Former President Barack Obama is getting trashed online for speaking out against banning books, which has become a hot topic ever since it was discovered that sexually explicit material was being stocked in public school libraries.
Obama made his opinions known on Twitter with a letter addressed to “dedicated and hardworking librarians of America.”
The letter mentioned how writers like Mark Twain and James Baldwin helped shape the former president’s childhood while going on to say “banned books” are often authored by or featured “people of color, indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community,” calling the approach “misguided.”
“The impulse seems to be to silence, rather than engage, rebut, learn from or seek to understand views that don’t fit our own,” the letter says.
“Today, some of the books that shaped my life—and the lives of so many others—are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives. And librarians are on the front lines, fighting every day to make the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas available to everyone,” the former president tweeted.
The Twitter comments were flooded with mockery of Obama’s stance. Followers shared images from some of the most controversial “banned books,” including images of explicit sexual imagery in those titles.
“Barack, If you’ll sit down and read ‘Gender Queer,’ then defend making it available to kids, I’ll do you the favor of running ads all over the country to let people know. You’ll never do it because you know it would disgust normal people that your party wants kids to read it,” Robby Starbuck, a former GOP candidate for Congress in Tennessee, wrote, referencing a book that includes gay sex illustrations.
Today, some of the books that shaped my life—and the lives of so many others—are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives. And librarians are on the front lines, fighting every day to make the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and… pic.twitter.com/txhCTfH3Gh
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 17, 2023
“Were you a big fan of Gender Queer? Did it shape your life? Removing inappropriate content from schools isn’t banning books,” another reply said.
“How about you encourage [Joe Biden] to do a public reading of these books in front of children; that should be right up his alley,” another account posted.
Many replies claimed Obama intentionally tried to mislead the public with his statements.
“You are so crafty in your language and making the uninformed electorate[believe] the issue is really about banning books,” another account posted. “It’s about not providing access to pornographic materials to children and forcing children to read books that propagate left-leaning ideologies through mandated sex ed…”
First lady Jill Biden expressed a similar stance to Obama in the past, saying in September that no books should be taken out of school libraries regardless of the content.
“All books should be in the library,” Biden said at the time, as The Daily Wire previously reported. “All books. This is America. We don’t ban books.”