Friday, June 16, 2023

If 'Banned' Books Are Harmless, Joe Biden Should Read Them to Kids


AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Joe Biden recently hosted a Pride month event for families with LGBT kids on the White House South Lawn. Ahead of the event, he announced that he’ll appoint a “banned book” czar, whose job it will be to try to compel local communities to stock their libraries with race-obsessed pseudohistories and books depicting oral sex, rape, violence, and gender dysphoria.

Now, if that sounds like an unfair description, there’s an easy way for the president to debunk his critics: He can read selected outtakes from some of these innocuous books to the prepubescent kids like those who showed up to the event.

Even better, he can do it on TV. After all, “[b]ook banning erodes our democracy,” says White House Domestic Policy adviser Neera Tanden, and “removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that many communities face.”

Perhaps the White House could set up a themed reading circle on the South Lawn where the president can recite selections from “Lawn Boy,” which describes 10-year-old boys performing oral sex on each other. It is, after all, on PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans.

The School Library Journal praises “Lawn Boy” as an exploration of “race, sexual identity, and the crushing weight of American capitalism.” (Incidentally, do you know how many books celebrating traditional families or the Second Amendment or Western civilization or the wonders of capitalism are stocked in school libraries? Speaking from experience, I’d say maybe a handful — and that’s probably an exaggeration. They aren’t “banned,” schools just refuse to carry them.)

Or, better yet, First Lady Jill Biden — who, you may not have heard, earned a doctorate in education — should recite these words for the kids: “‘What if I told you I touched another guy’s d–k?’ I said. … ‘I was ten years old, but it’s true. I put Doug Goble’s d–k in my mouth …” and so on. This is a vital resource for kids, says the administration.

Though it doesn’t have to be “Lawn Boy.” It could be the graphic “novel” “Gender Queer,” banned by the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado, according to PEN. Dr. Jill — mom, educator — owes it to democracy to read the words, “I got off once while driving just by rubbing the front of my jeans and imagining getting a b— j-b.”

Some “banned books,” like “It Feels Good To Be Yourself,” are meant to normalize trendy pseudoscientific jargon and ideas among kindergarteners and first graders, filling their heads with words like “non-binary,” “gender fluid” and “gender expansive.” Others contain vulgar, graphic sexual scenes of incest and child rape, such as those featured in Sapphire’s “banned” novel “Push.”

I’m certainly not arguing that every book removed from libraries is porn or badly written or useless. Perhaps “Push” tells the story of an abused girl using appropriately realistic and horrifying words. Even so, the topic of brutal sexual violence isn’t morally or educationally tantamount to a math lesson. It’s up to parents, not teachers nor Joe Biden, to decide when, how or if their kids read about it.

PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans claims there are nearly 1,500 “instances of book banning in schools, affecting 874 different titles in the first half of this school year.” The preponderance of the books on the list feature sexually explicit scenes — and many have minority and gay characters, because regrettably, so-called progressives have decided to teach kids that their immutable physical characteristics or sexuality or “gender expression” define them, rather than their achievements and deeds.

One of the ideas behind public schools was that they would break down ethnic and class barriers and build shared patriotic virtues and civic understanding. Instead, they are often used to trap kids and then indoctrinate them with leftist culture attitudes. That’s what Biden means when he says your kids are also his kids.

And if parents get involved, they’re accused of standing against “democracy.” Because in contemporary left-wing vernacular, “democracy” has been stripped of any useful meaning. Sometimes democracy means majoritarianism denying individuals their rights for the common good, sometimes it means courts unilaterally dictating policy, and sometimes it means parents having zero say in what their children read or learn.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget that “banned books” are a partisan myth. These days, a “book ban” is a euphemism for curating a library in a way that upsets left-wing activists. Not one book on PEN’s list is even difficult to obtain, much less banned. Parents don’t even need to leave their homes to buy any of these books. They can order any of the titles in mere minutes and have them delivered to their front door in days. There are no “banned books.” There are just cultural imperialists, ideologues and cowardly politicians trying to force their ideas on all children.