If you asked the American Booksellers Association (ABA) what it is, the answer is that it’s a non profit trade group whose task is to help independently owned bookstores, whose advocacy efforts support free expression causes.
Yet this claim is put to the test now that the organization has joined an ongoing outrage campaign to “cancel” Abigail Shrier’s book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”
In a tweet posted on July 14, ABA denounces the book as “anti-trans” and apologizes to its trans members and the trans and wider “LGBTQIA+” and bookselling communities for including “Irreversible Damage” in the July “white box” mailing that was sent to some 750 bookstores.
The language used in the tweet comes across as nothing short of over-the-top dramatic: the inclusion of the book in the list is described as a “serious, violent, inexcusable (…) terrible incident.” ABA also anticipates that the title showing up in the mailing will have caused trans people “pain” and apologizes for that as well – only to conclude that “apologies are not enough.”
ABA declare themselves as an entity that “caused harm” but that is committed to engaging in dialogue to address that and taking concrete steps that should be announced as soon as in three weeks’ time.
That the apology was indeed not enough was clear from another statement issued by ABA CEO Allison Hill. “We traumatized and endangered members of the trans community,” Hill writes to booksellers, adding, “We erased Black authors, conflated Black authors, and put the authors in danger through a forced association.”
New, widespread phenomena inevitably create new economies, and new job titles; the strong push to align content, including books, with what can be summed up as “woke values” is no different.
The Spectator writes about a new brand of copy editors – “sensitivity readers.” The term is appropriately Orwellian in itself, given what these people get hired by publishers to do: make sure that stories that don’t represent a writer’s “lived experience” are “corrected” to better reflect that.
And the “sensitivity authority” who decides what is authentic is the freelancer given the job. It sounds fairly arbitrary, like many other things happening in society these days that flirt with some form of censorship or suppression of content.
And it continues to sound arbitrary even when it is explained that in order to “qualify” for a “sensitivity reader” you have to advertise your status as a member of an ethnic or cultural group, somebody who has experienced trauma or abuse, or just be a self-declared expert in a hobby.
Celebrated American children’s author Dr. Seuss is now considered too controversial for one of Virginia’s largest school districts, a new report reveals.
For over two decades, Dr. Seuss’s birthday has been celebrated in schools as Read Across America Day — a day dedicated to the importance of reading and literacy. The day falls on Dr. Seuss’s birthday in honor of the impactful author, whose books have helped countless children learn to read across the globe.
But folllowing pressure from activists, Loudon County Public Schools is reportedly dropping the annual Dr. Seuss celebration.
“Realizing that many schools continue to celebrate ‘Read Across America Day’ in partial recognition of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it is important for us to be cognizant of research that may challenge our practice in this regard,” Loudoun County Schools said in an announcement reported by the Daily Wire.
“As we become more culturally responsive and racially conscious, all building leaders should know that in recent years there has been research revealing radical undertones in the books written and the illustrations drawn by Dr. Seuss,” the school district continued.
Learning for Justice, a liberal education advocacy group, was reportedly behind the pressure campaign against the celebrated children’s author. The organization pegs itself as a group that seeks “to uphold the mission” of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, according to their website.
A letter calling for U.S. publishers not to sign book deals with Trump administration officials has been signed by 500 authors and literary professionals.
The letter, titled “No Book Deals For Traitors,” was written by Barry Lyga in an attempt to keep members of the Trump administration from financially benefiting from book deals.
For three days and counting, protesters in Portland, Oregon have gathered at a local bookstore to demand that it stop selling a new book critical of Antifa.
“Far-left activists surrounded Powell’s Books in Portland on Monday and demanded the store stop selling Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, a book about antifa written by Andy Ngo,” Reason’s Robby Soave reports. “The protests forced the store to close early.”
Ngo, the editor-at-large of The Post Millennial, a Canadian conservative news site, has documented the activities of Antifa, a leftist group that advocates violence in the name of fighting fascism. The journalist was beaten by Antifa activists at a rally in 2019, leaving him with a serious brain injury.
Left-wing activists say that because Ngo documents and criticizes the activities of Antifa, which claims to simply be “anti-fascist,” he is therefore a fascist. Saying his work is too dangerous to be allowed to be aired, Antifa members have called for Ngo to be banned from social media. Now they are trying to get his book banned from bookstores.
“We have to show up every day until they stop selling that f—king book,” one activist said. She claimed it was like “stopping the historical publication of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf.'”