WASHINGTON — To mark the end of Black History Month, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is condemning state Republicans for their coordinated campaign to ban books about history and race. Book bans attack our First Amendment rights of free expression and free speech and are wildly unpopular with an overwhelming majority of voters. In fact, according to a new CBS poll, more than eight in 10 Americans across the political spectrum and racial lines believe that books shouldn’t be banned from schools for focusing on race or criticizing American history.
“State Republicans are steamrolling over parents’ wishes and tying teachers’ hands by banning books dealing with race, history, and sexuality,” said DLCC executive director Heather Williams. “To no surprise, banning books and destroying public trust in the education system are the latest steps in the Republican Party’s attacks on our democracy following assaults on voting rights, the press, and the freedom to protest peacefully. But for decades, state Democrats have stood alongside parents, teachers, and students in the fight for quality education and we will not sink to the level of politicizing our schools to fan the flames of a culture war.”
Republican Book Bans and Attacks on Race-Related Curriculum:
- Republican Texas Representative Matt Krause launched an inquiry questioning Texas school districts on whether they have any of the 850 books covering race, history, and LGBTQ topics which he has highlighted
- Republican Oklahoma Senator Rob Standridge introduced legislation allowing parents to challenge books in public schools and award them $10,000 for each day a challenged book remains on library shelves.
- Nine Republican-controlled states, including those with dark racial histories like Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee, have passed legislation banning the teaching of topics related to white supremacy and systemic racism.
- Overall, state legislators in 39 states have introduced educational gag orders intended to restrict teaching and training in K-12 schools, higher education, and state agencies and institutions.