Republicans no longer seeking to ban individual books go after the whole library

Originally published at: Republicans no longer seeking to ban individual books go after the whole library | Boing Boing


There’s a bill in Illinois that would cut off grants to libraries that ban books – I fear this plays right into the hands of the “Close the Library” strategy.


This is the key. If they can control what kids can learn, they can control what kids believe. At that point, the battle is essentially over. What they don’t seem to understand is that in the age of the internet, forbidden knowledge is absolutely irresistible to curious kids. Of course, they also seek to stomp out curiosity, so maybe I am wrong about that.


Blue states are just a guilty of it too, albeit to appease an imaginary “center” and “core mission”.

(I am referring to my own experience as a participant in a blue state in a red county.)

The local library has banned a Santa meet and greet, a gingerbread house/peeps contest, and a certain local author meet and greet for being controversial, or “woke”. My opinion is that any library needs a certain level of “marketing/co-marketing” to bring patrons in, and doesn’t have to be 100% “about books, STEAM, and literacy”, but as a catalyst for them.


This feels like either absolute fear - If people get any other ideas but ours they might realise we’re talking shit.

Or a sort of cultural eugenics which makes any artwork of any description behind a paywall. Soon the only artwork kids will be able to see for free is graffiti art and the authorities will keep painting over that.


Maybe I am misunderstanding you. This is somehow because of progressive policies? This is not something you can bothsides. Dems are not trying to ban books, thoughts or people anywhere. (Unless you count Nazis. I am fine with banning Nazis.)


OMFG… did you just post some glib bothsiderism in regards to banning books???


So, not really the same. It’s not blue states, it’s right-wing local governments within blue states. As always it’s the right actually banning free speech while claiming the left is trying to “cancel” them and infringe upon their free speech.


The silent part is that these are (red) county edicts are a result of jealousy from the county seat as this library has higher circulation number than the main library despite being 1/4 the size of the main library due to an outreach to the tourist traffic and a very liberal policy of granting library cards to non residents.

My point is that there are pockets of “censorship” even in blue states, but is trying to disguise/white wash itself as catering to a “non-controversial” stance.

Red county is your problem.

Dem’s are the ones fighting book bans.


Your first comment was incredibly ineffective in conveying that point.


Can we not… no entire state is “red” or “blue”… the problem here (as you note in your case) is the GOP! If they are dominating your local politics, THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE BANNING BOOKS!!! So, no “blue” states are not “responsible” for that. The GOP is STILL responsible for that. It is happening on a STATE level in red states and on a local level in blue. And the opposite is true - local libraries in “red” states are finding ways to make banned material available despite the attempts to censor.

This is NOT a “both sides” problem. AT ALL.


That just point out the oft repeated fact that red/blue divide does not follow geographic or political boundaries. There are blue states with red counties containing blue cities with red subdivisions with blue homeowners. (And vise-versa) No easy divide. But it is always the fascists pushing for censoring ideas that threaten their snow-white, flakey egos. Even if you didn’t mean it as such, it came across as “Dems are doing it too!!” They are not.


mood GIF


The odd thing about it is that you can’t ban ideas because you can’t stop people thinking them up.

Did I say that? :woman_shrugging: I did not. But building a resilient, democratic society is one of the best hedges against the rise of fascism. Offer better, more inclusive alternatives, where people’s lives are not just endless work and living on the brink, and you build a bulwark against fascism taking hold. Build a system where rights are protected, people have a floor that they can’t fall beneath, allow them space for building community and meaning, and people are far less likely to look for alternatives in violent ideologies.

This isn’t rocket surgery. We don’t have to ban ideas to ensure we maintain a free and democratic society.


Thinking them up? Sure. But you sure as hell can punish people for talking about, writing about, teaching about or speaking about ideas that threaten white supremacist ideals. The examples are all around us now. This is not a hypothetical discussion!


Most importantly, we can keep them from putting them into policies by having a clear set of human rights guidelines that is inclusive and can be shaped to meet new ideas about humanity as we change and evolve.


I’m all in favour of that, I just don’t see how that fits in with our current unfettered Capitalism, whereas fascism certainly does.

I hate it. Burn this whole motherfucker down, except for the libraries.


You’re right that it can’t… we have to build a different kind of economy that is not about profit-building at the expense of everything else. As you note, there is a direct connection with fascism and capitalism.

Seth Meyers Idk GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers