Book banning is a form of educational censorship used by powermongers to build their power-base through rage farming and the arbitrary exercise of authority, as well as restricting access to information which might reveal the phoniness and harmfulness of their claims. The methodolgy involves pretending to be outraged that one or more books are being made available to children in schools or public libraries.
The banner (the individual or group advocating for the banning) will generally choose works of cultural significance but slightly outside the mainstream -- typically dealing with themes of oppression, minority representation, intersectionality, and other anti-authoritarian causes -- attributes known for generating community polarization, as authoritarian followers will reflexively pile on the "against" side when those causes are mentioned, while anti-authoritarians will fight to keep the books available due to their importance. The banner will typically find one or more excuses (not necessarily true) for finding the books "inappropriate"; these excuses are generally designed to further trigger authoritarian-follower outrage and support.
2022 Tennessee: multiple incidents
- 2022-01-10 Maus ban: The McMinn County School board in Tennessee voted 10-0 to ban the use of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Maus from the school’s eighth-grade curriculum, citing a number of transparently silly excuses in justification.
- 2022-03-03 Tennessee hearing on book bans goes completely sideways: the wingnuts are in charge, there is cause for alarm (TN HB 1944)
2021-2022 Texas: multiple incidents
- 2021-11-08 TXTrib: Gov. Greg Abbott tells state agencies to develop standards to block books with "overtly sexual" content in schools
- 2021-11-10 TXTrib: Gov. Greg Abbott calls for criminal investigation into availability of "pornographic books" in public schools
- 2021-12-09 Vice: You Should Go Read All 400 Books Texas Just Removed—They’re Awesome: title may be misleading; article states only one book "preemptively removed", while others are flagged for review.
- 2022-12-21 One Texas library is closing for three days in response to calls to purge its children's books
- 2022-01: In early January, Jeremy Glenn, the superintendent of the Granbury Independent School District in North Texas, summoned a group of librarians to a district meeting room and ordered them to remove a number of books from the shelves. His speech surfaced on the internet and went viral.
- (2022.03.23) TXTrib: North Texas superintendent orders books removed from schools, targeting titles about transgender people
- (2022.03.24) DKos: Recording of Texas superintendent telling librarians to pull books about LGBTQ people goes viral «...Glenn's instructions reportedly referred to all books with LGBTQ+ themes—including ones that don’t have sex in them. Glenn argued such books don't fit with the community’s beliefs and might expose students to inappropriate ideas.»
- NBC: Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries
- NBC: Banned: Books on race and sexuality are disappearing from Texas schools in record numbers «Hundreds of titles have been pulled from libraries across the state for review, sometimes over the objections of school librarians, several of whom told NBC News they face increasingly hostile work environments and mounting pressure to pre-emptively pull books that might draw complaints.» (discussion: Nextdoor)
- 2022-02-02 A Texas parent demanded that "Michelle Obama: Political Icon (by Heather E. Schwartz) be removed from school libraries.
- (2022.02.02) Insider: A Texas parent demanded a Michelle Obama biography be pulled from schools because they said it would make white girls feel 'ashamed' «The Katy, Texas, parent took issue with a book titled "Michelle Obama: Political Icon" by Heather E. Schwartz, saying it "unfairly" depicted Trump "as a bully"». In other words, she didn't like it because it was accurate and challenged her to rethink her allegiance.
- (2022.02.04) TheHill: Texas school district won't remove Michelle Obama biography after parent complaint «"The inquiry cited was submitted by one parent of the over 89,500 children the school district serves," Katy ISD Communications Manager Maria Corrales DiPetta wrote in an email. "Contrary to suggestive media reports, the book was never considered for removal, nor removed at any point, from District libraries."»
- 2022-04-25 «Seven Llano County residents filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the county judge, commissioners, library board members and library systems director for restricting and banning books from its three-branch public library system.» (TXTrib)
2022-04-15 Florida rejects "CRT" math books
Florida officials reject more than 50 proposed math textbooks that allegedly "include references to Critical Race Theory."
- (2022.04.15) FL DoE: Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students «Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.»
- (2022.04.17) Y!: Florida Continues Attack On Education After Rejecting 54 Math Textbooks Due To 'CRT'
- (2022.04.19) discussion on Reddit shows that some of the problematic material used as justification for rejecting the textbooks was not actually in any textbook at all, but came from a crowdsourced teaching curriculum web site.
- (2022.04.21) PopInf: Inside the "dangerous" math textbooks DeSantis claims would "indoctrinate students" «Notably, the Florida Department of Education, Desantis, and Pushaw did not provide any examples of how these math textbooks would indoctrinate Florida students» though Pushaw did claim that they teach kids that "2+2=4" is "white supremacy".
- (2022.04.24) DKos: Florida releases examples of banned math textbooks that include lessons in ... empathy? Can't have kids learning about that; they might not vote GOP.
2022-03-07 Idaho HB 666
Idaho HB 666 could lead to librarians being prosecuted for checking out materials that are deemed "harmful to minors".
- (2022.03.04) DKos: Idaho HB 666 (yes, that's the name) could put librarians in jail for lending kids 'explicit' books
- (2022.03.07) Idaho Capital Sun: Idaho House passes bill that could lead to prosecution of librarians for 'harmful material' «Supporters said the bill is need to keep objectionable material out of libraries» as if that has been an ongoing problem, because librarians are so unscrupulous and untrustworthy.
- (2022.03.18) Idaho Press: 'Super secret folder' House passed around in regards to HB 666 is revealed
2022-01 Missouri removes several books
- 2021-11-11 LGBTQN: Virginia school board members call for public book burning of gay books
- 2022-04-24 LGBTQ Literature: Three banned books -- an education, not only for younger adults
- 2022-02-22 Big majorities reject book bans - CBS News poll
- 2022-02-17 How the new banned books panic fits into America's history of school censorship
- 2022-02-01 DKos: How the "Moral Panic" of Critical Race Theory Morphed Into a Book-Banning Frenzy «Moral panics, when driven by politcians, are usually just tools. This CRT moral panic is a tool being used by a coalition of interests to achieve their own goals, none of which have anything to do with teaching or not-teaching the history of race in America.»
- 2022-01-26 IW: The Fight to Ban Books is Once Again Raging in Wake County Public Schools and Libraries