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Suing Book Banners A Stellar Use of Publishing Power

Penguin Random House suing a Florida school district over book banning is a stellar example of a major publishing house putting their power and money behind not only all published authors and writers (as opposed to merely those they represent), but also in support of children who read, public school libraries, and the mighty First Amendment itself.

Plus, when one person in Florida is allowed to run amok and ban Amanda Gorman’s inaugural speech focusing on racial oppression and feminism, they might just be someone who has no redeeming value to society whatsoever. The gobsmacking idiocy and blatant racism are astounding.

A free press and free speech as well as common sense and basic human decency are at stake here. Not to mention happy childhoods, because I was once one of those little kids who loved to check out stacks of books from my Arlington, Virginia, public library.

Not to mention the joy received from elementary school teachers and librarians reading aloud favorite books of that era. I fondly recall Blueberries for Sal and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, among others. I also enjoyed books of poetry for children, including Reflections On A Gift Of A Watermelon Pickle. Imagine that.

The State of Florida is at the dubious and notorious forefront of this US book banning frenzy, but it unfortunately does not stand alone, especially in the southland. Texas frequently competes with the Sunshine State (where the sun doesn’t shine brightly on intelligence or compassion) to prove which of them can be the most idiotic, spiteful, and downright sickening when it comes to trampling on the civil rights of all Americans, not just those state residents who are held hostage to their ignorant, twisted, religion-based machinations.

Meanwhile, today marks the one-year anniversary of a mass elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and still no answers or accountability for police ineptitude and cowardice. Texas is too busy banning books in schools and trying to force-feed white nationalist religion to ban assault weapons and protect school children from the bloodlust of gun-mongering Republicans.

I write about book-banning and gun-worshipping stupidity in Texas and elsewhere in my Other Worldly novels, including Alien Sensation, published last year, and the most recently launched Altogether Alien.

Therein, armed anti-alien factions, including one calling itself HUFI for HUMANS FIRST, seek to ban books written by alien rights advocate Rowan Layne because they don’t want children in the US to learn of their non-human genetic origins. Bigoted imbeciles who refuse to admit that they have alien-derived DNA, and don’t want anyone else being taught or informed about the interstellar origins of Earth’s inhabitants. But they do think it’s their right to shoot all aliens and anyone supporting them.

Sound familiar?

Traditional publishing houses have struggled of late to maintain relevance in the wake of the popular self-publishing wave—and the rejection by many of their autocratic edict that one must have a literary agent to engage with their self-anointed powerhouse status as arbiter of who can author, and what that writing content must be in order to be published.

Hence, this litigious move by Penguin Random House is to be commended, such that other major publishing powers should take note and join in, if for no other reason than public relations. As in, doing something not solely for corporate financial gain, but for the greater good and on behalf of all writers, children who love to read books, and all those who stand in support of free speech.

Back in the day, it was The Diary of Anne Frank that moved me most when I read it in my pre-teen years. As Anne herself said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Penguin Random House is helping the world in a good way by supporting this First Amendment lawsuit. As Anne Frank also said, “No one has ever become poor by giving,” and “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”


4 thoughts on “Suing Book Banners A Stellar Use of Publishing Power”

  1. Wonderful. Love the quotes and the memories. This issue makes me so sick! Go Penguin Random House!

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