Florida’s book bans continue unabated. On Tuesday night, the Martin County School Board met and held an hours-long hearing about the proposed banning of books that some feel are inappropriate.
During the meeting, where some people voiced support for banning books while many others voiced anger and dissent at such censorship, 100-year-old Grace Linn, a Martin County resident, spoke into the microphone from her wheelchair. Saying she was “a hundred years young,” Linn spoke about her husband who was killed in action during World War II while “defending our democracy, Constitution, and freedoms. One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the freedom to read the books.”
Linn brought and displayed a quilt that she made in protest of a potential book ban. Stitched into Linn’s quilt are books that have either been targeted or banned. She explained that the books on her quilt represented “a few of so many more books that are banned or targeted and need to be proudly displayed and protected and read.”
The end of her remarks brought the audience to cheers, and rightly so. Linn’s speech is all that needs to be said about banning books.
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“Banned books and burning books are both the same,” Linn said. “Both are done for the same reason: fear of knowledge. Fear, not freedom. Fear, not liberty. Fear is control. My husband died as a father of freedom. I am the mother of liberty. Banned books need to be proudly displayed and protected from school boards like this. Thank you.”
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What do Americans really think about the issues? It turns out they are a surprisingly liberal bunch, as Rachael Russell of Navigator Research tells us on this episode of The Downballot. Russell explains how Navigator conducts in-depth research to fill in gaps in policy debates with hard data instead of pundit speculation. The challenge for Democrats is that many voters say they hold progressive beliefs but still pull the lever for Republicans. That imbalance, however, presents an opportunity—Democrats just have to seize it.