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Just a few crazy people

A couple of weeks ago, while playing golf with Gus, he told me:

“Tell those teachers to ignore the nonsense in the news. The crazy gets the attention, but for every crazy person, there are tens of thousands of good people who don’t want you dead and think you’re doing a great job,”

It turns out he was right.

Tampa Bay Times analysis of 1,100 complaints lodged against books across 62 Florida school districts covering 99 percent of public school students in the state found that two people alone were responsible for more than 600 of the complaints.

Some of the most frequently targeted titles include those dealing with LGBTQ content like gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as books that touch on racial issues, especially those that cover the history of slavery and racial discrimination in the US.

So just two frightened little bigots were responsible for well over half of all complaints.

A similar study by the American Library Association found that there were 1,269 attempts to ban books in libraries and schools in the United States, the highest number of complaints in the 20-year history of the study and more than double the volume of censorship of the prior year.

But just eleven people were responsible for more than two-thirds of those challenges.

Just six percent of book challengers were responsible for 60 percent of the filings to ban books.

Often these book-banning monsters don’t even have a connection with the school. Only one in five challengers even identified as parents.

Gus was right. The attempts by bigots and cowards to ban books in our country are terrible and disastrous, and these attempts and bans are often covered by the media, and rightfully so. But it’s important to remember that despite the attention these book bannings receive, the vast majority of these problems are being created by a very small number of bigots, idiots, and cowards.

Most people – Democrats, Republicans, independents, and the apolitical – are decent human beings who would never even think of banning a book.

I also like what my friend, Dan Kennedy wrote

“Every kid throughout time has figured this out on their own, but: Read the books they fight to ban, listen to the music they want to destroy, and see the art they try to burn.”