Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair
Scott J. Hamilton, Executive Director
Banned Books the Forbidden Fruit Ripe for the Pick’n
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, — OCTOBER 4, 2023 – Oklahoma leaders are fast following a national movement that is nothing more than an ill-thought-out strategy that is counterintuitive to keeping these “dangerous” materials out of the hands of our children. The Oklahoma Democratic Party is appalled by our Legislature and State Superintendent of Public Education for putting our state’s future at risk of being unable to work in a diverse society.
It’s widely known that censorship of books, movies, music, and many other arts prompts more interest as to why groups are trying to keep artistic freedom of expression mediums in hiding. Fear tends to motivate these actions—fear of the unknown, being uncontrollable, and fear of what others will think.
Book-banning advocates are afraid that the content in these books will sway the readers to become “immoral” human beings. Unlike past book-banning efforts, the recent flight to censorship has been politicized and crossed the line of embracing religious doctrine into our government to push through the use of scripture to justify the bannings.
Unfortunately, our librarians, teachers, and students are suffering the brunt of these actions. Books about race, gender, and sexuality are the most targeted books; many have been classics and have been available to students for decades. This only undermines teaching students how to think for themselves. But isn’t that precisely what the extremists want — the means to erase children’s ability to think critically and only listen to and accept what someone tells them?
Restricting information from our students endangers our future generations. As a society, these restrictions only increase intolerance, reduce free expression, and are a threat to our Democracy. The Oklahoma Democratic Party will continue to advocate for freedom of expression and against banning of books and any art form.