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Home/Rod Dreher/ABA: ‘We’re Book Banners — But For The Left’

ABA: ‘We’re Book Banners — But For The Left’

Hypocritical cant from the American Booksellers Association

From the website of the American Booksellers Association, a trade group of independent bookstores (ABFE is a subsidiary):

The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) is a sponsor and advocate for Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read by encouraging readouts, bookstore displays, and community activities designed to raise awareness of the ongoing threat of censorship. Held each year during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association.

The theme of this year’s event is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” This year’s motif is a pair of hands sharing a book, superimposed on a globe. The 2021 theme is intended to be inclusive, emphasizing the ways in which books and information bring people together, help individuals see themselves in the stories of others, and aid the development of empathy and understanding for people from other backgrounds.

Look, they even have a swell graphic:

More:

“Um, Dave? Yeah, I’ve got a free speech emergency here. The bad guy is in the house.”

They’re talking about Abigail Shrier’s massive bestseller Irreversible Damage: How The Trans Craze Is Harming Our Daughters.

 

 

Let me remind you that this is the trade association of independent booksellers, yet they believe that simply mentioning a popular book that offends against woke dogma is “a violent incident.” They are abasing themselves FOR MENTIONING A BOOK THAT IS FOR SALE!

These are the same people who squawk on self-righteously about Banned Books Week. They are advocating banning books (“banning” by their standard). You can’t make this up.

See, this kind of thing is why I’ve become more radicalized this summer. I don’t believe that the leading voices of the Left have any confidence in traditional liberal principles anymore. They — or at least their organizations, like ABA — are illiberal leftists. I would like to be wrong, but this is a perfect example of what Wesley Yang says of wokeness: that it’s the “successor ideology” to liberalism. A liberal American Booksellers Association would never have put out that kind of cringe, disgraceful tweet. Woke ABA would, and did. They remind me of this great line from Annie Hall:

UPDATE: Good grief! ABA members are not angry with the organization for its hysterical censorship, but rather for not going far enough! Read it and weep. 

We are so screwed as a culture. We really are. I love to think of independent booksellers as heroic Davids standing up to Amazon’s Goliath. I guess I’m wrong.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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