A Call to Vote
Public education is under attack.
Books are political — we know this — and now, more than any other time in recent history, they are under attack. Or rather, the content of books is under attack. Be it because of fears around “critical race theory,” “comprehensive sexuality education,” or “social emotional learning,” or straightforward bigotry against books featuring people of color, queer people, and art depicting either/both, what is happening in schools and libraries across the country is deeply concerning. What begins with books, of course, extends beyond the covers of those books.
Antisemitism is loud and clear. Racial profiling continues unabated. Celebrations of queerness are being threatened with violence. And in the midst of it, the calls and rallies to perpetrate harm against anyone who advocates for these groups and individuals are being heard and pursued.
Lives are being destroyed, changed, and lost.
As we enter into the midterm elections this week, we urge you to not only vote, but to spend time understanding what is at stake in the elections happening in your community. School board races are being targeted by big money groups, and groups like Moms For Liberty have endorsed over 250 candidates nationwide, ensuring that their agenda of censorship, of mis- and dis- information, and white supremacy continues forward. That the foundational rights of students to get an education that challenges them, that encourages them to think and ask questions, that allows them to find out who they are, are robbed. The clever tactics of wrapping hate and censorship under the guise of “parental rights” sounds good, but it is dangerous and disingenuous.
School and library board elections matter. These boards determine the future of public knowledge, public access, and the First Amendment Rights of every individual…not just those with money, connections, and agendas.
This election could determine the future of public resources, but it could shift the book publishing industry in profound ways. Authors of color, queer authors, and those who lie at those intersections have been losing opportunities over the last 18 months because of new laws and new policies regarding books like theirs across the country. Though the industry has miles to go, progress has been made in the last decade for better representation of the voices that make this country what it is. We cannot lose this ground, we cannot cede this ground, to those who uphold white supremacy.
Here’s where you can find out how to vote this election, as well as what is on your local ballot.
Vote. Please vote. Democracy is at stake.