'We need more politicians reading books': Jamie Raskin blasts GOP for claiming book bans keep kids safe

'We need more politicians reading books': Jamie Raskin blasts GOP for claiming book bans keep kids safe
Image via Flickr.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called out the irony of Republicans' efforts to ban books during a recent House floor debate over parental oversight of K-12 schools.

@Acyn shared a clip of the congressman's speech via Twitter, writing, "Raskin is very good at this," referring to his ability to point out the hypocrisy his GOP colleagues are clearly displaying.

The video begins with Raskin saying, "Two years ago, more than 1600 books were banned in the United States of America. Here are three of the key books that the right-wingers have been going after."

READ MORE: Jamie Raskin blasts the GOP's 'moral agnosticism'

The congressman proceeds to hold up a copy of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, which he said is "about the dangerous fanaticism, authoritarianism, and abuse of the Taliban. A right wing religious fundamentalist movement, all about censorship and repressing women's control over their own bodies and their own fertility."

Next, Raskin shows a copy of The Handmaid's Tale, describing it as "Margaret Atwood's extraordinary dystopian novel about a right wing misogynist movement, which uses high technology and depraved religious ideology to control not only the minds of their followers, but the private and public lives and the fertility of women."

Lastly, "because they have no sense of irony" — he says about the Republican lawmakers — George Orwell's 1984. Raskin continued, "They're always trying to censor this one."

In 2019, George Packer wrote about the sustained "influence" of 1984 for The Atlantic, saying, "It's almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984."

READ MORE: 'Fear is not freedom': Centenarian shreds Florida book bans as Nazi behavior

Raskin emphasized, "We need more politicians reading books in America, and fewer politicians trying to censor books in America."

He continued, "It's amazing to me, to see politicians who oppose a universal violent criminal background check and who defend assault weapons after the massacres at Columbine — after Parkland, Florida; after Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut; after Uvalde; after Santa Fe, Texas; that they are now going to keep America's children safe by banning The Handmaid's Tale and 1984. We can do better for the children of America."

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'Reprehensible' and 'disgraceful': House Democrat scorches GOP book bans and 'Parental Bill of Rights'

The Atlantic's full report is available here.

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