May 23, 2022

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American libraries are protesting the growing onslaught to censor books

Photo: Vanguard.

In the face of unprecedented right-wing attempts to censor and disappear works of literature, history and science from schools and libraries under the argument of being “harmful” to the United States. Librarians and their allies are now leaders of the opposition.

Number of requests to censor or ban books -Some of the best and classic of American literature – in educational institutions Has reached unprecedented levels, With at least 330 audit attempts in the three months between September and November 2021The American Library Association (ALA) estimates that number will double to 156 by 2020.

Laws in creation

Also, from January 2021, In 38 of the 50 states, 155 bills have been introduced at the state level to ban, restrict or regulate the work of public education and libraries, and 10 of the nine states have passed legislation.PEN USA reports that it warns that “this wave of violent ban on educational and literary materials is unprecedented.”

The campaign, co-ordinated and funded by right-wing forces, promotes the establishment of local and state legislation and promotes measures to suppress books critical of American history, especially those of African-Americans, Latins, and Muslims. And Native Americans. , Those who deal with issues of gender and sexual identity and the struggle for civil rights and freedoms.

“By falsely claiming that these works are destructive, immoral or vicious, these (conservative) groups are inciting elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional policies in order to promote government censorship of library collections,” the ALA said.

It denounces that some of these groups “use intimidation and threats to achieve their goals, endangering the safety and employment of librarians, educators and school board members.”

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An organized political attack on books in schools threatens the education of children in the United States. Audit by 60 national organizations of writers, journalists, editors, bookstores and more. “We are deeply concerned about this sudden increase in censorship and its impact on education, student rights and freedom of expression,” they say (https://ncac.org).

Every week there are reports of attempts to suppress the works. In January, a North Texas school superintendent ordered the removal of 130 books on sexual diversity, sex, racism and women’s rights., According to the Texas Tribune. State Gov. Greg Abbott has threatened to launch a criminal investigation against school staff for making free books and materials on sex and homosexuality.

In Florida, the state legislature passed a new law restricting and banning the discussion and reading of LGBT topics in classrooms.And legal schemes seeking to limit the focus on racism are still pending there and in other states.

In Idaho, a bill advertises that librarians could face fines of up to $ 1,000 and up to a year in prison for providing “explicit” sexual activity to students under the age of 18; A school in Kansas has removed 29 titles from libraries, including one by Nobel laureate Tony Morrison..

In Oklahoma, the Attorney General evaluates 51 books in school libraries to determine if they violate anti-pornography laws.; And in Tennessee, the school board banned Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Mouse.

The decade from 2010 to 2019 includes Tony Morrison’s Bluest Eye, Steinbeck’s Mice and Men, Alice Walker’s Color Purple, George Orwell’s 1984, Altuss Brave Lolita, New World, New World, and Lolita’s New World. Nabokov, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende and Sherman Alexei’s Complete True Diary of a Part Time Indian, among others (full list:https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/decade2019).

Howard Jinn’s other American history is frequently attacked by conservatives.

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This is not the first time books have been banned in the country. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn was buried in 1885As well as Origin of the Charles Darwin species, In 1895, McCarthy was able to cancel dozens of books and their authors; There have been recent attempts to suppress the Harry Potter series.

“There is a controversy and debate over what kind of government and community we want to be in and book bans are part of it.”Deborah Caldwell Stone of ALA commented.

Once again, librarians and teachers see themselves as leaders of the opposition in alliance with students and civil rights activists for democratic principles. As the ALA said, Dedicated to protecting the “right to speak, publish and read as guaranteed by the Constitution”.

They defend rights

United States Public Libraries. Photo: Librarian.

In York, Pennsylvania, teachers and students successfully overcame a ban on many topics written from the perspective of Latin children.African-Americans and gays and two in Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. In Indiana, the law of limited classroom teaching was discontinuedIn New Hampshire and elsewhere, Liberal candidates win school board elections.

As always, blocking something is always a call to try. Conservative efforts have turned “enemies” into best-sellers, for example, Mass suddenly became Amazon’s best-selling book.

One of the T-shirts sold by liberal organizations simply says: “I read banned books.”

Obviously, defending the right to education is a democratic process these days.

(Taken from this Day)