Ed Scare: book bans spreading across America, driven by conservative rage

PEN America published a report Tuesday charting the accelerating phenomenon of book bans across the U.S., especially in schools and the legislatures of Republican-led states. Conservatives claim books are used to indoctrinate children into communism, homosexuality, critical race theory and all the other good stuff, and want them gone.

• The bans are speeding up. There were over 4,000 instances of book bans in the first half of this school year—more than all of last school year as a whole. This is a marked increase in comparison to the last spring semester, in which PEN America recorded 1,841 book bans.
• It's a nationwide campaign: over the last two and half academic years, PEN America has recorded banning activity in 42 states, across red and blue districts.
• Those who want to ban books are attempting to use obscenity law and hyperbolic rhetoric about "porn in schools" to justify banning books about sexual violence and LGBTQ+ topics (and in particular, trans identities). In doing so, they have also disproportionately targeted books by women and nonbinary authors.
• The movement to ban books also continues to focus on themes of race and racism by advancing rhetoric disparaging "critical race theory," "woke ideology," and efforts to ensure library collections are diverse and inclusive.
• Even so, resistance is rising, and the very students whose right to read is being challenged and the authors whose works are being censored are fighting back in creative and powerful ways.

Whenever this comes up, folks are always on hand to helpfully remind everyone to "just turn up!" at the school boards and city meetings and so on. But no-one wants to turn up because the right-wingers escalate to in-your face screaming, threats and harassment. Unless you have a plan for dealing with them and the calm, smiling sheriff's deputies behind them watching you, well, you don't have a plan.

Previously: Ta-Nehisi Coates crashes a school board meeting discussing the banning of his book (video)