Republican Senator John Kennedy recently went viral for reading parts of some “banned books” to his colleagues on the left, revealing to them just how sexually explicit the “children’s literature” they are defending really is.
Kennedy pulled from “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and “Gender Queer” during the “Book Bans: Examining How Censorship Limits Liberty and Literature,” Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to get his point across.
“What are you asking us to do? Are you suggesting that only librarians should decide whether the two books that I just referenced should be available to kids? Is that what you’re saying,” Kennedy questioned Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias.
“With all due respect, Senator, the words you spoke are disturbing, especially coming out of your mouth, it’s very disturbing,” Giannoulias said. “But I would also tell you that we’re not advocating for kids to read porn.
“We are advocating for parents, random parents, not to have the ability under the guise of keeping kids safe to try and challenge the worldview of every single manner on these issues,” he went on.
“When individual parents are allowed to make a decision of where that line is and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ which involves a rape scene, should that book be pulled from our libraries? I think it becomes a slippery slope.”
Kennedy sided with Giannoulias in that “censorship is bad,” but pointed out the fact that he is highlighting the books he read, not “Catcher in the Rye.”
“So tell me what you want, who gets to decide? And all I’ve heard is the librarians. And parents have nothing to do with it. And if that’s your response, what planet did you just parachute in from?” Kennedy added.
“Senator, with all due respect, parents absolutely have a say. My parents were immigrants, came to this country. We never checked out books without our parents seeing what books we’re reading,” Giannoulias responded. “They encouraged us to read books.”
Some on the left, including Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL), stated that what they are not doing is “advocating for sexually explicit content to be available in an elementary school library or in [the] children’s section of the library.”
“That’s a distraction from the real challenge,” Giannoulias continued. “I understand and respect that parents may choose to limit what their children read, especially at younger ages. My wife and I did. Others do, too.
But no parent should have the right to tell another parent’s child what they can and cannot read in school or at home. Every student deserves access to books that reflect their experiences and help them better understand who they are.”