'Drunk with power': Author Judy Blume shreds Ron DeSantis over draconian book bans

'Drunk with power': Author Judy Blume shreds Ron DeSantis over draconian book bans
Image via Gage Skidmore.

Award-winning children's book author Judy Blume tore into Gov. Ron DeSantis for his legislation censoring books in schools across Florida, reported The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

"'A governor who wants to control everything,' she told the crowd at a New York City luncheon hosted by Variety, 'starting with what kids can think, what they can know, what they can question, what they can learn, and now even what they can talk about,'" reported A.J. McDougall. "Blume recalled how she faced backlash from the religious right after publishing 1970’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, warning that 'this time' the threat of censorship is coming directly from the government."

“Lawmakers, drunk with power, with a need to control everything,” she continued in the speech. “Sure it’s still sexuality, but it’s gender, it’s LGBTQ+, it’s racism, it’s history itself that’s under fire.”

Blume's books have been targeted under the new Florida law, with the far-right group Moms for Liberty focusing in particular on "Forever," a book that depicts teenage sex.

While Florida's new laws are ostensibly about preventing "pornographic" material from being shown in schools, the rules are written so vaguely that right-wing activists can challenge almost anything. Among the books pulled pending investigation are a book about the life of baseball legend Roberto Clemente, and one teacher was even forced out over showing students Michelangelo's statue of David, which features non-sexual nudity.

The law has led to at least one school emptying out its library entirely — an incident DeSantis has claimed is a "hoax" even though it was captured on video.

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