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-Book Ban Data Breakdown-

Opinion:


With the use of different book bans puts kids at a cultural disadvantage in understanding people of diverse backgrounds. Book bans are merely just putting kids in a bubble and hiding them from the real world. Books like “Wicked” are merely banned for different types of language such as cursing. Another book “Speak” is banned for the use of language (cursing), As well as the experience of one of the characters being raped/sexually assaulted.


In Florida, there has been over 89 books banned. Florida is not just Banning specific books but rather reviewing all of the books in the school libraries to ensure they do not have or push a specific agenda or in other words “ a woke agenda”. The book “The Hate U Give” Was banned for pushing an “anti-police agenda”

In retrospect, the book outlines the struggle of minorities especially BIPOC minorities when it comes to policing in America and systems have failed BIPOC individuals systemically.


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Data:

MANY BANNED BOOKS INCLUDE ISSUES ON RACE AND RACISM

41%

Share of banned books that include protagonists or prominent secondary characters who are people of color

22%

Share of banned books that directly address issues of race and racism

16%

Share of banned books that are history books or biographies

9%

Share of banned books that have themes related to rights and activism





SURVEY RESPONDENTS DIFFER IN THEIR VIEWS ON WHETHER SCHOOLS SHOULD INCLUDE DISCUSSIONS OF SLAVERY AND RACISM IN TEACHING ABOUT U.S. HISTORY

93%

Share of Democratic survey respondents who said they believe it is appropriate


67%

Share of Democratic survey respondents who said they strongly believe it is appropriate


71%

Share of Republican survey respondents who said they believe it is appropriate


45%

Share of Republican survey respondents who said they strongly believe it is appropriate



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Opinion on Data:

Based on my opinion and the data book bans are not beneficial to students in fact book bans tend to be banned due to the author talking about different racial disparities or different minority groups which is about 41%. 22% of books show that they were banned because they addressed race or racism within systemic areas of our government or within social issues. 16% of books are biographies or even historical books. 9% of books are related to rights and activism. With the breakdown of this data, one can conclude that the majority of all of these books are banned are due to people having opposition to what is orthodox to society and/or our system has set.


What I find most interesting about the second half of the data is that it talks about whether people believe we should talk about slavery and racism within US history. 93% that are democratic believe that we should be teaching about slavery and racism within US history. 67% who took the survey said that they strongly believe that teaching slavery and racism in US history is appropriate. 71% of people who took the survey were Republican respondents who said they believe it is appropriate. 45% of Republicans who responded said that they strongly believe it is appropriate to be teaching slavery and racism within US history.


Based on that data it talks about both the teachings of racism and the Banning of books with different social injustices, It shows that the majority of people do not mind talking about racial inequality within the classroom. So why are we having the Banning of books in classrooms and why are we having the Banning of certain curriculum that talks about racial inequality and slavery?



One could conclude that if a certain populace of people supports the teachings of talking about racism and slavery within the classroom then why are we Banning books that talk about racism and slavery? Another question could be why are we Banning books that talk about people of diverse backgrounds? One could say that the person who is making the decisions for these book bands is not making these decisions in the best public interest but rather in their own political or personal ideals against certain minorities.


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“More books banned.

More districts.

More states.

More students losing access to literature.

“More” is the operative word for this report on school book bans, which offers the first comprehensive look at banned books throughout the 2021–22 school year. This report offers an update on the count in PEN America’s previous report, Banned in the USA: Rising School Book Bans Threaten Free Expression and Students’ First Amendment Rights (April 2022), which covered the first nine months of the school year (July 2021 to March 2022). It also sheds light on the role of organized efforts to drive many of the bans.” (PEN America Experts, Published September 19, 2022)









Based off of the data and infographics provided one could see that majority of book bands are in southern states with a majority of conservative beliefs. Heavy book bands are in places like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas which hold a heavy majority in conservative beliefs that go against the “woke agenda”. As mentioned before this would back up the claim that possibly there is a personal or political Vendetta against minorities and or literature written about minorities or diverse people.


Over 41% of books that have been banned are LGBTQ+ books and 40% of books regarding people of color or characters of color within the book were banned. 22% of books were banned due to “sexual content”. 21% of books were banned due to race and racism. 10% of books were banned with themes of Rights or activism. 9% of biographies or autobiographies were banned. 4% of books regarding religious minorities were banned.

Within my previous conclusion on the data provided, one could see that the majority of these books that are banned were banned due to having an unorthodox view of what Society or the system has set. The majority of minorities tend to oppose the system due to their experience within the system and how it has failed them, therefore people consider, “their opposition and or existence is unorthodox”.


About 75% of books that were banned were fiction and about 24% of books that were banned were nonfiction. 1% of books that were banned were poetry. 49% of books that were intended for young adults were banned. 19% of picture books were banned. 11% of middle-grade books were banned. 11% of adult books were banned. 10% of chapter books were banned.




Nearly 49% which is about half of the books that were banned were young adult books. Which majority of the books that are for young adults are usually Intended for mature audiences such as young adults. So the use of curse words is usually appropriate for young adults which would not give a reason to ban such a book as “Speak”.


With the data to back up my claim from two different sources, it shows that these books are being banned based on a political and/or social construct against minorities or people who go against the Orthodox belief. They are not just Banning small amounts of books but rather a large number of books and even whole categories such as LGBTQ+ as well as Rights & Activism.


Numbers and data do not lie it is clear that politicians or lawmakers are putting forward such book bans based on political and/or personal beliefs.


Kristin Kavanagh-Rocha

Director of Research & Development

Edited: (03/20/2023)


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