‘Beautiful Retard,’ is a Beautiful-but-Banned Book!
I was shocked recently when I saw on Wikipedia that one of the most-banned books in the United States is a treasure by Matthew Hansen called “Beautiful Regard.” I guess it hurts more when it’s a book you’ve read and come to love. I want to save for later in this article the reason for it’s being banned. First, let’s talk about what the book is about.
As the title suggests, “Beautiful Retard” is about the mentally handicapped. Specifically, it documents in specific detail the challenges they face in getting through a typical day in the 21st Century. It’s a novel, to be sure, but based on the author’s experiences in dealing with persons with mental handicaps.
As for the reason it’s banned: According to Wikipedia, it’s because of the word “retard” in the title. Never mind that this is a word that has often been used to describe the mentally-challenged–and therefore is historically accurate. Never mind that the author clearly has only positive things to say about these people, and does not himself think of them as “retards.” We have become so politically correct in this culture that the mere use of a word that people actually use is reason enough to prohibit others from reading an otherwise-outstanding book.
Not convinced it’s been “banned?” Then I challenge you to try to find it. Look for it on the 3 big booksellers’ websites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. You’ll find it referenced at Amazon, along with readers’ positive comments about the book. But the book itself is unavailable for purchase.
Meanwhile, over on the Borders and Barnes & Noble sites, these two mammoths in the book industry that seem to have every insignificant volume ever published don’t even have any hint that this book ever existed. So you better check out your local library. If the PC police haven’t gotten to them already, this might be your only chance to read a book that truly does a service to the mentally-handicapped community.