The state of Texas continued its descent into fully becoming Gilead by suggesting the government should be making literary decisions for kids of all ages in Texas public schools. Republican lawmakers have already been so helpful in deciding that all unwanted pregnancies should be carried to term while cutting public assistance programs, why not add to the dumbing down of society by taking away all of the challenging book learning?
One Texas Republican lawmaker running for state attorney general has drawn up a list of 850 books on subjects ranging from racism to sexuality that could “make students feel discomfort,” and is demanding that school districts across the state report whether any are in their classrooms or libraries. The subtext of that statement is that there’s a guy out there who doesn’t like it when books make him think or feel things, so nobody else should have to deal with all of that icky stuff, neither.
State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Ft Worth), who chairs the state’s House Committee on General Investigating (yes, that’s really a thing, and yes, I stopped writing for a minute to laugh out loud at it, as the kids say), also directed the districts to identify “any other books” that could cause students “guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
Matt Krause is a Nazi. Remember Hitler got rid of books too. https://t.co/GCrnv90qo1
— rsm🌊 (@rsm3919) October 28, 2021
All of which makes this avid reader wonder which Judy Blume book scarred Matt Krause as a kid to make him grow up into the Texas version of a Commander overseeing his district.
Cinderella Is Dead is on this list. I’d like Matt Krause to know that nothing he does will keep my work out of the hands of young readers. Texas educators are,for the most part, amazing people and we work together to make sure the work gets to the kids who need it most. 😘😘😘 https://t.co/08OUtv2KZL
— Kalynn Bayron (@KalynnBayron) October 27, 2021
But setting the “Handmaid’s Tale” jokes aside, Krause is suggesting blatantly erasing a whole lot of literary history along with essentially all American history that doesn’t make white people look awesome. Krause is nothing if not thorough, offering sixteen full pages of titles that he finds too scary to exist out in the world where perhaps a delicate slip of a girl might be corrupted if she dares even touch a copy of “Beloved” or the Ruby Bridges story.
TSTA: Rep. Krause’s letter demanding that school superintendents provide him with lists of books dealing with certain subjects on their school bookshelves is disturbing and political overreach into the classroom. #txed #txlegehttps://t.co/wFwGNAqZHD pic.twitter.com/VaXblvSjZm
— TSTA/NEA (@txstateteachers) October 26, 2021
The joy of reading is one that’s already been co-opted by the internet skim, but while there are still such things as libraries and kids wanting to read, the GOP needs to leave them alone. It’s bad enough they want to dictate what goes on inside a woman’s uterus; now they’re aiming to control her brain, too.
I just want to thank Matt Krause, because I was teetering on canceling my TX visits due to the new anti-abortion laws, but now I am bringing my big, queer, pro-choice ass to town so he can't erase me. https://t.co/wV5rdIVvyU
— Saundra MitcHELL (@SaundraMitchell) October 28, 2021
(We’re not saying men don’t read, but it seems to me that whenever the GOP is looking to control something, it’s always women-centric. Show me where on the Texas books is the law controlling the male reproductive system? I can wait.)
But ANYWAY, censorship only makes people want to get their hands on what you don’t want them to see, so maybe this will have the usual reverse effect that the GOP intends, so that more teenagers–so naturally rebellious to begin with–will be crossing picket lines to hit up the library and will be reading more books. Because nothing scares the GOP more than an educated population.
Matt Krause is a dumpster fire of a human being so it was only a matter of time before he started promoting book burnings. https://t.co/O2phugO6bt
— Brad Pritchett (@bradpritchett) October 26, 2021
In the meantime, somebody please send Matt Krause a copy of “Caste” and tell him to write up a full report.