Book Banning and Freedom of Speech

Republican and conservative efforts to ban books they disagree with are taking off. PEN America, an organization devoted to protecting free expression in literature, reports that there are at least 50 groups across the country working to remove books they object to from libraries. During the 2021-22 school year, 138 school districts in 32 states banned more than 2,500 books. These districts include 5,049 schools and in total enroll almost 4 million students.

Texas and Florida lead the nation in book bans. The books most frequently targeted have been by or about Black or L.G.B.T.Q. people, according to the American Library Association. 

To my way of thinking, these efforts are in direct violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The conservatives, well-to-do and powerful, are trying to suppress those they look down on, especially women, blacks and other racial minorities, and those with sexual identities that depart from the conservative norm. In a nation devoted to freedom and democracy, in which all are equal, there is no despised faction of inferiors to be subjugated.

It is incumbent upon all of us to fight book bans. They strike at the very heart of our freedom. Let’s unify against them.

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