John Joyce (R-PA) has proposed new legislation that he’s calling the Grinch Act. If enacted, it would take funding from public libraries — all over his false claims that government entities are banning Dr. Seuss’s books.
As the Associated Press reported earlier this month, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has made the decision to stop printing a few titles that contain racially-biased imagery. The GOP has rebranded this capitalist corporate decision as a ‘ban,’ and continues to misleadingly suggest that the government has somehow imposed it.
Check out Representative Joyce in the clip below, falsely insinuating that governments are forcing these books off the shelves. Even as he describes seeing them for himself in the children’s section of a library, he suggests that libraries should be punished for removing them.
it's an SNL skit come to life pic.twitter.com/WeVGcaV49Q
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2021
“Government should not be making that [decision] and Federal dollars should not support anyone who bans books.”
In his public statement about the Grinch Act, Joyce also paints a false image of governments snatching books from the hands of readers.
“As we have seen time and time again, the ‘woke’ horde will target just about anyone, even Dr. Seuss. No American taxpayer should be forced to participate in this scheme against their will. The GRINCH Act will prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding bureaucrats’ attempts to censor children’s literature and determine what our kids are permitted to read.”
The carefully-worded statement stops short of actually claiming that any particular legislator, branch, state or local government, or library, has actually banned the books, only implying it.
Notably, the legislation itself (PDF) offers an exception — banning books for containing “obscene” material or matters “harmful to minors” would still be allowed.
This fits with the right-wing efforts to keep LGBT books out of children’s hands — as the National Coalition Against Censorship has a long list of books that conservatives have tried to ban for LGBTQ content, frequently describing it as “vulgar” or “obscene.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com