by Steve Levy
Contrary to the liberal media’s headlines that the right is seeking to ban books appearing in school libraries, in actuality, it’s the radical left that is seeking to ban the ability of parents to oversee and vet pornographic, gender transitioning, racially divisive, and Marxist materials seeping into our children’s curriculum.
A recent article discussing the controversy in Newsday blared a headline stating: “BOOK BAN ATTEMPTS HIT RECORD IN ’22”
But, as representatives from the conservative group Moms for Liberty profoundly retorted:
“Censorship is the banning of books,” said Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice. “That is not what Moms for Liberty does. We say — write the book, print the book, sell the book; but if it does not have age-appropriate material for small school children, don’t put it in school.”
If you think the Moms are overly sensitive or exaggerating the level of inappropriate content, consider some items on the shelves of many school libraries that, prior to COVID, few parents were ever aware of. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w4HA7bixhYwHpAWP38wT6CHSCO4lgcEZ/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=107370600538940486491&rtpof=true&sd=true
An American citizen has the right to publish, sell and/or purchase pornography such as Hustler magazine. Should parents be labeled “book burners” if they raise objections to such a magazine being available in a high school library?
Many on the left get the concept of free speech very wrong. That even applies to First Lady Jill Biden. In a morning show interview about the school library controversy, she foolishly stated: “All books should be in the library. All books. This is America, we don’t ban books.” https://people.com/politics/jill-biden-talks-book-bans-2024-campaign-today-show/
First off, minors do not have the same access to every book or movie as an adult. That’s why individuals under 18 years of age were never allowed into X-rated movie theaters.
But then there’s the question of whether local school boards have the right to vet materials and prevent some objectionable books they deem age-inappropriate to be stocked on the shelves of a school. Certainly, they do. That is not a violation of the rights of the student.
Freedom of speech relates to the ability for an individual to write or say whatever they want, and to sell or preach it in the marketplace. But library content is controlled by the school board, just as the publisher of a newspaper decides which letters to the editor get in the paper. It’s not the letter writers who have an absolute right to get their letter published in that particular paper.
The school board is directly accountable to the public, and it is the public that determines the curriculum in each state through their elected officials and the departments of education they empanel. If the public believes that the department has gone too far by allowing critical race theory, pornography, and blatantly anti-American materials to permeate the curriculum, they have a right to voice their opinion and to seek change.
This is vitally important because a number of polls have shown just how insidious the left’s indoctrination in our schools over the last several decades has become.
One poll shows that almost four out of ten Americans would not rise up to defend the United States if we were attacked by a foreign enemy. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/8/poll-if-us-were-attacked-38-say-they-would-flee-co/
Another poll shows a majority of young people favor socialism over our present free market economy. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/fewer-than-half-of-young-americans-are-positive-about-capitalism.html
A third poll notes that race relations have actually soured since critical race theory has been injected into the classroom. https://news.gallup.com/poll/1687/race-relations.aspx
A fourth, and perhaps most alarming, poll shows just how effective the radical left indoctrination has been in eroding traditional American values. It noted:
- 38% said patriotism is very important to them, compared to when the Wall Street Journal first asked the question in 1998, when 70% said patriotism was very important.
- 39% said religion is very important, down from 62% in 1998.
- 58% said tolerance for others was very important, compared to four years ago, when 80% said it was very important.
The survival of democratic nations is not preordained. As Ronald Reagan wisely noted: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
It is our obligation as a democratic society to ensure that our children are raised with an understanding that democracies and free markets are essential to a superior way of life.
When we stop teaching these foundational concepts, we become a fractious nation that loses its cohesive identity. We were founded upon the concept E pluribus unum (from many, one). The new philosophy from the identity politics leftists is: From one, many.
Our children are becoming more segregated and tribalized. This leads to a lack of national unity that can be devastating, if we were to be attacked.
Marxists always had a plan to destroy our way of life. In the 1950s, Soviet Secretary Nikita Khrushchev noted:
“We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within. The United States will eventually fly the Communist red flag. … The American people will hoist it themselves.”
Marxists in the 1920s believed that the key to overthrowing the United States was through our educational system. They tried unsuccessfully to pit class against class through their lectures and institutional dogma. https://marx200.org/en/marxism-think-one-two-many-marxes/critical-theory-1920s
But now they have been finding success by dividing us by race rather than class. It’s the reason that military recruitment is down 25% over the last several years.
This is why Moms For Liberty seeks to give parents more understanding and control over their children’s curriculum. The purveyors of Marxism, critical race theory, gender reassignment and sexual activism among our children see parents as the enemy of their master plans of indoctrination. They falsely claim that parents fighting back to protect their children are engaging in un-American censorship. To the contrary, it’s a battle to save the very foundations of our American republic.
Steve Levy is President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. He served as Suffolk County Executive, as a NYS Assemblyman, and host of “The Steve Levy Radio Show.” He is the author of “Solutions to America’s Problems” and “Bias in the Media.” www.SteveLevy.info, Twitter @SteveLevyNY, email@example.com