag is a crime that requires a 15 year prison term instead of the protected free speech then offending any group by burning a flag is the same crime they can not call one instance FREE SPEECH and another a HATE crime simply because of who it offends or what flag it was.

    • These universities that are banning books wonder why they look like Nazis. Remember how they banned and burned books banned free speech they and their students have moved in to this ideology. They are the new Nazis.

  14. Well they have a proviso on tv that states the program may contain content offensive to some so viewers so be advised so view at your discression. Why not have a sticker placed on the front of each book of a similar quote. If the reader does not comprehend that I feel that person is not ready for university. Just saying.

    • Fahrenheit 451 (starring Julie Christie (don’t remember other actors) is the 1st thing I thought of when reading this! The movie actually scared me! See it, if you haven’t. Secondly, THIS TYPE OF ACTION (by the University) scares me as well!!! While I agree the BEST, LEAST EXPENSIVE IDEA is to use the suggestion of another commentator (John Bean, above). Put Stickers on any book deemed offensive, and put in a separate gated area of the library! People who wish to go through the gate, must sign a waiver against seeing anything offensive – in other words, take away their voice to complain!!! But KEEP THE BOOKS!!! If I didn’t know better (and maybe I don’t), I’d say the socialist party is up to all this! Started with NO more prayer or Pledge of Allegiance (if it has the word GOD in it) in schools, NO religious displays in (or outside) government/school buildings. Some idiot(s) are still trying (for years) to remove a cross from a church that is on the next (church-owned) lot because seeing it, when driving by, causes them stomach aches!!! How absurd!!! Our nation was founded on RELIGIOUS LIBERTY!!!!! To each his own & it should stay that way!!! Look how much money was spent FOR YEARS on the smoking controversy – separated areas & the upgrades proprietors made (i.e. smoke eaters) to appease everyone (& I’m a non-smoker). If only they’d used ALL THAT MONEY to give us a CURE FOR CANCER!!! I’m just sayin’!!! Hey – in NY they tried to ban 32-oz soda drinks, so people just bought 2 16-oz cups!! – duh!!! Then there IS the Film Industry & TV debate…which they managed to do a pretty good job (I think) of giving us the ratings so WE can decide if WE want to watch and/or parents can decide what to let the kids watch. This, I believe, was one of the BEST ideas…and it is on the line of the stickers for books. (Now we just need to get after the TV stations/networks for airing almost-porn-type video commercials with raw language! C’mon guys – when considering ads to be shown on TV, ask yourself “Would I want a child of mine to see this???”. Don’t air them until 11 pm & after 5 am.)
      I could go on and on … but these College kids don’t have a clue what they are trying to do! They just want to be involved in something then, in a lot of cases, fall for the dangerous gangs, etc. For that matter, kids are graduating from High School who don’t believe they need college because they can play Video games that allow them to learn problem-solving skills!!! Give me a break!!! OOPS, I’m digressing & couldn’t keep on topic…so have a great day!!!

    • Anna – this was meant to go to you, as a reply – sorry. But It ended up under John Bean, who had great comments also.

  15. Roach1
    Book banning was/is practiced in many totalitarian regimes, including the Nazi and Communist regimes. Do these school board members read history books?They are not qualified to teach our children. Illiterate teachers to say it mildly.

  16. What is wrong with our college administrators that they would even contemplate removing/banning books because of spoiled, bratty kids (who are learning values from cowardly leaders). Of course the underlying perpetrators may not be spoiled kids, rather they may be members of groups determined to undermine American society.

  17. How can you call yourself liberal (free thinker) and ban books of certain content that do not fit your biased thinking? Latin Liber = free. ‘liberal’ democrat?

  18. Most troubling is that administrators at a prominent university such as Georgetown would acquiesce to self appointed censors. Are they unaware of the First Amendment? Are they unaware of 20th century history, of McCarthyism, of Stalin, of Hitler, of Mao? Apparently not. And yet, lacking a backbone, or other important organs, they run a major university. University trustees, assuming that they are not so lacking, should fix this by issuing some well targeted pink slips.

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