Are the people of the U.S. willing to accept censorship, banning of books, and the further regression of American Society in the 21st Century? Fact: There are no longer two political parties in Washington. Instead, there are Democrats and on the other side of the aisle is a Fascist organization intent on ending democracy, equality, and freedom of thought in this country.
The greatest danger to the American people is domestic terrorism. FBI Director Christopher Wray first made this statement in 2020. Unfortunately, white supremacists have become “loud and proud” thanks to former-President Donald Trump and his minions.
Every passing day, it has become more evident that if a person claims to be a Republican, they support white supremacy and the Neo-Nazi groups who attempted to overthrow the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021. Only a few “Republicans” have denounced the violent insurrection in Trump’s name.
Nothing proves this fact more than the growing effort to erase all traces of anti-Semitism, racism, and the LGBTQ community in books public in schools and libraries. America’s association of librarians reports a 60% increase in censorship over the last few years. This effort is being led by white men and women who reside primarily in all-white areas of cities and towns.
The American Library Association reports that at least 155 efforts have been made to ban books from libraries since June 1, 2021. These books are primarily related to stories or discussions about the LGBTQ community and people of color. The white men and women leading these efforts falsely claim that these books are pornographic — a thinly disguised attempt to hide their racist beliefs.
Any nation which attempts to hide its past will not have a future. The past is the greatest teacher available. An honest discussion of gay, lesbian, transsexual, and other men and women is paramount if an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance exists in the United States.
If anything was learned over the last six years, racism is far more prevalent in America than most people believed. During his first hate rally in June of 2015, Trump revealed the depth of his racist beliefs. He was cheered by a like-minded crowd and offered support from multiple Neo-Nazi groups.
Since 1981 the former Party of Lincoln began abandoning its principles and beliefs. Today’s GOP is primarily composed of white men and women whose level of racism has grown over these last 40+ years. Trump’s illegitimate presidency confirmed the fact that our nation continues to move back into its dark past. America lags far behind the rest of the developed countries in multiple social issues. What was becoming a nation which cherished understanding, compassion, and acceptance devolved into a nation filled with anger, hatred, violence, and shared beliefs in racism and bigotry.
When I was a younger man, I hoped that the United States would be free from its evil past by the time I became a septuagenarian. Unfortunately, I was naïve and overestimated the American people’s intelligence and ability to look forward. Many pure whites continue to exist in the past when racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny were the norm.
The extremist right-wing, which calls themselves “Republicans,” under orders from the Christian Religious Right, continue to believe that women are second, and even third-class citizens.
A growing number of Americans openly profess their hatred for people of color, and those who believe in the oldest organized religion, Judaism.
Yes, I fear for my country. However, not moving forward, and embracing a regressive movement, will end the dream of our Founding Fathers and eventually result in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, precisely the way fascist dictators like it to be.
Op-ed by James Turnage
CNN: There were 155 efforts to censor books in US schools and libraries, group says; by Nicole Chavez
VOX: Why book banning is back; by Zack Beauchamp
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of San José Public Library’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Kennedy Library’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Charles Hackley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License