There needed to be a place to comment on, and get more info on, a truly moronic Florida story from this week’s issue. This is the place.
First, let’s look at the story — you’re welcome to grab this graphic and post it on social media, forums, etc.
If you would like just the Webster’s tionary cover, you’re welcome to share that also, just below. (Or if you just wanted to see it larger, click on it to do so.)
The story notes PEN America is keeping a list of the banned/challenged books, and I’d guess many of you want to review it. Here it is: More Than 1,600 Books Banned In Escambia County, Florida.
I know some of you will bristle at their use of “banned” when really, some portion is “under review.” But I understand their use of the stronger word: if the books have been pulled from school shelves for “investigation” then they are not available for student use. That’s effectively banned unless and until they’re returned to circulation.
A preview of two books on that list? Besides Merriam-Webster’s, I mean. Killing Jesus and Killing Reagan, both by disgraced Fox News pundit and sexual predator Bill O’Reilly, who is of course outraged. “It’s absurd. Preposterous,” he sputtered to Newsweek. “When DeSantis signed the book law, I supported the theme because there was abuse going on in Florida. There were far-left progressive people trying to impose an agenda on children; there’s no doubt about it. And the state has an obligation to protect children.”
Maybe so. But you know what else there is? There are far-right regressive people trying to impose an agenda on children; there’s no doubt about it. Isn’t there a similar obligation to protect children from that? Or is only one side of the radical fringe allowed to protest ideological pressure?
What we truly need is voters who think about these things, work to be thoughtful of other points of view, and come up with reasonable ideas rather than insisting their view is the only possible view, and making up really stupid things to “prove” their points, such as “gay people are pedophiles.” If you want to know the number-one group sexually preying on children, forget the Drag Queen Story Hour volunteers and start counting the convicted clergy.
Voters Who Think
Consider, for instance, Plattsmouth, Nebraska, a town of about 6,500 people. There, school board member Terri Cunningham-Swanson pushed through a book review policy for area schools. At a meeting last May, her own son spoke against her and her proposals.
“She’s made statements about being against critical race theory, which can be interpreted as also Black history,” D’Shaun Cunningham told the board, which included his mother. “She has four Black children, myself included. What these bans encourage is a lack of civility. So even within my family, there’s been breakdowns in communication but that’s what the nation is going through.”
Gutsy kid, and he’s absolutely right. Cunningham-Swanson and her husband, if you wondered, are white. They have a total of six children.
The high school librarian resigned over the policy. “I made the difficult decision to leave the district following the events of the last board meeting when the book ‘reviews’ began,” Christine Knust said. “Why is one person’s belief system more important than others?” she demanded of the board. “What will happen next if you accomplish your mission?”
The committee which reviewed 52 challenged books only recommended removing one of them. It’s unclear which one, and from what grade level.
So… where were the voters? Waiting for their turn, which came this month in a special recall election, where 62 percent of voters gave Cunningham-Swanson her walking papers.
It would be nice if Florida’s voters would grow some cojones too, if they’re not too drunk on their political Kool-Aid.
So that’s my say: you can have yours in the Comments.
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