Freedom-Loving Group Confiscates 16 Books From School Library, For Freedom

Culture Wars
Freedom-Loving Group Confiscates 16 Books From School Library, For Freedom

If there is anything conservatives hate, it is cancel culture and censorship. Oh, how they sobbed when the family of Dr. Seuss decided to stop publishing a half dozen books that featured racist caricatures of Chinese people. Oh, how they have wrung their hands over the mere idea of a whole generation of kids not reading books with racial slurs in them. And that is because they love and value free speech and the Constitution above all else. This is why they get so upset whenever a virulent racist is banned from Twitter. Not because they agree with the sentiment, but because "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Or because they agree with the sentiment. Because it does seem that when they don't agree with something, they are more than happy to ban it.

A school superintendent in Polk County, Florida, spent Tuesday morning of this week going around to various school libraries in the area and pulling books out of them, after a conservative group called "County Citizens Defending Freedom" wrote a letter and demanded they be removed.


READ MORE: Now The School Censors Have Come For Maus

Why? Because they claim the books are full of "pornographic material" not suitable for young adults.

Via The Ledger:

[Superintendent Frederick] Heid sent an email Monday evening to middle and high school principals and media center librarians, stating that a “stakeholder group” is alleging that the books may be in violation of Florida Statute 847.012, which deals with distributing obscene or harmful materials to children.

"While it is not the role of my office to approve/evaluate instructional or resource materials at that level, I do have an obligation to review any allegation that a crime is being or has been committed,” Heid wrote in the email. “It is also my obligation to provide safeguards to protect our employees. The district will be taking the following steps to ensure that we address this issue honestly, fairly, and transparently.”

Heid says the books have not officially been censored or banned yet. But what were they, exactly? Old copies of Hustler? The Anarchist's Cookbook? No. Nothing like that. We're not even talking "Delta of Venus" or anything here — which, by the way, I actually did read in middle school.

Rather, the books the County Citizens Defending Freedom With No Sense Of Irony Whatsoever want banned are most frequently books about LGBTQ people, sex, slavery and mental health — among other things they believe don't or wouldn't exist as long as you never mention them.

The books they want banned are: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer; Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher; The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines; It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley; Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart; George by Alex Gino, I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings; Drama by Raina Telgemeier; Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult; More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera; Beloved and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; Tricks by Ellen Hopkins; and Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher.

Read More: Victoria Jackson Freaks Out Over Tiny Cartoony Genitals

[If It's Perfectly Normal sounds familiar to you, that's the sex-ed book for upper-elementary kids that former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson freaked out about because it depicted tiny cartoon genitals on a variety of perfectly normal human bodies — Dok]


Balzac www.youtube.com


The CCDF released a statement after the seizure became public, in which they seem to have purposely left out the fact that their objection to many of these books was the fact that they centered on LGBTQ people.

CCDF-USA recognizes that these books have been written by award-winning authors and produced by renowned publishers, however the issue at hand is the content of the books in question describing in graphic detail several sensitive topics including sexual assault, rape, failure to address mental illness as a cause of suicide, racism, incest, child molestation, offensive language, sexually explicit material, bestiality, necrophilia, infanticide and violence.

You will notice that the group is called "County Citizens Defending Freedom" and not "Polk County Citizens Defending Freedom." That is because it is a national umbrella group and not some grassroots, ragtag group of parents who randomly all got mad about Toni Morrison at the same time.


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The fact is, children need books on these topics. Because children are molested, they experience rape and incest and sexual assault. They experience mental illness and they experience racism. They are gay, trans, non-binary and some of them are even straight, cisgender people who happen to not be assholes. It is important that they have books available to them so that they can feel less alone, so that they can know what to do when something bad happens to them, books that can provide answers to questions they have about themselves, their bodies and their lives that they may not always be comfortable talking to adults in their lives about. Books, both fiction and non-fiction, help kids figure out themselves and the world around them and give them the courage they need to deal with problems in their lives.

And that is exactly why these groups are targeting them so fiercely.

[The Ledger]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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