‘Highest rates ever’: Conservatives force school districts to ban over 1000 books – LGBTQ and Black authors targeted
George Takei (MSNBC)

There's a nationwide book ban sweeping America's school districts, primarily fueled by conservatives who are targeting books mostly by and about minorities, especially LGBTQ and Black people.

Over the last nine months 1145 books have been removed from school classrooms and libraries in 86 school districts, a PEN America report finds. They cover a wide range, including books about Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, and Nelson Mandela, along with works of fiction, and even poetry.

"Challenges to books, specifically books by non-white male authors are happening at the highest rates we’ve ever seen," says Jonathan Friedman, the director of PEN America's Free Expression Program, according to Voice of America.

"In recent months, conservative parents have spoken at school meetings in numerous states to attack books that go against their views. These include books that have a sexual nature or deal with racism in a way that offends some white people," VOA adds.

Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which deals with LGBTQ issues, was removed in 30 districts. George Takei’s book about being forced to live in American internment camps as a Japanese-American child in the U.S. during World War II was also banned. So was Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison's book “The Bluest Eye,” removed from 11 districts. And Ashley Hope Perez's “Out of Darkness” was removed from 16 districts.

VOA notes that PEN's report "said four in ten removals were tied to political pressure in eight school districts in Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia."