Louisiana AG’s bid for governor raises ‘super concern’ about future pushes to ban books, censorship – The Hill

A narrative at a look

  • Louisiana College Librarians Affiliation President Amanda Jones has some issues about how the state lawyer normal has accused librarians and academics of “peddling defamation” to youngsters.

  • Landry introduced he was operating for governor of Louisiana in October.

  • Shortly after asserting his proposal, Landry printed an opinion piece by which he accused librarians and academics of promoting “sexually graphic content material” to youngsters.

Louisiana College Librarians Affiliation President Amanda Jones is anxious about the way forward for censorship in her state, particularly if present Lawyer Normal Jeff Landry (R) wins his bid for governor.

Landry, a conservative Republican who helps former President Trump, introduced in October that he’s operating to switch term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in 2023.

Extra Republicans are anticipated to affix the race, which is taken into account one of the anticipated elections within the nation subsequent 12 months. However up to now, Landry is the one candidate vying for Edwards’ job.

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As lawyer normal, Landry clashed with Edwards and pushed conservative insurance policies on points such because the demise penalty, COVID-19 vaccines and LGBT rights.

Jones fears that as governor, Landry will implement an ultra-conservative coverage on the books that can be utilized in school rooms and libraries.

“If he turns into governor, I feel there’s an enormous concern that he’ll promote censorship and guide ban laws and encourage different teams to shake up public libraries,” Jones instructed The Hill.

“In a day and age the place educators greater than ever and librarians greater than ever want help, he does precisely the alternative,” she added.

Simply days earlier than asserting his candidacy for governor, Landry printed an opinion piece in The Gonzalez Weekly Citizen titled “Why Are Taxpayers Subsidizing the Sexualization of Youngsters?”

Within the piece, Landry accuses academics and librarians of a scenario the place they peddle “junk” to youngsters and join them to “extraordinarily graphic sexual content material”.

“I’ve struggled to search out the fitting phrases to explain the brand new books now circulating within the youngsters’s sections of our public libraries and public faculties; however I, too, know pornography after I see it, even when it’s thinly disguised as academic materials for youngsters,” Landry stated within the article.

“Librarians and academics will not be empowering or liberating our youngsters by connecting them with books that comprise extraordinarily graphic sexual content material that’s removed from age applicable for younger audiences.”

As in lots of different “pink” states, guide banning in Louisiana has been on the rise over the previous two years largely underneath the guise of defending youngsters from sexual content material.

Whereas guide bans are nothing new in the US, the ways behind the bans and their political nature are distinctive to the present wave of censorship.

And the targets of the bans are largely books that contact on the lives of members of the LGBQT group or individuals of colour, in line with an evaluation by PEN America.

Louisiana doesn’t at present have a state regulation banning books, however the brand new wave of politicized guide bans has reached the state in different methods, together with most just lately in Paris Lafayette and Livingston.

After conservatives took over the Lafayette Parish Library Board, members gave themselves the authority to ban books earlier this 12 months.

In August, the Livingston Parish Council voted to limit youngsters’s entry to sure books within the public library which are associated partly to intercourse or sexual orientation. Some group members, together with Jones, balked on the transfer.

Jones acquired a barrage of on-line harassment and even demise threats for taking a stand in opposition to the board’s efforts to restrict entry to the books.

Landry’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark from the Hill.

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