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Governor Ron DeSantis has banned hundreds of books across the state of Florida, censoring themes centered on race, history, sexual orientation, and gender in an effort to silence the voices and narratives of marginalized communities and further push his MAGA vision for a “Great American Comeback.”
Just last month, a Florida school banned “The Hill We Climb,” the moving poem Amanda Gorman recited at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, saying it would now be off-limits to young readers after one parent claimed the poem was “indoctrinating” students. The school, which claimed the poem is “not educational,” also banned “The ABCs of Black History,” a book intended for readers ages 5 and older.
In response, Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, described feeling “gutted,” explained that she had written the poem “so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment,” and said, “We must fight back.”
And we are fighting back.
With Ron DeSantis officially in the race for president, MoveOn is launching a “Banned Bookmobile,” filling it with books that DeSantis and other MAGA Republicans have banned in recent years, and driving it around the country to hand out those books for free. We’re able to make the Banned Bookmobile a reality thanks to the generosity of MoveOn members.
That is DeSantis’—and the MAGA movement’s—vision for America: a place where our stories, our identities, and our communities are banned. The stakes are high: We must come together to fight for our freedom of expression, to build community, and for young people to be able to see themselves reflected in the classroom through their stories and identities. DeSantis’s bans are an attack on all of our freedoms, but he cannot erase us.
Our members have come together to fund the Banned Bookmobile, which will launch this summer. We will use this as an opportunity to have conversations with voters about the MAGA vision for our country, provide resources for people to get involved to help defeat the GOP in 2024, and keep the topic of book bans surrounding DeSantis on the campaign trail.
All while giving out as many banned books as possible to students and others who have lost access to them thanks to MAGA politicians like Ron DeSantis.
Your dollars could expand the route of the Banned Bookmobile to follow DeSantis on campaign stops across the country into more early primary states if enough funds are raised. Because the MAGA Republicans aren’t just passing bans in Florida–they’re staging attacks on classrooms and instituting bans on our bodily autonomy all across the country.
Here are the first 10 books we’re purchasing and giving away in our Banned Bookmobile. All of these books are banned in Florida, and five were among the top 10 most banned books nationwide in 2022:
“Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a graphic novel about nonbinary author Maia Kobabe’s journey toward self-discovery, was the most banned book across the United States in 2022 and has received the most challenges of any book in 2023 as well.
We want to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to read these books and that we spread the word far and wide that DeSantis and the Republican Party are supporting book bans and censorship, on top of their other dangerous and extreme policies that restrict our freedoms. These policies are attacking our bodily autonomy–from abortion, to trans rights and gender-affirming health care. They are enacting voter suppression and mounting attacks on the poor. Our rights, our stories, and our identities are all under threat.
We can’t wait on the sidelines while politicians like Ron DeSantis try to erase history and silence Americans. The more we can get the word out not just about DeSantis but the GOP as a whole, the less they can hide from the consequences of their own actions.