Guest post by Andrew Maraniss
Last week, Tennessee school librarians held their annual breakfast reception at the state legislature, setting up tables piled with cinnamon rolls, scones, and coffee.
Only a few legislators dropped by. Instead, they sent over assistants to load up paper plates to bring back to their offices.
That wasn’t surprising. If I were a member of Tennessee’s Republican supermajority, I’d be embarrassed to show my face around school librarians, too.
Drunk on power and buzzed on culture-war adrenaline in a mid-term election year, Tennessee Republicans have introduced bills to ban books in K-12 schools that “address” or “normalize” LGBTQ people or issues, to criminalize school librarians for carrying supposedly “obscene” books, and to ban the discussion of “divisive” concepts such as race even at state universities.