Requests to burn books in Virginia follow the election of Glenn Youngkin, which he said during his government campaign that he would ban racial theory criticized in his first day in office and posted an ad with a local mother that he tried to get Beloved, Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, removed from her son’s AP English curriculum. The mother said the book contained “some of the most explicit materials imaginable,” which is entirely true, given that it is about the horrors of slavery, which many conservative parents would rather their children didn’t really know.
“What took us by surprise this year is the intensity with which school libraries are under attack,” Nora Pelizzari, a spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Censorship, said The Washington Post. He added: “Especially when taken in conjunction with legislative attempts to control school curricula, this appears to be a more general attempt to eliminate schools from materials that people disagree with. It looks different than what we have seen in recent years. “
Also this week, the send reports, a school board outside of Wichita, Kansas, said it was removing 29 books from circulation, including Morrison’s book The bluest eye, and writings on racism in America such as August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences”. Last month, Texas state representative Michael Krause launched a “review” of books that “contain material that could make students feel uncomfortable, guilty, distressed or any other form of psychological distress due to their race or sex or pass on that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, consciously or unconsciously. (Krause in particular reported numerous award-winning books, from the 1967 Pulitzer Prize winning novel The confessions of Nat Turner to Between the world and me from Ta-Nehisi Coates.) So in Texas, a recent school district said if teachers have a book on the Holocaust, they must also provide a book with an “opposite perspective”.