In Defense of Protecting Children from Harmful Content
In his rage at the right’s so-called book bans, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore really wanted to create a mental image.
“I continue hearing people making the argument that we’re [banning books] because we want to prevent our students from having discomfort or guilt,” Moore told MSNBC host Jen Psaki on Monday, regarding recent conservative efforts to keep lewd and ahistorical content from kids in public schools and libraries. “Because we don’t want our students to be able to really wrestle with these really difficult things in times when they are maturing as individuals and difficult historical points. But the thing I realized and I wanted to speak out about is, that’s actually not true. It’s a guise.”
He wasn’t done. “It’s not about making kids feel uncomfortable. It’s about telling other kids that they shouldn’t understand their own power. It’s castrating them.”
Poor choice of words.
Now, to be fair, Psaki teed up the “book ban” conversation to focus on racial rather than sexual politics, saying “a lot of the focus has been on African American history and literature.” So Moore indulged, invoking his skin color to lend credibility to his policy opinions. Presumably, Psaki and Moore were referring to a Miami school district moving the poem written for Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration from the elementary section of the school library to the more appropriate middle-school section. Or to Gov. Ron DeSantis blocking College Board from implementing an experimental African-American studies curriculum, which leaked materials proved was actually a pricey Trojan horse for indoctrinating high schoolers with divisive critical race theory.
Underneath the race-baiting, however, is the unavoidable reality that the books at the center of the “banning” controversy have nothing to do with ancestry or melanin. The books conservative taxpayers are sniffing out on children’s shelves at the schools and libraries they fund expose young people to masturbation, risky sexual behaviors, lasciviousness, same-sex experimentation, rape, violence, and more. They are wildly age-inappropriate at best, and pornographic at worst. Actually, maybe the shocking porn illustrations — which include graphic depictions of gay 10-year-olds having oral sex — somehow aren’t the worst part.
That’s because other books in question entice young people to question their very embodiment, introducing them to words like “non-binary,” “gender expansive,” and “gender fluid.” They catechize kids into pseudoscientific confusion, leading them to believe they might be born into the wrong body — sometimes based on nothing more than their favorite colors or toys or dress-up costumes. Or that if their secondary sex characteristics don’t develop as fast as their friends’, maybe they’d be happier without those appendages altogether. Or that anyone who truly loves them will affirm what they say, no matter how delusional or sick. Or that it’s fun and normal to play with pronouns and names and chemicals.
The dark root of all these deceptively colorful books is the same: They teach kids to hate their bodies.
And so begins the school-to-scalpel pipeline, which starts with picture books but ends with real castration. If ideologues can convince young people that they’d be happier as the opposite sex or that they’d be better off delaying puberty so they can explore their “identity,” they can create not only lucrative, lifelong medical patients but also reliable voters.
So ignore the media narratives about “book bans.” As Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi says, “Books are banned in Tennessee in the same way a person can’t say the word ‘gay’ in Florida. It’s a myth.” Furthermore, widely available titles aren’t “banned” simply because some taxpayers are no longer required to bankroll them. Just because you can’t pick up a copy of My Princess Boy during study hall doesn’t mean you can’t nab a copy at any Barnes and Noble or have Amazon ship it to your front door by tomorrow. None of these books are banned.
But to the extent conservative leaders and parents have protected children from harmful propaganda, it isn’t about metaphorically “castrating” people with dark skin — which is absurd on its face. It’s about saving kids from literal castration.
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