Censorship Crusade: Far-Right Politician, Parents Team Up to Ban Books in Va. Public Schools
Isn’t it strange how right wing pundits always scream censorship when one of theirs gets banned from private forums and social media but Mum’s the word when their religious fundamentalist allies try to implement actual censorship?
Last year, Shannon Easter and her allies protested the inclusion of multiple titles on the Chesterfield County summer reading lists for middle and high schoolers after Easter consulted materials she found online, which were produced by organizations affiliated with a prominent far-right group: Focus on the Family (FOF).
In 2015, Easter and her allies made enough noise that four books were removed from the summer reading list, even though librarians in the county have noted that the books on the list are merely suggestions to encourage reading – no one is required to read any of them.
Censorship can be dangerous but the Religious Right loves it.
Nonetheless, Easter is at it again this year leading a crusade against books like Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Coe Booth’s Tyrell and Walter Dean Myers’ Dope Sick. Each of those books is critically acclaimed, but Easter has called them “pornographic” and claims they’re filled with “vile, vile nasty language,” according to the Chesterfield Observer.
The website “Plugged In,” which is part of FOF’s entertainment arm, says Eleanor and Park alone has 227 instances of profanity and sexuality. The work also happens to revolve around a love story between an Asian boy and a white girl. Surely that plot could have no bearing on Easter’s dislike of the book, could it?