What happens when education is censored, free speech denied and history whitewashed?
“The memory of fascism is keen in Europe and Europeans know that book burning marked the beginning of fascism in Italy and Germany… It matters little whether the removal literally takes the form of burning or consists of storing the books in basements and warehouses.” – U.S. Holocaust Museum
Connect the dots for yourself to see how Republicans who cannot handle the truth so they ban books and fire teachers to whitewash history with this StoryMap:
> College Board changes course on African American studies – Letters From An American
> Educational censorship – PEN America
> FLORIDA BOOK BANS: Why are there empty shelves in Florida schools? – PEN America
> Florida teacher fired for video of empty bookshelves after DeSantis complaint – Public Info
> Literary Vigilantes – Holocaust Museum
> What is the 1619 Project that Republicans try to suppress? – NY Times
> You can’t handle the truth! – Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men
Book burnings mark the beginning of fascism
Republicans trample the right to Free Speech in the First Amendment
“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
“Literary vigilantism today is directed against forces perceived to be corruptive. Boards of education find themselves under pressure to purge school libraries of “unacceptable” literature, pitting parents’ groups against teachers, and states against individual schools. Public libraries face challenges to “objectionable” books based on political, moral, religious, or ethnic concerns. The works of “secular humanists” and “Satanists” are frequently consumed in the ritual fires set by fundamentalist religious groups.
The specter of suppression and censorship activates free-speech advocates who not infrequently make reference to the Nazi book burnings. Thus is perpetuated the single, incisive image of censorship and intolerance—and the ground trod by all censors, of whatever persuasion: fire charring a page or a book.” – Holocaust Museum
When you can’t handle the truth
Brian Covey, a Florida teacher fired for video of empty bookshelves after DeSantis complaint. On February 14, a reporter asked DeSantis about images posted on social media of “bookshelves emptied” in Duval County… The next day Covey was fired in a 45-second phone call.
… the empty shelves in Covey’s video once housed “the fiction titles,” but those titles were removed pending review by a media specialist. So Covey’s video of empty bookshelves was not a “misrepresentation” or “false narrative” of the reality in Duval County schools. In response to several laws championed by DeSantis, DCPS has made more than 1.5 million books inaccessible to students.” – Popular Info
American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world founded in 1876. It aims “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”
Public schools and public libraries, as public institutions, have been the setting for legal battles about student access to books, the removal or retention of “offensive” material, regulation of patron behavior, and limitations on public access to the internet… Directly or indirectly, ordinary individuals are the driving force behind the challenges to the freedom to access information and ideas in the library. – ALA
- Banned Books Week in the fall draws attention to the harms of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading.
- Unite Against Book Bans is ALA’s national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.
- OIF releases an annual list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books during National Library Week in April using its censorship database.
- We produce and market products in the ALA Store to create awareness of intellectual freedom and Banned Books Week.
TakeAway: Stop educational censorship. Call your elected reps to demand they vote against literary vigilantism.
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Image credit: A Few Good Men – Columbia Pictures
Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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