Scroll To Top

Librarians Read Sarah Huckabee Sanders For Filth Over Bigoted Book Ban

Librarians Read Sarah Huckabee Sanders For Filth Over Bigoted Book Ban

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a White House press briefing.
Michael Candelori/Shutterstock

Arkansas librarians take the former White House press secretary to court after she signed another anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

Ever since taking office in January, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been on an anti-LGBTQ+ crusade, but luckily librarians are fighting back against the governor of Arkansas.

Trump’s former mouthpiece is being sued by a coalition of librarians, booksellers, publishers, readers, and authors who filed a lawsuit last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas over a bigoted book ban law set to go into effect August 1.

Act 372 was signed by Sanders back in March and threatens up to a year in prison for librarians who are caught giving kids books that are considered “harmful to minors.” According to the Freedom to Read Foundation the new law “threatens to criminalize the work of librarians and booksellers, and empty Arkansas’ library shelves.”

Proponents of the bill say no one under the age of 18 should have access to content about racism, sexual activity, and LGBTQ+ issues and claim it will protect children from “indoctrination.”

But according to the complaint the new bill will give local officials "undue discretion" to make decisions "without objective criteria or a record of their reasoning.”

“Library workers across Arkansas are rightly concerned that the overly broad edicts of Act 372 will prevent them from serving their patrons as they have always done, by providing a wide variety of materials to fill their information needs, and perhaps more importantly, materials that allow each child to see themselves in the books in their library,” Carol Coffey, president of the Arkansas Library Association, said in a statement.

Librarians rightly fear that the bill will have a chilling effect because anyone can “challenge the appropriateness” of the books and other content provided by Arkansas public libraries and they will be forced to decide whether to take books off the shelves entirely or move them to an “adults only” section.

“We oppose any and all efforts to undermine the First Amendment, which is foundational to our democracy and critical to the lawful exchange of art, literature, and information,” Cofey said in the statement. “Books have long shaped our understanding of the world around us and provided readers with the chance to explore topics that span a vast spectrum of ideas and experiences. The booksellers and librarians of Arkansas are stewards of that proud tradition, and their essential mission of serving the state’s readers must be preserved.”

According to the Literacy Action of Central Arkansas 23% of Arkansans (nearly 500,000 people) are at or below the lowest level of literacy. Meaning that in a state struggling with literacy, Sanders is severely curtailing librarians’ ability to do their job and support the community.

Sadly, Arkansas is far from the only state in the US to try and implement book bans. Florida, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, and Michigan all have similar laws. According to PEN America books about marginalized communities are the ones hit the hardest, “Overwhelmingly, book banners continue to target stories by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.”

This is far from the first anti-LGBTQ+ law the hate-spewing governor has passed since taking office. Sanders also signed a law banning trans teachers and students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identities and signed an executive order that prevents teachers from using students' correct pronouns or from even talking about sexuality, gender, or race.

Learning about different kinds of people and seeing yourself reflected in the media you consume is incredibly important — especially for queer kids. So let’s hope these fierce librarians succeed in fighting back against a state government being run by hate.

Where is Sarah Huckabee Sanders now?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the 47th governor of Arkansas. She was inaugurated on January 10, 2023.

Are any books still banned in the US?

According to PEN America's Index Of School Book Bans, during the first half of the 2022-23 school year there were 1,477 instances of individual books banned, affecting 874 unique titles. This was an increase of 28 percent compared to the prior six months, January – June 2022.

Banner Image OneOut Magazine - Fellow Travelers

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories