Louisiana AG's bid for governor sparks 'enormous concern' about future pushes for e-book bans, censorship

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  • The President of the Louisiana Affiliation of College Librarians Amanda Jones has some considerations about the best way the state’s legal professional common has accused librarians and lecturers of “peddling smut” to kids.

  • Landry introduced he was working for governor of Louisiana in October.

  •  Shortly after asserting his bid, Landry printed an opinion piece through which he accused librarians and lecturers of peddling “graphic sexual content material” to kids.  

President of the Louisiana Affiliation of College Librarians Amanda Jones is worried about the way forward for censorship in her state, particularly if present Lawyer Basic Jeff Landry (R) wins his bid for governor.  

Landry, a conservative Republican supportive of former President Trump, introduced in October he’s working to fill the spot of term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in 2023.  

Extra Republicans are anticipated to hitch the race, which is taken into account one of many nation’s most extremely anticipated elections of subsequent yr. However to date, Landry is the one candidate vying for Edwards’s put up.

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As legal professional common, Landry has butted heads with Edwards and pushed conservative insurance policies on points just like the dying penalty, COVID-19 vaccines and LGBTQ rights.  

Jones worries that as governor, Landry will apply excessive conservative insurance policies to what books can be utilized in lecture rooms and libraries.  

“If he turns into governor, I believe there’s a enormous concern that he’ll push for censorship and book-banning laws in addition to encourage different teams to trigger upheaval at public libraries,” Jones instructed The Hill.  

“In a day and age the place educators greater than ever and librarians greater than ever want assist, he’s doing the precise reverse,” she added.   

Simply days earlier than asserting his run for governor, Landry printed an opinion piece in The Gonzalez Weekly Citizen entitled “Why are taxpayers subsidizing the sexualization of kids?” 

Within the piece, Landry accuses lecturers and librarians within the state of peddling “smut” to kids and connecting them to “extraordinarily graphic sexual content material.”  

“I’ve struggled to seek out the suitable phrases to explain the brand new books at present being circulated inside the kids’s sections of our public libraries and public faculties; however I too know pornography once I see it, even when it’s thinly disguised as instructional materials for youngsters,” Landry stated within the article.  

“Librarians and lecturers are neither empowering nor liberating our kids by connecting them with books that include extraordinarily graphic sexual content material that’s removed from age applicable for younger audiences.”  

Like in lots of different “crimson” states, e-book bans in Louisiana have been rising over the previous two years largely underneath the guise of defending kids from sexual content material.  

Whereas e-book bans are nothing new in the USA, the ways behind the bans and their politicized nature is exclusive to the present wave of censorship. 

And the targets of the bans are largely books that contact on the lives of members of the LGBQT group or individuals of colour, in keeping with a PEN America evaluation. 

Louisiana doesn’t at present have any state laws banning books in place, however the brand new politicized wave of e-book bans have come to the state in different methods, together with not too long ago in Lafayette and Livingston Parishes.

After conservatives took over the Lafayette Parish Library Board, members granted themselves the ability to ban books earlier this yr.  

In August, the Livingston Parish Council voted to assist proscribing kids’s entry to sure books within the public library that needed to do with intercourse or sexual orientation, amongst others. Some group members, together with Jones, pushed again towards the measure.  

Jones acquired a barrage of on-line harassment and even dying threats for taking a stand towards the board’s efforts to limit entry to books. 

Landry’s workplace has not responded to a request for remark from The Hill.