Manifesto by Ellen Hopkins

admin    September 30, 2010

To you zealots and bigots and false

patriots who live in fear of discourse.

You screamers and banners and burners

who would force books

off shelves in your brand name

of greater good.

You say you’re afraid for children,

innocents ripe for corruption

by perversion or sorcery on the page.

But sticks and stones do break

bones, and ignorance is no armor.

You do not speak for me,

and will not deny my kids magic

in favor of miracles.

You say you’re afraid for America,

the red, white and blue corroded

by terrorists, socialists, the sexually

confused. But we are a vast quilt

of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered

identities. You cannot speak for those

whose ancestors braved

different seas.

You say you’re afraid for God,

the living word eroded by Muhammed

and Darwin and Magdalene.

But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven

and earth designed intelligence.

Surely you dare not speak

for the father, who opens

his arms to all.

A word to the unwise.

Torch every book.

Char every page.

Burn every word to ash.

Ideas are incombustible.

And therein lies your real fear.

Manifesto

— Ellen Hopkins,

bestselling author of Crank and newly published Fallout