You Can’t Read That!

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post about book banning. YCRT! features news and opinion roundups, commentary, history, and reviews.

Credit: Jane of the North/Twitter
YCRT! News & Opinion Roundup

Having My Book Banned by Ron Desantis Was Bad. So Was What Happened Next. (MSNBC)

I worry that instead of judging my work on its merits, people will decide to read or not read me in order to prove “I read banned books” or signal “I don’t read that kind of book.”

YCRT! comment: I feel seen.

MoveOn Launching Banned Bookmobile This Summer: Full of Censored Books (MoveOn)

With Ron DeSantis officially in the race for president, MoveOn is launching a “Banned Bookmobile,” filling it with books that DeSantis and other MAGA Republicans have banned in recent years, and driving it around the country to hand out those books for free.

YCRT! comment: Totally my idea (link: Where’s my money, MoveOn?

Desantis Is Wrong. Book Bans in Florida Schools and in Other States Aren’t a ‘Hoax.’ (USA Today)

Semantic gymnastics about what is or isn’t a ban is an effort to deny and distract from the problem. When school districts reduce or prohibit access to books in response to the bogus demands of a single individual, they put the needs and interests of all on a back burner. When they determine that books representing historically marginalized identities are inappropriate, they send students and families a disturbing message about whose stories matter. When state legislators enable and support these actions, they are complicit.

YCRT! comment: They hate to be accused of banning books, but their intention, always, is exactly that. 

Return of the Librarians (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Students are quick to credit the volunteers for reinvigorating the space. But as sixth-grader and frequent library user Tellar Lawler put it: “You can’t have a library without a librarian. Then it’s just a room full of books.”

YCRT! comment: The news isn’t as great as the headline implies, but it’s better than most of the news in these banned book news roundups, and we’ll take what we can get.

Sex Ed Books Don’t “Groom” Kids and Teens. They Protect Them. (BookRiot)

At an event, a librarian shared with Harris that It’s Perfectly Normal kept disappearing from the shelves. She replaced it several times, but it kept happening, and it was beyond their budget to keep doing so. Then, one day, they all came back in a backpack with a note: “I took this book because I thought no child or teenager should read it. Then my 14-year-old niece got pregnant, and now I realize that children do need books like this.”

YCRT! comment: Sex ed books is exactly what many of the book banners’ targets are, and we should embrace that and be honest about it. They are exactly what teen readers seek out and deserve to know.

Objection to Sexual, LGBTQ Content Propels Spike in Book Challenges (Washington Post)

A small number of people were responsible for most of the book challenges, The Post found. Individuals who filed 10 or more complaints were responsible for two-thirds of all challenges. In some cases, these serial filers relied on a network of volunteers gathered together under the aegis of conservative parents groups such as Moms for Liberty.

YCRT! comment: Sure would be nice if the rest of the media quit treating a few squeaky wheels as a mass movement.

Conservatives Target Publishers as Part of Their School, Library Censorship Push (Teen Vogue)

Previous bills have already made it illegal to distribute “obscene” materials to minors, but this new law adds specificity, targeting book publishers and the books they provide to schools. Unlike existing laws, it also makes a first offense for publishers a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

YCRT! comment: schools, colleges, teachers, professors, public libraries, librarians, authors, the ALA, PEN America, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, now publishers … lock ’em all up!

YCRT! Social Media Roundup

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