American Library Association sounds alarm on hundreds of right-wing campaigns aimed at censoring books

On Tuesday, CNN reported that the American Library Association is sounding the alarm over right-wing efforts around the country to censor LGBTQ and racial content from books in libraries.

"Since June 1, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom has tracked 155 incidents across the country and has provided support and consultation in 120 of those cases, the association said," reported Nicole Chavez. "In a statement, the group's executive board said a few organizations have pushed the idea that 'the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves' by falsely claiming some books are subversive, immoral and induce people to 'to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights.'"

The report goes on to document how many of the incidents are in states where Republican governors have made campaigning against teaching critical race theory a major culture war issue.

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"The group's statement comes after numerous schools in Texas, Florida and several other states have received complaints involving certain books," said the report. "The trend emerged from the critical race theory debate and the panic over how history, race and queer themes are being taught to children. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has called on the state's school boards to remove books he described as 'pornography' after at least two state lawmakers asked officials to investigate books in schools."

This issue also emerged in the closely watched Virginia governor's race earlier this year, when Republican Glenn Youngkin promoted a right-wing activist who has tried to have Toni Morrison's "Beloved" removed from school libraries on the grounds of obscenity. In Tennessee, a group called "Moms for Liberty" wants to remove books about Martin Luther King Jr., and even pictures of seahorses they consider too "sexy."

In some parts of the country, students themselves are fighting back, with one effort to remove an LGBTQ book in a Chicago public school library thwarted when kids showed up to protest the effort.