Silken-voiced, dreamy eyed LeVar Burton has been advocating against book bans in partnership with PEN America. Now, in the middle of her Trustfall tour, Pink has also joined forces with PEN America, a group that fights for literary and human rights. Fans at her Florida concerts this week were treated to tote bags filled with banned books, coming in at 2,000 total free books for the week. And not a moment too soon, as PEN’s charts have Florida at more than double the number of book bans than the next highest state on the list, Texas. #BeLikableRon2024 might want to take some notes.
Pink on teaming up with PEN: “It’s confusing, it’s infuriating, it is censorship,” Pink said in an Instagram video announcing her action on Monday. The video, which also featured PEN America president Suzanne Nossel, has been liked more than 33,000 times. “Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child, and that’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools,” Pink said in a PEN statement about the giveaway. “It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color. We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reversed. This is why I am supporting PEN America in its work and why I agree with them: no more banned books.”
Florida surpasses everyone in banned books: According to PEN America’s latest research, Florida surpassed Texas over the past academic year: There are more books banned in public school classrooms and libraries in the Sunshine State than any other state in the union. PEN America said it recorded 1,406 book ban cases in Florida, followed by 625 bans in Texas, 333 bans in Missouri, 281 bans in Utah, and 186 bans in Pennsylvania.” PEN also reported a 33% spike in book bans nationally.
Ron DeSantis lies: “Exposing the ‘book ban’ hoax is important because it reveals that some are attempting to use our schools for indoctrination… In Florida, pornographic and inappropriate materials that have been snuck into our classrooms and libraries to sexualize our students violate our state education standards. Florida is the education state and that means providing students with a quality education free from sexualization and harmful materials that are not age appropriate.”
Florida is the education state??Florida is the education state!! Reader, I fell out of my office wheelie chair reading that (and not in a home office, an office office, with people watching). It takes balls to lie like that, and I honestly did not think the twerp had ‘em. Florida, where students and teachers are fleeing en masse in what’s being called the great “brain drain.” Florida, where they’re implementing the offensive curriculum: “enslaved people developed skills for personal benefit.” Florida, where TV hosts are calling for the eradication of raccoons! That’s our education state! I’m in the hysterical laughter phase before the crash and sobbing commences.
Brava to Pink for spotlighting this crisis. And I don’t use that word carelessly. Cutting off access to knowledge and ideas is fundamental to authoritarian takeovers. PEN America has a Pink page up on their site with helpful info on the book titles being banned, the numbers by states, and how to press your elected officials to do something. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m dying to check out the over-sexualized content of one of these banned kids’ books: Girls Who Code.
Photos via Instagram and credit: Mike Gray / Avalon
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