US libraries protest growing attack on book censorship

In the face of unprecedented attempts by the right to censor and remove literary, historical and scientific works from schools and libraries on the pretext that they are “harmful” in the United States. Librarians and their allies are now the leaders of the opposition.

Number of requests to censor or ban books -Some of the best and classics of American literature – in educational institutions 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 prohibit, restrict, or regulate the work of public education and libraries, and 10 of the nine states have passed legislation.PEN USA reports that it is warning that “this wave of violent banning of educational and literary materials is unprecedented.”

The campaign, coordinated 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 by African Americans, Latinos 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 influencing elected and unelected alike to abandon constitutional policies in order to promote government censorship of library collections,” the ALA said. .

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

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

Every week, attempts to delete jobs are reported. In January, a North Texas school principal ordered the removal of 130 books on sexual diversity, gender, racism and women’s rights., According to the Texas Tribune. State Governor 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 prohibiting the discussion and reading of LGBT topics in classrooms.And legal regimes to limit the focus on racism are still pending there and in other states.

In Idaho, a bill announces 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 18 ; A school in Kansas has pulled 29 titles from libraries, including one by Nobel laureate Tony Morrison..

In Oklahoma, the attorney general is evaluating 51 books in school libraries to determine if they violate anti-pornography laws.; And in Tennessee, the school board banned Mouse, the graphic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning Art Spiegelman.

The decade from 2010 to 2019 includes Bluest Eye by Tony Morrison, Mice and Men by Steinbeck, Color Purple by Alice Walker, 1984 by George Orwell, 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.

This is not the first time that books have been banned in the country. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn was buried in 1885As well as Origin of the Species Charles Darwin, 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 controversy and debate about what kind of government and community we want to be in and book bans are part of that.”ALA’s Deborah Caldwell Stone commented.

Once again, librarians and teachers see themselves as opposition leaders 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 the rights

United States Public Libraries. Photo: Librarian.

In York, Pennsylvania, teachers and students have successfully overcome a ban on many topics written from the perspective of Latin children.African Americans and Gays and two to Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. In Indiana, the limited classroom instruction law was scrappedIn New Hampshire and elsewhere, Liberal candidates are winning school board elections.

As always, blocking something is always a call to try. Conservative efforts turned “enemies” into bestsellers, 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.”

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

(taken from today)

About Stuart M. McFarland

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