Banning ideas and authors is not a ‘culture war.’ It’s fascism.

Republicans are enthusiastic to ban concepts, authors, and books, The Guardian reported.

The bans are sweeping across the U.S. 

Forty-four states have proposed bans on the teaching of “divisive concepts”, and 18 states have passed them.

Republicans are trying to claim the bans are part of a ‘culture war.’ But experts say this is extremely dangerous, and in reality, it’s simply fascism. 

These laws have been represented by many as a ‘culture war.’

This framing is a dangerous falsification of reality. 

A culture war is a conflict of values between different groups. In a diverse, pluralistic democracy, one should expect frequent conflicts. 

Yet laws criminalizing educators’ speech are no such thing. Unlike a culture war, the Republican party’s recent turn against concepts, books, and ideas has no place in a real democracy, experts warn. 

The concepts these laws centrally target include addressing structural racism, intersectionality, and critical race theory.

In Florida for example, Florida’s Stop Woke Act bans the teaching of eight categories of concepts. 

It includes concepts that suggest that “a person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex,” ED Week reports.

These laws have already started to take effect. 

Administrators and teachers have been forced out of their positions on the suspicion of violating these laws. 

What began as a fringe idea is becoming more mainstream.

Florida is at the forefront. Last month, the state’s board of education banned AP African American studies because Governor Ron DeSantis said it taught concepts he dislikes such as critical race theory and intersectionality. 

Republicans this year have drastically broadened their legislative efforts to censor what’s taught in the classroom, according to an Education Week analysis of active state bills.

What started in early 2021 as a conservative effort to prohibit teachers from talking about diversity and inequality in so-called “divisive” ways or taking sides on “controversial” issues has now expanded to include proposed restrictions on teaching that the United States is a racist country, that certain economic or political systems are racist, or that multiple gender identities exist.

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