Friday, December 16, 2022

'Moms for Liberty' Open Local Chapter In Springs - With Book Banning Binge


        "And we demand these 264 books be banned immediately!"

            Courtney Hertner - rescued 'Handmaid's Tale'- Scared at what she sees

One of the saddest expectations of sane citizens now, alas, is that a chapter of the rabid 'Moms for Liberty'  e.g.

may soon be coming to your own burg.  As I've written before, this lot of  misguided moms - with far too much time on their hands -  was hatched in the conspiracy caverns of QAnon and related mind infestations online.  Far from being about liberty, they are all about taking it away,  especially via removal of books they don't like or irrationally reject as "pornographic" or "progressive".   Well, according to a recent report in the COS Indy (December 7-13, pp. 8-11) they've now opened a chapter in the Springs and are targeting books and teachers in my (D-11) school district. (Thankfully, we have no kids to be brainwashed by them!)

Parent Courtney Hertner, who rescued a copy of 'Handmaid's Tale', got a glimpse of these whackjobs when she went to a meeting in November at the Ruth Holly Library.  This was for one of the Moms for Liberty offshoots, the "D-11 Achievement Alliance".  (As Janice asked, where do they come up with these names?)    The meeting turned out to be about "academic achievement" and "parental rights" with most emphasis on the latter.  Parental rights, of course, is the code word for parental hegemony over everything taught in schools, including what textbooks are used and what reading material is recommended.

Here in the Springs, these Right wing miscreants have gained sway ever since 5 conservative D-11 Board members took over in 2021.  It's been downhill since, and the Moms for Liberty entry is the final nail in the coffin of whatever future critical thinking might occur in the district's schools. 

At the November meeting five "Alliance" moms sounded off with a list of targeted books they got from a folder they had, according to Ms. Hertner.   One of the books earmarked for removal was Margaret Attwood's classic, but Hertner rescued it in time. The banning binge, which targeted over 250 books at D-11 libraries was based on lists provided by a Florida -based whacko hatchery called:

No, folks, you can't make this shit up, it's for real and I suggest all normal parents buckle up for the coming combat.  Or lose your control over your school boards, say if you snooze or naively think it's all "hyperbolic".   The meeting featuring aggressive takedowns of assorted listed books also followed a mass email dispatched to all parents in the district a week earlier which read: 

"You have a right to know what pornographic material is available to your children, your grandchildren and your neighbor's children."    

No surprise, or very little, that 90% of the books targeted feature LGBTQ content, such as 'Drama' by Raina Telgemeir.   But there are also many titles deemed "too racial in content" such as 'White Rage' and 'We Are Not Yet Equal' by Carol Anderson, as well as 'How I Resist' by Maureen Johnson.  Of course, all my atheist titles have long since been removed. But then there are the other fictional fare like 'Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger  (too much cursing and disrespect to authorities) as well as The Handmaid's Tale (propaganda against conservative morality).  

Ms. Hertner (a member of Neighbors for Education, an anti-conservo group) , for her part, isn't convinced it's all about removing offending books. As she put it in the Indy (ibid.):  

"I truly believe it's not about the books. The books are a symptom. I really think it comes down to they don't trust the teachers."

  Which could very well be true, especially given going after the books seems so absurd and passe.  This is given the sheer astounding irony, i.e. that the internet features a million times more objectionable "pornographic" content and all just a click or two away on a kid's device. So why aren't these morally wrought moms going after that?   

Well, because the content is too discursive and impossible to control. But barging into school libraries and removing books or challenging them (at Board meetings) is a 'here and now' photo op scene which they can circulate to show concrete actions.  Especially on their friendly right wing social meda. Hell, who knows? Some of them might even land a spot on Tucker Carlson's propaganda FOX show.

The biggest negative of all in this book banning circus may well have been identified by Heather Cloninger, a D-20 Treasurer. According to her the whole challenge and ban process is a "resource suck".  In her words;

  "I fell we have wasted a lot of money and time on something that shouldn't happen."

 She has a point. But will the Moms for Liberty agree? Not bloody likely.

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