The Curious Case of the Missing Trump Books

You may have noticed that in the weeks leading up the 2016 Presidential Election, the Birnbaum Library has displayed books by and about the leading candidates, political parties and the electoral process. Our core values include democracy, diversity, intellectual freedom, and social responsibility[i]. Therefore, our goal in selecting material was to be as balanced and impartial as possible and to encourage students to take seriously their rights as citizens. When shortly after the display went up two books attributed to Donald Trump were turned backside-front so that his familiar pout no longer greeted onlookers, we respected the freedom of expression exercised by the anonymous culprit. However, when a few days later the Trump books disappeared altogether, we were reminded of recent incidences of college students demanding censorship[ii]. As we conclude our fruitless search for the missing books, we are left with no choice but to reorder them. The unintended consequence of an act of vandalism and suppression of speech: more royalties for Donald Trump.

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