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

A narrative at a look

  • Louisiana Faculty Librarians Affiliation President Amanda Jones has some considerations about how the state lawyer normal has accused librarians and lecturers of “peddling defamation” to kids.

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

  • Shortly after saying his proposal, Landry revealed an opinion piece during which he accused librarians and lecturers of promoting “sexually graphic content material” to kids.

Louisiana Faculty Librarians Affiliation President Amanda Jones is worried about the way forward for censorship in her state, particularly if present Legal professional Basic 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 hitch the race, which is taken into account some of the anticipated elections within the nation subsequent 12 months. However to this point, 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 dying 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 lecture rooms and libraries.

“If he turns into governor, I believe there’s an enormous concern that he’ll promote censorship and e-book 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 assist, he does precisely the other,” she added.

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

Within the piece, Landry accuses lecturers and librarians of a state of affairs the place they peddle “junk” to kids and join them to “extraordinarily graphic sexual content material”.

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

“Librarians and lecturers aren’t 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 “purple” states, e-book banning in Louisiana has been on the rise over the previous two years largely below the guise of defending kids from sexual content material.

Whereas e-book bans are nothing new in the USA, the techniques 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 neighborhood or folks of colour, in response to an evaluation by PEN America.

Louisiana doesn’t at present have a state regulation banning books, however the brand new wave of politicized e-book bans has reached the state in different methods, together with most not too long ago 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 kids’s entry to sure books within the public library which are associated partially to intercourse or sexual orientation. Some neighborhood members, together with Jones, balked on the transfer.

Jones obtained a barrage of on-line harassment and even dying threats for taking a stand towards 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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