From Jim Himes <[email protected]>
Subject my summer (banned) book list
Date July 16, 2023 2:14 PM
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Nationwide, books both long-established and contemporary, are consistently challenged or banned by MAGA extremists. In 2022, book bans reached an all-time high.

According to PEN America [[link removed]] , over 874 unique titles were banned in the first half of the 2022-2023 school year alone.

Banned books remind us of the value of free speech and encourage us to think critically and actively participate in a country that embraces open dialogue and values individual expression.

But out-of-touch MAGA extremists don’t see it that way -- they’d rather pick and choose which freedoms we live by. Freedoms like speech and expression are fundamental to who we are as a nation – it shouldn’t be up to any one group of people to decide which ones we get to enjoy.

Chip in right now to keep up the fight to protect our Democracy and keep CT04 blue >>> [[link removed]]

In this spirit, I thought I’d share some of the banned books I’m reading this summer:

The Handmaid's Tale: 12 Bans in Florida, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, and Utah
Written by: Harper Lee. One of the most frequently challenged or banned books in the U.S.

The Bluest Eye: 10 Bans in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah
Written by: Toni Morrison

The Hate U Give: 7 Bans in Florida, Missouri, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania
Written by: Angie Thomas

Friends, censorship like this leaves us in the dark, hinders critical thinking, and leaves us without diverse perspectives.

The importance of this issue transcends issues of free expression and speech. The hallmark of human enlightenment is a willingness to expose oneself to challenging, uncomfortable and even disruptive ideas. That’s how we learn. It’s how we develop understanding and tolerance. Happy echo chambers don’t teach us a thing.

I hope you’ll join me and pick a banned book to read this summer whether it’s at the beach, the park, on a couch, or between beekeeping sessions : )

— Jim

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