A Parental Rights Group Threatened To Ban My Book The Same Day As The Texas School Shooting
June 02, 2022 at 2:37 pm
Children have the right to live in a society that provides them safety, security and a chance to thrive in life. If the past eight weeks have taught us anything, it is that those wanting to protect children, only believe in the ideology and not the actuality of kids’ basic needs. Whether we look at the potential nationwide ban on abortions while also having a formula shortage for the living, or the banning of books while those same groups remain fervent on keeping guns, the fight for the livelihood of the next generation is reaching its boiling point.
On May 24, 19 students and two adults were killed in a massacre in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary School. A mother who is a part of Mom’s for Liberty — the group at the forefront of the nationwide book ban — lost her child in the mass shooting. On a day when we could only hope that people took a step back from their causes to grieve collectively, the unimaginable was being done instead. After a few thoughts and prayer posts from the organization on the day of the shooting, the very same group in Texas found the time to threaten a lawsuit to remove my book All Boys Aren’t Blue from a school system.
I was at a loss for words at a time when I was devasted and processing the killing of 10 Black people in a Buffalo grocery store by a white supremacist on May 14 and then days later, the killing of so many children.
Moms for Liberty made a decision that placed their mission and agenda of book banning over the lives lost, including the child lost by one of their own. To take it a step further, parent groups blamed funding being spent on books like mine as the reason for the lack of funding for school safety. If their “pro-life” stance meant anything, this would have been the moment for them to show it.
Instead, they attacked books that they feel are inappropriate for their children. Be very clear — these books discuss topics that are heavy and mostly geared towards young adults aged 14 to 18. The subject matter could be considered heavy as they deal with sex, sexuality, gender identity, racism, anti-Blackness and gun violence. However, imagine saying a book on gun violence or police brutality is too heavy of a topic for your child to read about while also watching your children live through school shootings and police brutality.
When Moms for Liberty decided to not take a day off for the lives of the children lost to gun violence, their real agenda became clearer — this is all about the indoctrination of a specific agenda for children. An agenda where the books we write to teach kids about empathy and provide resources and education to the real-life situations they will encounter are viewed as a threat to the protection of white supremacy—not the protection of children.
A decision was made many years ago after the Sandy Hook school shooting where we saw the killing of 5-year-olds became the test of where this country stands on guns. The choice was made then that children’s lives are less important than gun ownership and violence. And yet again as we watched police block off parents from going into the school instead of approaching the gunman. This, too, has become a part of the indoctrination being pushed.
Be very clear — books are not killing our children, guns are.
Our books that highlight the truth about America, and what it feels like to be Black in this country are not harming kids. Rather than arming children with bullets, we are arming children with knowledge.
This all boils down to the real reason all of this is happening — the fear that the majority is becoming the minority. The fear that our books will reflect the actual world that Gen Z lives in instead of the one Moms for Liberty and groups like them want to paint. One where only white children feel seen. One where white children get an alternative truth about the history of atrocities that the white majority has caused upon non-Black and non-heterosexual people.
Even when experiencing mass death, white supremacy takes no days off.
It’s clear that groups like Moms for Liberty can’t even live up to the definition of their name. Liberty is defined as “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” As a group of majority non-minority identified women, they ARE the authority attempting to restrict our way of life through education and books. The youth deserve every right to know the truth. Books are not killing our children nor destroying our way of life. Your pursuit for restricting the liberties of others is.