The matter is being taken very seriously by Joe Biden's administration, which has even appointed a special coordinator to deal with the problem. The White House is forced to take action in the face of book bans in school libraries in some conservative states of the United States. "In 2022, we had a record number of book bans in twenty years," according to a statement from the US executive, which specifies that these bans include books related to "LGBTQ + communities" and "communities of people of color".
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Book bans have become a particularly sensitive topic in the United States, reflecting clashes over major societal issues related to gender, sexuality and racism. Some conservative states try to police readings, discarding books they accuse of promoting homosexuality, progressive ideologies, or being too shocking, for example. Classics, such as the works of Toni Morrison or the graphic novel about the Holocaust "Maus", by Art Spiegelman, were targeted.
An appointed coordinator
This phenomenon "damages democracy, deprives students of very important resources and can contribute to the stigma and isolation experienced by LGBTQ+ communities and others," says the White House, which has appointed a "coordinator" to fight against these bans.
The new coordination position, which will be attached to the Department of Education, is intended to "address the growing threat to civil rights" posed by these bans.
As part of "Pride Month", the US executive also announced on Thursday initiatives to support gay people, especially those living on the street, or young people placed in foster families or child protection structures. The U.S. government will also set up safety trainings to help the gay community deal with threats to them, as well as regular briefings on these threats. They will be addressed, for example, to traders, associations or festival organizers.