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LeVar Burton Urges Kids To Read All The Banned Books They Can: 'That's Where The Good Stuff Is'

LeVar Burton Urges Kids To Read All The Banned Books They Can: 'That's Where The Good Stuff Is'
Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Amid the disturbing wave of school book bans by right-wing lawmakers and school administrators that has swept many states, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah took on the issue with his trademark wit on a recent episode of the show.

And to put a finer point on the stakes of the issue, Noah enlisted the perfect authority on books for kids: iconic Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton.

In a video clip, Burton read from some of the banned books and implored children watching to read any banned book they can get their hands on. See the clip below.

The book bans, which have been applied to books that discuss race, gender, sexuality, and historical issues like slavery and the Holocaust, center on obviously disingenuous, bad-faith arguments from politicians and parents that such books are divisive and traumatic for children.

The Daily Show and Burton astutely turned this into a joke that perfectly laid out the absurdity of this new movement. In the clip, Burton got set to read any children watching a storybook about Civil Rights pioneer Rosa Parks. But just as he was about to begin, he was shut down because of a "content violation."

Burton then explained:

"So as it turns out that book is banned because reading about segregation is divisive. But since almost any book with Black people these days is considered divisive, here's one that doesn't have any people in it at all."

Burton then began reading the book And Tango Makes Three, a famous children's book about a baby penguin raised by a same-sex penguin couple. This book too, of course, has been banned because of supposed "sexual perversion."

Burton then moved on to the Dr. Seuss classic Hop On Pop which--you guessed it--has also been banned in the past for being "disrespectful to parents."

After this nonsense, Burton gives up and cuts to the chase:

"There are plenty of books to choose from, but you know what? No. Read the books they don't want you to. That's where the good stuff is... Read banned books!"

On Twitter, people applauded Noah and Burton and loved their take on this disturbingly absurd new movement.

And people voiced their outrage at the book bannings themselves--which have even escalated to book burnings in some places.

For all their attempts, the right's book bans seem in some cases to have the opposite effect they intended. In the case of Art Spigelman's Maus series about the Holocaust, sales increased in the wake of the bans by a shocking 753% in just a single week.

Your move, fascists.