The book banning craze

We are now going through a period where right wingers are demanding that any books that might ‘disturb’ the sensitivities of children (i.e., introduce them to any ideas that they will not encounter in their homes) be removed from public and school libraries and are threatening to cut their budgets and even violence against librarians and library board members that do not immediately accede to their demands, accusing them of being pedophiles and groomers. The target of their ire is mainly books that have any LGBTQ+ themes, although. some have extended their scope to deal with books that deal with racism. They are aided in their quest by some conservative state governments who seek to pander to extremist religious constituents.

For at least a year now, Republican lawmakers across the country have targeted public libraries over their inclusion of queer and transgender authors and works that address any subject matter related to sexuality and racism.

According to a database from EveryLibrary, more than 100 bills in state legislatures in at least 31 states with similar intentions of the Missouri House bill have been introduced this year. They seek to regulate the kinds of books and materials that are accessible to patrons. If all else fails, lawmakers try to cut the library budgets altogether.

Such was the case after a federal judge ordered the return of banned books to public library shelves in Llano County – prompting state officials in the rural Texas county to consider shutting down library services entirely.

The books in question included Isabel Wilkersons “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” Dawn McMillan’s “I Need a New Butt!” series, and another book for teens that correctly labeled the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist group.

In addition to threatening the budgets of local libraries, conservative Christian groups and other conservative activists in states like Louisiana are working on taking over the boards of public libraries in order to have their way.

Others have turned to violence, issuing bomb threats to to libraries like the one located at the Hilton Central District Schools in New York.

But as ordinary people realize that their beloved local libraries are under threat from these bigots and zealots, they are starting to fight back to preserve what they rightly feel is a bedrock institution of society.

(Speed Bump)


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Culture wars are what people like DeSantis and Abbot resort to when they have nothing else to offer.
    The house and energy costs in Florida are bad. The Texas energy grid is a bad joke. These governors could hardly run on having provided tangible benefits, so in hindsight their campaigns against the scapegoat du your seem inevitable.

    Jews are no longer considered valid targets because they can fight back. The smallest minorities make the easiest targets, so gay and trans people. Black people are gerrymandered to hell, so let’s target race studies.
    And when voters get bored, the culture wars will find other targets.

    (Please prove me wrong. I don’t even live in America, I am just coasting on the cynicism I learned from Brexit).

  2. Matt G says

    Let’s hope the Streisand Effect comes into play here: ban it and kids will wonder what the fuss is all about. Meanwhile, kids can still access information on the internet. Today’s young people aren’t as stupid as these bigots think.

  3. raven says

    Meanwhile, kids can still access information on the internet.

    That is another problem for the bigots.
    They are working on it.

    At my local library over a decade ago, the christofascists demanded that the library put Net Nanny censor software on their large bank of internet computers so children were restricted from a lot of websites.

    The library said that it wasn’t their responsibility to raise and mind other people’s children. That was the job of the parents.

    They compromised and put Net Nanny software in the children’s and teen’s section computers and one computer in the adult bank, labeled with a large sign.
    No one ever used the Net Nanny computer except me.
    It was always open and I didn’t care so rather than wait in line, I just used it.

    They don’t even do that any more.
    Since smart phones and internet access devices are everywhere, what is the point?

  4. raven says

    They’ve already closed a few libraries.

    What city in Michigan defunded the library?
    MI town library defunded over LGBTQ+ books sparked by ‘Gender …
    Jamestown Charter Township’s

    A tax levy to fund the Patmos Library for the next 10 years failed in Jamestown Charter Township’s August primary, meaning it lost 84% of its funding for operations.Nov 10, 2022

    One small town in Michigan shut down their library over a LGBTQ+ book.

    Rather dumb IMO.
    Libraries are amenities, meaning they are supposed to be desirable features in a community, like sidewalks, parks, amphitheaters, schools and so on.
    This town is just advertising that they are low education, right wingnuts.
    I realize this might be a feature rather than a bug to some people, though.

    The city of Roseburg, Oregon and the county it is in, Douglas County, closed their libraries a few years ago.
    It didn’t have anything to do with book banning so much as it just cost taxpayer money and these counties won’t pay taxes, One nearby county also abolished their police department as well.

  5. raven says

    Wikipedia:Douglas County Libraries:

    The ten branch locations of the library system closed on April 1, 2017.[8][9] The Roseburg main branch closed on May 31, 2017, and library supporters held a wake during its final evening in service.[10]

    The Douglas County system became the third county library system in Oregon to be closed, after Jackson and Josephine counties closed their systems in 2007. Both systems later re-opened under non-government management in limited capacity.[11][12]

    At the time of its closure in 2017, the system operated eleven branches in the cities of Canyonville, Drain, Glendale, Myrtle Creek, Oakland, Reedsport, Riddle, Roseburg, Sutherlin, Winston, and Yoncalla.[8] By the following year, nine branches had reopened under the care of volunteers with grants from city governments as well as private donations and fundraisers.[13] The City of Roseburg reopened its library in January 2019, following a year of planning.[14]

    These are rural Red counties in southwest Oregon.
    They aren’t even all that poor.

    Just full of people who always vote down bond levies and hate to pay taxes to governments.
    There was a minority that liked libraries enough to revive them in a downsized, limited capacity.

  6. John Morales says

    To note the obvious: the very same people who decry “cancel culture”.

    (Who laud “free speech”, who troll “snowflakes”, etc.)

  7. StonedRanger says

    Closing libraries is another part of the republican parties long term plan to dumb down the american people. They started by reducing public school funding and turning colleges and universities into institutions of higher profit rather than institutions of higher learning. It has so far culminating with multiple millions of morons voting for herr dumpf and making him the worst president in history. Banning books is only par for the course.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    When the real fascists were in charge, they at least produced some cool neoclassic architecture and airships.
    The new kind have no appealing aspects whatsoever. Disrespecting Barbie as too radical, for chrissake. Their vision of society is as dull as the painting “Whistler’s Mother”. Or maybe they find that ‘woke’, too.

  9. brightmoon says

    You mean Arrangement In Black and Gray No.1. It isn’t actually dull just rather deliberately monochrome.

    The library issue scares me as I’m actually hearing government noise over underfunding them over the last few years and I live in NYC ferchrissake! My local library has been closed since 2020 starting from the pandemic and they claim it’s now closed due to “flooding” which I don’t really believe as this area of NYC is hilly (terminal moraine from the ice ages)

  10. friedfish2718 says

    An insipid, disingenuous, worthless essay.
    There is an increasing number of Youtube and Rumble videos showing parents reading passages of books used in elementary schools being interrupted (and microphone disconnected) by school board members who proclaimed that the passages were offensive and that there were children in the audience. The parents responded: “That is the point.” The irony is missed by the school board members and Mr Singham. Some of the parents actually brought in enlarged sexually-explicit pictures from said books to the school board meetings and again the school board members removed the pictures. Again, the irony is missed by the school board members and Mr Singham.
    Should 3rd graders be exposed to Penthouse, Hustler, Rogue magazines? Why not? There are interesting, informative articles in said magazines. If there are no current issues, past issues of said magazines will have to do.
    In the past Mr Singham conflates the banning of some books in elementary schools as a violation of the First Amendment. Such nonsense. The Constitutional Rights are for adults, namely adult US citizens, not children. A child does not have the right to vote. A child does not have the right to bear arms. Banning shooting clubs in elementary schools is not a violation of the Second Amendment. Banning books exalting sexual deviancy from elementary schools is not a violation of the First Amendment.
    Applauding the action of a judge going against the will of the local community is currency of the American Left. The essence of democracy is local government, not government from a distant central government. Mr Singham applauds a ruling of a Federal judge, not a local judge. Remember, the Supreme Court once upheld the legality of slavery. The difference between Consevatives and Progressives is that Conservatives advocate people governing themselves while Progressives advocating the elite (Government) governing the people. Too often the judicial elements are agents of the elite as it is now in enforcing the GLBTQIA agenda.
    Nothing positive can come from GLBTQIA indoctrination of 8 yrear-olds. Yes, there are prominent people in Science, Economy, Politics, Arts who are sexual deviants (aka GLBTQIA). There is a Nobel Prize winner in the Sciences who was a pedophile and an unrepentant one at that. He is deceased now and never brought to justice. Nonetheless his sexual deviancy is of no relevance to his contributions to science. Focus on the beneficial contributions of said notables, not so much on their sexual deviancies or other sins and vices. I am sure Mr Singham would object to teaching the joys of cigar smoking to 8-yr olds. And yet many famous people are smokers and tobacco is irrelevant to their contributions. Albert Einstein was a cigar smoker. So is it time to demonize Mr Einstein? I am sure Mr Singham would object to teaching the joys of cocaine to 8-yr olds. Sigmund Freud was a coke-head. So is it time to demonize Mr Freud? Well, Mr Freud is demonized on the Left not for his cocaine use but for his views on sexuality.
    MLK: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Today, the American Left do not judge by the content of character but by skin color and the oppressed ranking of your identity. Today, the American Left judges you not by your degree of competency but by your politically incorrect sins. Who determines if a sin is politically incorrect? Answer: the American Left. The American Left is most forgiving of politically correct sins.
    Nothing positive can come from leftist racism indoctrination of 8 yrear-olds. It is ironic that Mr Singham brought up the issue of the KKK. He did not give the title of the KKK-related book that was banned so I cannot check it out. Question to Mr Singham: did the book mention that the KKK was founded by democrats and many KKK members voted for Ms Clinton (2016) and Mr Biden (2020)?
    Richard Spencer, an unapologetic neo-Nazi, tweeted: I plan to vote for Biden and a straight democratic ticket. It’s not based on “accelerationism” or anything like that; the liberals are clearly more competent people.’ Richard Spencer voted for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020. Why? Answer: President Trump’s agenda did NOT promote racial division. Antifa, BLM, KKK have a common goal: a nation divided up by racism. Antifa, BLM, KKK have voted for the candidate who can deliver on racial division: Basement Joe.
    In a multicultural society, tolerance is the glue, not love. With many cultures within a society, within a nation, there are always areas of irreconcilable differences within which love is impossible but which tolerance is possible. Tolerance damps down passions which can explode. Yes, there are irreconcilable differences amongst “oppressed” groups.
    The Left abhors tolerance and their views on tolerance take on a childish, immature tone. Take Herbert Marcuse’s essay “Repressive Tolerance”, where he writes about “Pure Tolerance” (in contrast to plain tolerance) which allows for evil. Such “Pure Tolerance” is just blind, foolish tolerance. Empathy without knowledge leads to foolishness. Tolerance without knowledge leads to foolishness. Tolerance of everything is just stupid. Informed tolerance is common-sense tolerance.
    The aim of the Left is to sow chaos, hatred, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, fear amongst the societal elements in order to dismantle society and then “rebuild” society. Tolerance damps down the volatile passions, encourages societal stability, and thus is an impediment to the Leftist aims.
    A proper curriculum for elementary school should encompass only what is common to all cultures in present societies. No preference to a particular religious culture. No preference to the culture of sexual deviancy.
    LGBTQ activists should imitate Jehovah’s Witnesses: leave the children alone and go knock on doors and preach to adults the joys of sodomy and tribadism.

  11. says

    The essence of democracy is local government, not government from a distant central government.

    Read some history, fish-boy: it’s the “distant central government” that has been indispensable in upholding democracy and enforcing US Constitutional rights against the whims of bigots and other reactionaries who have infested state and local governments.

    The aim of the Left is to sow chaos, hatred, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, fear amongst the societal elements…

    And now we’re back to the same old robotic bullshit we’ve already seen in every comment you post. Repetitive troll is Repetitive troll is Repetitive troll is …

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