The campaign to censor America's libraries is expanding. A new report from the American Library Association (ALA) finds that this year, between January 1 and August 31, there have been "695 attempts to censor library materials and services and documented challenges to 1,915 unique titles." The number of books challenged "has increased by 20 percent from the same reporting period in 2022." Last year was the highest number of challenges recorded since the ALA began collecting data two decades ago. In all of 2019, there were
Since when do we allow the most maliciously ignorant, puritanical human body-shamers, the least competent 'thinkers', to make decisions about our libraries and schools? This is the Talibanification of America, brought to you by fanatic bible-thumping pseudo christians, know-nothings, and people paralyzed by any concept of freedom for 'others'. So mind-boggling and exhausting.
The rest of us really need to step up. Speak out.
I really don't care if they want to be ignorant. I really don't care if they want to be sure their children are ignorant and unable to compete in the 21st century. But why in the hell are they so determined to make sure I, my kids and my grandchildren are ignorant as well? I can only assume that they want everyone to come down to their level so that they don't get their delicate fee-fees hurt when we use big words, you know like an 8th grade level vocabulary. And why in the hell do these schools, library boards and other controlling organizations cave so quickly in the face of what is so obviously a movement not from within the school or town, but organized on a national level. Do they not understand that there is only so much minority rule and enforced stupidity that the majority will tolerate and that sooner or later, in many case likely sooner, the backlash will be swift and severe?
This is an effort to ban education on any subject not approved by Ring Wing organizations. What are they afraid of? Reading a book never changed anyone's sexual orientation, but it can change a person's perspective on subjects they have no direct experience with. Not to mention, reading diverse opinions can lead to thinking and questioning things being said by others. This can lead to critical thinking which the Right has always been against. The world is becoming more connected and more complicated. We need an educated populas who will understand these challenges and help create polices that will undertake these challenges. Attitudes and beliefs founded on ideas from years ago will not serve us well in the coming years.
As more and more "uncomfortable" content is removed from elementary and high school education, and more book bans are taking place in school and public libraries, and increasing numbers of right-wing families think that university education is unnecessary and a waste of money, we are in danger of creating cohorts of children who grow into adults with an impoverished understanding of history and the experiences of others. No wonder, then, that they find other views threatening and/or unjustified - they lack relevant information and context.
Happy to report that here in Washington, the first right-wing attempt at closing a library has failed. Yesterday, a judge barred a ballot issue from proceeding in Columbia County (Eastern Washington) because of lots of constitutional issues. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/embattled-wa-library-wins-lawsuit-wont-shut-down-after-fight-over-books/
The American Taliban. Great story
Freedom = No books for you, no books for me. See?
Now we're all free.
In many public libraries, there are frequent patrons (and even some staff) who actively support these policies and politicians. Are there groups organizing to illustrate the unintended consequences of this behavior? Perhaps someone demands books that expose children to Christian themes be removed. There are many more of these books in the children's section than people realize.
When FL is comfortable to ban The Diary of Anne Frank, it is time to pull every single dollar of federal funds to the state. They must be boycotted and financially damaged if our laws are too weak to confront this form of Fascism.
We shouldn’t stand by for long watching this level of atrocious authoritarian rule and denial of the facts.
The precious MIND, this function cannot be imprisoned! But, we have those with minds dominated by fear--those who feel inadequate and inferior in the face of honest confrontation. We have whole cultures (mostly religious) who attempt to dominate and regulate their peoples' lives. America was appealing to people all over the world because of our freedom in all areas. People in other cultures (e.g., China, Saudi Arabia, Afican nations, Israel) have found America to be a Shangri-la and do their best to come here. With the powers given to people of mediocre minds and tastes and aspirations...like Trump and DeSantis and the Koch organization, and "moms for liberty" groups, we are losing (ironically) what made America great.
Thank you Judd. We should worry. I live in one of the counties in GA where this nonsense has been front and center. Watching a grown woman dramatize the reading of content she objects to (they do searches to find offensive content, without reading the book) in front of a school board and audience is a sight you don't want to see. Some pushed back and spoke to it. Ultimately, the DOE's Office of Civil Rights warned that the book removals that occurred may have violated students' righs. Everyone needs to push back against the underlying bigotry and desire for control that these bans represent. See AP article: https://apnews.com/article/schools-education-book-bans-libraries-civil-rights-bf3494e25528cb2403eaca43c813f684
What’s concerning is the guilty-until-proven-innocent nature of many of these book removals, bans and the laws that allow them. They unconstitutionally pull the books off the shelves first, depriving readers of their use, while the bureaucracy keeps them sidelined for extended periods until the issues are resolved.
Why should politically motivated, uneducated or racist individuals be given instant veto power over books selected by schools, libraries and other institutions trained and entrusted with protecting First Amendment rights?
I just bought Black AF History and hopefully, the book banners will mention it so it will get more attention and some extra sales. That’s all I can hope for the authors of the books that are targeted because my purchase alone will not be enough. America where people are extremely proud to showcase their ignorance and will fight tooth and nail for everyone else to be as ignorant as they are 🥴.
We're dealing with this all around us! And politicians are threatening to completely withhold funding to force libraries into line. Without that critical funding, these libraries would close.
One library in a neighboring town eventually agreed to all children age 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to even ENTER the library. Which is absurd!
We've become a 'Friend of the Library' to many libraries to help them with funding, and as an act of protest against these authoritarians.
Thank you for this post. Found out my state is #3! Did some research to discover a bill has been introduced in the state senate to ban book bans. Wrote my state senator to inquire where it stands and was he, or will he, be a co-sponsor. This is SO important. Make your voice heard!!!!
Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle?!!
The book banners flunked curiosity and compassion as well as basic literacy.
THEY are dangerous for this democratic republic.