Why People Lie, Deny, and When All Else Fails, Set Books On Fire

A deep dive into censorship motives throughout history and right now

Allison Wiltz
Published in
7 min readDec 3, 2021
Photo by Freddy Kearney on Unsplash

First, before we get into motivations for book burning and censorship, let me first say that burning books in 2021 is one of the silliest aberrations of conservative think tanks. It's not like back in the day where words only lived on delicate pages caged within a hard body. We have the internet, and publishers keep copies of their manuscripts. Burning books does not stop anyone from reading content anymore, and if you think it does, then congratulations, you fell for the censorship propaganda.

Ever since Trump came riding down that grand old escalator, I have been trying not to utter the word fascism. See, I never wanted to chicken-little the message, but let's not make any mistake about what's at stake here — liberty. So, yes, controlling what the general public reads is pretty fascist. It's not that burning books will really stop us from educating ourselves; it's what the book-burning represents that is far more concerning.

Courtland representative Rabih Abuismail and Livingston representative Kirk Twigg both championed burning the books that have been removed. “I think we should throw those books in a fire,” Abuismail said (Vanity Fair).

Some White people are so desperate to hide the truth of this nation's history, the deprivation of civil rights to Black people, the harmful eras of slavery and Jim Crow, and the constant struggle to exist as Black in a world dominated by White self-interests, that they will go over and beyond to avoid the conversation. So you see, lying is much easier without a record.

We shouldn’t accept intolerance as a difference of opinion.

Many White Americans lie about American history, deny the truth about the Civil War, and when all else fails, advocate for burning books that illuminate uncomfortable truths about the Black experience.



Allison Wiltz
Writer for

Womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, Cultured #WEOC Founder - Learn about me @ allisonthedailywriter.com