Republicans claim to be for the constitution, but deny Americans the freedom of speech it guarantees?
“You cannot destroy truth by burning pages.” Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, began an effort to bring German arts and culture in line with Nazi goals... Over 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. - Holocaust Encyclopedia.
"Republicans are using educational gag orders to censor teachers, proposals to track and monitor teachers, and mechanisms to facilitate book banning in school districts. Many of the books being targeted are by or about people whose identities and stories have traditionally been underrepresented in children’s and young adult literature, such as people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, or persons with disabilities." - PEN
- How many books have Republicans banned? Where? How?
- Are Republicans really demanding books be burnt?
- How did Nazi book burnings help prepare Germans for future atrocities?
- What can you do to protect the freedom of speech and truthful education?
Fight to protect the freedom of speech
Fascists love censorship
Republicans ban books to prevent children from learning about American racism, misogyny and persecution of minorities. Now Republicans are proposing burning books. They have introduced educational gag orders to censor teachers, proposals to track and monitor teachers , and ways to enforce book bans in school districts.
How Republicans are trying to whitewash history
PEN America is a nonprofit stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. It aims to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. The Index of School Book Bans by PEN America lists decisions to ban books in school libraries and classrooms.
- The Index lists bans on 1,145 titles by 874 different authors.
- Book bans have occurred in 86 school districts in 26 states.
- These districts represent 2,899 schools with 2 million students.
- 644 bans are from state officials or lawmakers to investigate or remove books.
- Common themes involve debates about the teaching of race and racism in American history, LGBTQ+ identities, and sexual education in schools.
Protect the freedom of speech
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution passed by Congress in 1789. - ALA
"The Drake, North Dakota, school board condemned as obscene Kurt Vonnegut’s book Slaughterhouse Five. A story about Vonnegut’s World War II experience as a captured GI in Dresden when the city was firebombed. The book was torched in the high school furnace by the school janitor. “Book burning! Shades of Adolf Hitler and Fahrenheit 451!” - NY Times. The Bismarck (ND) Tribune reminded its readers that dictators had burned books as “terrifying object lessons” to would-be dissenters.
Vonnegut wrote to the Drake School Board: “Books are sacred to free men for very good reasons. . . . Wars have been fought against nations which hate books and burn them.” - Holocaust Encyclopedia
Protect your children's freedom to learn
"The Spotsylvania County School Board in Virginia also directed staff to report on the number of books that have been removed... Two school board members, Rabih Abuismail and Kirk Twigg, said they'd like to see the removed books burned.
"No one parent should dictate what every child reads, what every family has access to, because we have such varied and diverse values," Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said." - NBC Washington
Don't let censorship go unchecked in your community. Defend the public's freedoms and report bans of books to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Read the books Republicans are trying to ban
"... hundreds of residents have petitioned for the school board to reverse its ban on Julie Otsuka’s book. They might want to cite the recent words LeVar Burton, beloved host of “Reading Rainbow”: “Read the books they’re banning. That’s where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason why.” - LA Times
Take Away: Protect the freedom of speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the freedom to learn the facts.
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How this StoryMap was created
This map includes details on book bans by state along with the contact details of the politicians behind the book bans.
The map can be searched by book ban legislation introduced, who sponsored the bill, current status, laws, penalties and executive orders.
The StoryMap can be freely embedded in a website with this code: < iframe src="https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/9bb31a7fa24047cf942b8df2940966ac?header" width="100%" height="500px" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen allow="geolocation"></iframe>