Conservatives ban books in schools while complaining of ‘cancelling culture’
When a publisher stops printing an old Dr. Seuss book that no one has read because it contained harmful racial stereotypes, Fox News and the entire Republican Party lose their minds about “cancelling Culture”.
But when conservatives across the country start banning and censoring dozens of books at once from school libraries, they’re just trying to protect children.
Having already turned school boards into an angry political quagmire, the Tories are now targeting school libraries in what experts call a historic and concerted book ban effort.
This includes “Maus,” a graphic novel that chronicles the horrors of the Holocaust in comic book form, with Jews depicted as mice and Nazis as cats. A Tennessee school board voted unanimously this month to ban the Pulitzer-winning book from their eighth-grade curriculum, citing “objectionable language” and nudity.
Similar campaigns are underway in school districts in at least 30 other states, a Stateline investigation foundoften condemning as “pornographic” books depicting the experiences of LGBTQ and black characters.
“We probably haven’t seen or heard of challenges like these in the past 40 years,” Shirley Robinson, executive director of the Texas Library Association, which has 5,000 members, told Stateline. “It’s definitely become politicized.”
In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has capitalized on a very public effort to remove ‘pornographic or obscene’ books from school libraries, following efforts by state Rep. Matt Krause (R), who circulated a list of over 800 books that supposedly cross the line.
Both politicians are re-elected this year.
It is unclear how Krause compiled his list, the content of which suggests that he either lacked a clear set of criteria or is confused by a range of confusing information. The vast majority of books have been written by women, people of color and LGBTQ writersaccording to the Dallas Morning News.
Yet the list also includes “The Gale Encyclopedia Of Medicine,” a five-volume set of medical information for the layman, and “Eyes on Target: Inside Stories From the Brotherhood of the US Navy SEALs,” which is available on ChristianBook.com.
One book not on Krause’s list: “The Kite Runner,” a 2003 novel that was among 16 books recently “quarantined” by public schools in Polk County, Florida, after a campaign by County Citizens Defending Freedom, a conservative group.
When asked why the group opted for the books they made, CCDF leader Jimmy Nelson told the Lakeland Ledger that “the books speak for themselves”, but struggled to explain why the Bible, which also deals with adult themes, should not also be “quarantined”.
When discussing that Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” depicts the brutal rape of a boy by a teenager, Nelson was asked if all books containing rape should be banned.
“I’m not going to get into this with you,” Nelson said. He grew angry when it was pointed out to him that the Bible and William Shakespeare’s plays contained rape, incest and adultery, and asked if he also wanted the Bible or Shakespeare removed .
While hypocrisy is sometimes fun, book censorship does real and lasting harm to children, says the National Coalition Against Censorship.
“Libraries provide students with the opportunity to discover books and other materials they might never otherwise see and the freedom to make their own reading choices,” the organization said. in a December statement warning of the ongoing “organized political attack on books”.
“It is freedom of expression that allows us to meet the challenges of a changing world. This freedom is essential for the students who will lead America in the years to come. We must fight to defend it.