Governor Ron DeSantis & fascist Republicans shit on the Constitution.
Republicans run Florida. They are now using that power to ban books in schools.
This is a real thing. I’ll write it again.
Republicans run Florida. They are now using that power to ban books in schools.
Let that sink in. It is important you do.
There is no reason to ask why about this. Nothing that can be offered up as a “reason” or “excuse” for defecating on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution will suffice.
It is a crime perpetuated on the citizens and children of Florida by its government, and if you have a specious retort to this, please stop reading and go press your brown shirt.
For the rest of us, I am going to assume no matter your political leanings, anyone reading his right now cherishes the freedoms provided by the United States Constitution. That is why you are reading this right now. There are many who are fans of some its Articles over others, and its vital ensuing Amendments, but the general respect of the document is, or should be sacrosanct.
I realize the irony of that statement in a post-Trump world where Republicans lose elections and declare victory for months and years afterwards, insurrections have and will happen, and the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments are out the window for women.
I, for one, am a big fan of the First Amendment, which guarantees the government shall make “no law prohibiting the exercise of freedom of speech and expression.” That’s a biggie. I mean, is there even a functioning democratic republic without this? Of course, this applies to literature. Banning of books is a no-no. Although previous fascists have had their way in this arena but were struck down eventually, it is and has always been against the law; the law provided by the Founding Fathers and upheld with massive bloodshed.
Florida doesn’t give a shit about any of that.
Banning books is pretty much the poster child of fascism. It’s what the Nazis did first, before all the camps and invasions. Currently, however, the Florida government has chosen to arbitrarily ban books from its school systems. No matter their argument for this – which is stupid, racist, and a shamelessly transparent showpiece to help its governor, Ron DeSantis, gain the approval of Republicans so he can run for president – it is unconstitutional.
So, what is being done about it?
Well, you could sue and hold it up in court until it gets all the way to the Supreme Court, but that is now packed with fascists, who have stripped 51% of the populace of their reproductive rights and handed the decision over the same type of governments. Where do you think that is going?
The most recent legislation in question is House Bill 1467, enacted last July, which mandates that books in Florida’s public schools be free of “pornography” and suited to “student needs,” as determined by a librarian or school media specialist.
Short aside: the SCOTUS – a previously functioning one, not the current fascist one – has already determined that state-sanctioned definitions of “pornography” is in not constitutional. Who decides what is porn? I can make a very good case that the rape, mass orgy fuck-fest, and seduction addled free-for-all in the Bible is pornography. It really is inarguable. Have you read that thing? I did. Three times. Oof.
Ok, now back to these “specialists” who are making these “decisions” on what is acceptable free speech (doubtless they are white, fascist, Republican religious nutcases). The “retraining guidelines,” which only became available in January, according to Andrew Spar, the president of the Florida Education Association, are ambiguous. The chief academic officer (whatever the fuck that is) of Duval County (wherever the fuck that is), took a stab at it: “Books not on the district-approved list or not approved by a certificated media specialist need to be covered or stored and paused for student use.”
I ask: What in the holy name of bicycling Christ does ANY of that mean?
I’ll take my own stab at it: Right-wing lunatic or lunatics – they are unclear of the number or actual unelected shadow-people – who will go by a chosen name of “Media Specialist” (to make it sound official and not criminal), a will enact a “district-approved” – more fascist right-wing nomenclature – “list” of what books meet standards. (Again, who decides the “standards” is unknown.)
If I had written this about 1930s Germany, you’d shake your head in disgust and thank whatever deity you subscribe to that WWII eradicated this bullshit. But it is going on in Florida. Right now. In the United States of America.
To put a turd cherry on top of this pile of legal feces (Yes, I am riding the defecation metaphor hard here, wouldn’t you?): Not complying with this results in what one superintendent quoted in a recent AP piece will be “a felony of the third degree.” This is due to a pre-existing law prohibiting the distribution of pornography to minors.
Like, the Bible?
How does this happen?
Well, how does any fascism begin?
Fear – for the Germans, fear of Jews and Communists, but for Florida, fear of African Americans and progressives.
What DeSantis does is hide this racism in a cloud of rhetoric about “Woke Mobs” and “Critical Race Theory,” or the more ominous-sounding CRT, which is all the rage on brainwashing right-wing media. We don’t have enough time to cover the college-level merits of “CRT” (never taught to public grade-school kids) here, but like the Deep State and Trump having won the 2020 election, it is a fantasy concocted to scare the great unwashed into voting for half-assed idiots who shout during State of the Union speeches and knuckle-drag their way through culture wars to hide their horrific governing agenda, which is usually nothing with a side of nothing.
To wit: DeSantis previously introduced his fancy “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which disallows the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade, and another bill, known as the Stop Woke Act, which prohibits teaching that someone “must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” on account of their race or sex.
In his charmingly monosyllabic way, the governor and his fascist minions believe that teaching the history of this country – the true history, which is what education should be – might “offend” people, mostly white people. The coverage of slavery, Jim Crow, systemic racism, hurts white people’s feelings. But I ask genuinely, why? Is this guilt over admitting that racism still exists and they wish to quell this? Are they afraid a new generation might finally cop to this? I’m white. I do not feel or have never felt learning about these things makes me guilty, because I am not. Reminds me of bigots claiming gay marriage threatens their marriage. Makes you think they doth protest too much, no?
Anyway, none of this matters, because even if they were “scared” or “sad” or whatever about Black history, this is still not good enough to ban books. Let me repeat: There is no reason good enough to supersede the First Amendment. This all sounds to me like cancel culture, regardless. It is no different than the left’s attack on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the most effective and influential book attacking racism ever published only two decades the goddamn Civil War for having the N-word in it. There is no difference. It is criminal.
By the way, Mark Twain rules!
Still, Florida has cleared the shelves and boxed up the offending literature just the same. All of this hinges on the whims and psychosis of a few people; right-wing, Republican people, who play footsies with the Constitution as if it is a mere suggestion.
To be fair, I will let Ron DeSantis – who, by the way, is Italian, a race that was not considered “white” until halfway through the last century and for most MAGA crazies he is courting with this nonsense, still are not considered so – have the final word.
“In Florida, our parents have every right to be involved in their child’s education. We are not going to let politicians deny parents the right to know what is being taught in our schools. I’m proud to sign this legislation that ensures curriculum transparency.”
He is a politician currently denying parents and their children’s rights.
Translation: Fuck the constitution. I run things. My way or the highway.