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Durbin and Giannoulias Embarrass Illinois at U.S. Senate 'Book-Banning' Hearing

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

This week the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about “book bans and censorship” led by tricky Dick Durbin who once again revealed his deceitfulness and embarrassed Illinois by comparing efforts to ban The Wizard of Oz, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and 1950s Superman comic books to contemporary efforts—not to ban books—but to prevent schools from purchasing sexually explicit books to make available to minors. These are books with passages that leftist school boards won’t allow to be read aloud at board meetings, that newspapers will not publish, and that leftists like Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias calls “disturbing”—even as he wants taxpayer funds to be used to make them available to minors. That’s not only irresponsible. It’s also creepy.

At the hearing, Giannoulias faux-emoted, “Tragically our libraries have become the thunderdomes of controversy and strife across our nation the likes of which we've never seen before.” And then with his ego as inflated as his rhetoric, boasted,

The need to stand up and fight for our freedoms and our Librarians especially at this perilous time for our democracy is why I initiated House Bill 2789 in Illinois. This legislation—the first of its kind in the United States of America—is a triumph for our democracy, a win for First Amendment rights, and, most importantly, a great victory for future generations to come under this legislation Illinois.

Rest easy, patriots. On the front lines of the bloody battle to save the United States of America, accoutered with nothing but his soaring rhetoric, political power accrued in the most corrupt state in our shaky union, and an uber-expensive suit, freedom fighter Giannoulias bravely battles for the right of leftist librarians to fill school library shelves with smut for teens and pre-teens, using hard-earned money yanked from the pockets of decent Americans.

Here's a bit more on Giannoulias’s groundbreaking law.

The partisan bill (HB 2789), passed along party lines, is erroneously described as a ban on book-banning. It’s not. It’s a mechanism to perpetuate de facto book banning by leftists by prohibiting public libraries from accessing state grants unless they adopt the far-left American Library Association’s “Bill of Rights” that dictates that “materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

Can you guess which demographic most assiduously proscribes materials because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval? Hint: It’s not conservatives—not by a long shot.

Who runs the publishing companies that refuse to publish picture books, Young Adult literature (YA literature is intended for ages 12-18), and non-fiction that implicitly or explicitly dissents from or criticizes “LGBTQ+” dogma? (As an aside, why is it called Young Adult literature instead of pre-teen/teen literature? Who considers 12 or 13-year-olds “young adults”—I mean, other than pedophiles?).

Who creates the Collection Development Policies embedded with partisan beliefs and values that determine what materials libraries will purchase with taxpayer money?

Who, in accordance with Collection Development diktats, makes library purchasing decisions?

Who dominates the field of library science?

Who runs the American Library Association?

Who sought to get Amazon to stop selling Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters and Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment?

Who is bowdlerizing books by Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, and R.L. Stine?

If you guessed “progressives,” you’ve won tickets to the next book bonfire to be held under the rainbow flag by leftists in Springfield.

Do you see how this psyop works? When libraries don’t carry conservative books that leftists hate, leftists never have a need to protest books, and, therefore, they can never be accused of being book banners. Tricksy bit of deceitful devilry, and conservatives fall for it again, and again, and again.

In an effort to save readers time, I will list and briefly respond to the central arguments proffered by leftists at the hearing to defend using public funds to purchase and make available to minors books with sexually explicitly passages that require eye-bleaching after reading (leftist arguments in boldface, my responses follow):

1. If taxpayers request that schools not purchase smutty books, they are guilty of “book-banning” books, therefore, schools must purchase smutty books.

This is a bald-faced lie. No parent or other taxpayer is requesting that any book be banned. Only leftists do that. Rather, taxpayers are requesting that schools not use public funds to purchase and make available to minors sexually explicit, obscenity-laden books. All the controversial books are readily available for parents with creepy values to purchase.

2. Throughout America’s history, diverse books have been challenged, and because some of those books are no longer viewed as offensive, schools must purchase smutty books.

Adults who are unable to discern the difference in appropriateness between The Wizard of Oz or 1950’s Superman and All Boys Aren’t Blue have no business serving in any capacity that involves making decisions about educating minors. In fact, they shouldn’t be around children in any capacity. If Durbin and Giannoulias believe there should be no restrictions related to depictions of sexuality when making purchasing decisions with public money for school libraries that serve minor children, they should not serve in government.

3. The number of books challenged has increased, which obviously means schools must purchase smutty books.

When Durbin cited this increase, he didn’t mention how many of the challenged books included language so obscene it couldn’t appear in the Chicago Tribune. Nor did he say how many included sex scenes so explicit that, if on film, the movies would be rated NC-17.

The reason for the increase in book challenges is the divisive decision of leftist librarians to increase the number of books with wildly inappropriate sexually explicit content purchased and made available to minors.

4. Many of the books challenged include “LGBTQ” characters and storylines, which is clear proof that those challenges are impelled by bigotry, and, therefore, schools must purchase smutty books.

Conveniently omitted from the accusation that “bigotry” motivates challenges to books including “LGBTQ” storylines is the fact that those books also include obscenity and sexually explicit material.

The exception to that would be picture book challenges from parents of young children who believe it is age-inappropriate for pre-K through third graders to be introduced to homo-sex orientation or cross-dressing. Such a belief is not ipso facto evidence of bigotry or hatred.

I suspect that if there were a picture book in a school library about a baby penguin being raised by two “daddies” who longed for a mommy, leftists would be storming libraries demanding it be “banned.” That’s the beauty of how leftists control libraries. Books with ideas and images they hate never make their way to library bookshelves.

5. Book challenges constitute mandates to all parents regarding what their children may or may not read—including at home—and, therefore, schools must purchase smutty books.

The belief that public money shouldn’t be used to purchase sexually graphic material to make available to minors does not circumscribe what parents purchase for their own children. Parents are free to purchase sexually graphic books and give them to their children to read to themselves, their toddler siblings, their grandparents, or anyone else who likes to hear children read smut.

6. Every child has a “right” to have their experiences, “identities,” and families reflected in school library collections, so schools must purchase smutty books.

Do leftists truly believe that every minor student has a right to see themselves—their experiences, identities, and families—represented in school libraries? Who decided that was a “right”? When did that “right” come into existence? What is the source of that right? If there is such a right, should there be books in public school libraries that reflect the loving sexual relationship between a teen girl and her older teen brother? What about a YA novel about a boy who has a sexual relationship with his dog or horse? I’m sure Durbin knows such experiences exist and that there are people who identify as “zoophiles.” Heck, there’s probably a few in Congress.

What about books about kids being raised by polyamorists who regularly have poly-romps in the sack? Should there be books with sexually explicit depictions of all the different sexual acts that can be performed when so many orifices are present? If not, why not?

7. Minor children’s education suffered during the pandemic because Democrats shut down schools, so schools must purchase smutty books.

Giannoulias had the shameless temerity to link the under-performance of students due to Democrat school-closing policies during COVID to parental opposition to pornographic materials in schools:

As our youth continue to need educational assistance in catching up after the disruption caused by COVID, I believe libraries in every single community across this country have had an especially critical role to play in increasing educational opportunities for all Americans, so imagine my surprise when in the year 2023 instead of inheriting a debate over what more can be done with and for our libraries, I was confronted with the book-banning movement.

There you have it, folks—er, I mean “folx” (don’t want to get in trouble with leftist language censors)—Dems believe catching kids up after the academic disruption Dems caused requires making literature available to them that includes lubing up dicks to insert in the virginal anuses of other boys.

8. “Education is all about teaching our children to think for themselves,” so schools must purchase smutty books.

Is there any evidence proving that kids who read novels and “graphic memoirs” like Gender Queer with depictions of sex toys, oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation have greater facility with independent thinking than kids who do not?

9. “Our democracy depends on the marketplace of ideas,” so schools must purchase smutty books.

Does democracy depend on minors being exposed to all ideas and images? If that’s the case, why so few books in school libraries that criticize leftist beliefs about sexuality and “gender”? Why so little information available to minors that challenges the belief that “gender identity” should determine bathroom and locker room usage? Why so few novels about the grievous harm done to and regrets of detransitioners? Why so few resources that express the view that homoerotic acts undermine human dignity? Why nothing about the intrinsic right of children to be raised by a mother and father? Why nothing about the ethics of purchasing genetic material and renting wombs by people who choose to be in intrinsically sterile erotic relationships? Surely the marketplace of ideas on which our democracy depends should include resources that address all these ideas.

10. Librarians are experts with advanced degrees in library science who say schools should purchase smutty books, so schools should purchase smutty books.

While Giannoulias, who made this argument, may worship at the altar of advanced degrees in library science, other more rational adults understand that such degrees are irrelevant to the question of whether sexually explicit material should be available to minors in publicly funded libraries. This is at its core a moral question to which advanced degrees in library science have nothing to contribute.

Someone with a master’s degree in library science is not an expert in psychology, ethics, theology, or public policy—all of which are more relevant fields than library science to the question of what material government employees should make available to minor children.

I will close with a quote from Dick Durbin with troubling implications for our once-great republic:

Unfortunately, there is a long history in our country of banning books we now consider classic works of literature.

If All Boys Aren’t Blue and Gender Queer become classics, America will deserve to go the way of the Roman Empire, sunk by its own depravity.

What Americans heard from Democrats was a tale told by idiots signifying their desperation at the prospect of losing their child-grooming platform.

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