The latest Republican culture war, and disturbing new trend - is the banning and censoring of books. In this latest NBC News special report they uncovered some of the books parents have asked school libraries to remove.
Records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — revealed 75 formal requests by parents or community members to ban books from libraries during the first four months of this school year. In comparison, only one library book challenge was filed at those districts during the same time period a year earlier, records show. A handful of the districts reported more challenges this year than in the past two decades combined.
These parents feel empowered now to come out of the woodwork, fueled by white grievance stoked by Republicans and the former president. They wish to have their kids grow up in a whitewashed version of reality, devoid of thought or critical thinking.
In the United States we have a long complex history, much of it dark. It’s not that long ago people were kept as property. The effects from that time live on to this day. But to these parents, reading a book about a black boy killed by police might make them “feel ashamed based on color of their skin.” They’d rather they’d not confront this complex history or current events.
These parents are showing their ignorance and working hard to compete with 1950s America. They’re also trying to get books removed that cover topics like sexual orientation. You can remove an LGBTQ book, but you cannot stop it if your child is gay. And they often know WELL before any of these ignorant parents are willing to stomach. And many of these students, especially in conservative places like Texas have to hide their true identities. Library books are one of the ways they learn more about what they are.
From a secluded spot in her high school library, a 17-year-old girl spoke softly into her cellphone, worried that someone might overhear her say the things she’d hidden from her parents for years. They don’t know she’s queer, the student told a reporter, and given their past comments about homosexuality’s being a sin, she’s long feared they would learn her secret if they saw what she reads in the library.
This narrow minded, feeble attempt to ban these books shows one thing. These parents are cowards. They are afraid their kids might come home and ask complex questions about race or sexuality. They would rather rather their children grow up sheltered and learn nothing about the vast, complex, and diverse world around them.
Remember that, all elections matter. No office is insignificant. VOTE and run for something if you can. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it will not be the last. If we do not learn history, we are absolutely doomed to repeat it.
To see a list of 50 books Texas parents want banned, click here.