Banning Books Was Never Intended to Protect Kids

Banning Books, it was never intended to protect the kids (The hate and intolerance behind the scene)

This is not a new topic, but it seems to be a growing one – especially in states like Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan, and Oklahoma.  And it’s about so much more than banning books – but we will start there.  

Articles and news posts are widespread across social media covering the book banning movement taking place (in libraries, school libraries and even school textbooks –  Florida is the most aggressive on that front).  Efforts to ban books (mostly in politically conservative/right-leaning states) has been largely  the result of the anti-CRT (Critical Race Theory) movement.  It has progressed beyond race though, and has picked up velocity as it’s included anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-(insert any religion that’s not Christian).

As recently reported by PEN America, a non-profit 

“Founded in 1922… to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.”

“…book bans have become a favorite tool for state-wide and national political mobilization, departing from prior patterns whereby such bans tended to originate locally and spontaneously. Local chapters of Moms for Liberty have collated and shared lists of books to be challenged on Facebook, and pressed their case to responsive school authorities. No Left Turn in Education and Parents Defending Education have curated lists of “radical” books that they view as “indoctrination,” and have actively sought to mobilize disaffected parents under the banner of “parents’ rights.” https://pen.org/banned-in-the-usa/

The anti-LGBTQ+ focus has taken an ugly twist where those not supporting the “anti” efforts are referred to as “groomers” or “pedophiles”. Educators are accused of “indoctrination”. 

As Quentin Young points out in his recent commentary in Colorado Newsline, here in Colorado (where many of us like to think we are on the forefront of being open-minded and inclusive)  “Anti-trans and anti-gay rhetoric in recent months has become increasingly vile. It’s showing up in schools, the campaign trail and social media.” 

Anti-LGBTQ bigotry has no place in Colorado – Attacks against gay and trans residents are on the rise, Commentary by Quentin Young, editor of Colorado Newsline.

https://coloradonewsline.com/2022/04/14/anti-lgbtq-bigotry-has-no-pace-in-colorado/

Young further points to the recent public comment session of the state Board of Education’s hearing on Social Studies standards.

“The state Board of Education is considering an update to K-12 academic standards that is meant to be more inclusive, including for the LGBTQ community. A flood of public comments reflected the extent to which homophobia and fears of “indoctrination and ‘grooming,’” as Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reported, motivates conservative residents.

We’ve seen some of this at its most extreme during Florida’s recent “Don’t Say Gay” legislation push, and the resulting conflict between the state legislature and governor, and Disney World.  Long story short, Disney took a stand opposing the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, and is now being punished by the state in new legislation recently passed.  

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-house-passes-bill-dissolve-disneys-special-self-governing-stat-rcna25337?fbclid=IwAR30Ulzx0ykZMdGZsSH-1pWzUb1SOYBHX_-3uZuy7WHC4JZfHX8-s7cQe_I

“The Florida House passed a bill Thursday to eliminate the special district that allows the Walt Disney Co. to self-govern its Orlando-area theme park, sending the measure to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.”

Taking the extreme to an even greater level, Florida is also banning math textbooks, citing “… they contained “prohibited topics,” including Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).”   As any educator and most parents will tell you:  “SEL focuses on the development of “critical thinking, emotion management, conflict resolution, decision making, [and] teamwork”.  This is all very telling of how very small and narrow minded the architects of these efforts are. 

https://popular.info/p/inside-the-dangerous-math-textbooks?r=eprf5&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR20Uk_j2ijknKSsV553FdrqJgsT1fRbtA9bh6a2EhPl2R4mIJ3TbMGsnXI

Florida is not the only state where this war is getting ugly.  In Michigan, a state senator (Mallory McMorrow) spoke up against the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric:  “Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen.”

Mallory McMorrow , Michigan state senator

“Senator Lana Theis accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an attempt to marginalize me for standing up against her marginalizing the LGBTQ community…in a fundraising email, for herself. 

 

It is on that note, that our own Shawna Fritzler did just that – stood up to a group of anti-LGBTQ protestors during her recent family trip to Disneyland. NBC News reporter Ben Collins tweeted a short interview with Shawna, a certified suicide prevention trainer, who pointed out the devastating damage this hateful rhetoric is doing to our youth, and the increase in youth suicide attempts (especially those in the LGBTQ+ community). 

Posted by NBC News reporter Ben Collins:  “Here’s Shawna Fritzler, who yelled back at the “anti-grooming” protesters at Disney today. A couple of right-wing camera crews immediately descended on her, asking her if she’s “pro-grooming.” When the cameras turned off, they said she’d be “all over the internet in 5 minutes.”

What should we all be taking from this?  The obvious answer is how harmful and needless the hateful rhetoric has become.  But understanding it’s the result of a well thought out political strategy whose architects intentionally created to take advantage of a flock of uneducated followers, easily preyed upon by their fear of what they don’t understand and aren’t willing to take the time to learn about.

Learn the facts and become part of the solution by signing up for a Suicide Prevention Training:

http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/suicide-prevention-trainings/