CEO of Penguin Random House donates $500,000 to combat a ban on books
on Feb 17, 2022
Parents and lawmakers are protesting against the legislation that could remove hundreds of books from the public-school curriculum and library shelves. PEN America announced that the CEO of Penguin Random House Markus Dohle personally donated $500,000 to the organization to fight nationwide book bans. About the ongoing censorship in America, Dohle told the New York Times, “It’s unimaginable! And it is very urgent, and it ties into the future of our democracy.” His donation to the American Library Association has been a great help and they had reported that stated Americans issued 330 book challenges — calls to remove a book from a school or a library — in the fall of 2021. Dohle’s contributions will go toward a specialized fund called the Dohle Book Defense Fund, which seeks to support communities where books are being challenged.
Americans have majorly banned and targeted literature that covers topics of race and sex. Many of the complaints were issued by unprogressive parents who fear that LGBTQ+ literature will push their kids toward “alternative lifestyles.” The bans are also intrinsically tied to recent debates around whether or not critical race theory should be taught in schools, resulting in classics like Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye being removed from library shelves. Heading back to simpler days for student readers, Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton went on The Daily Show to condemn the absurdity of banning books like And Tango Makes Three, a story about gay penguins that has received flack for encouraging “sexual perversion.”
It is extremely problematic how these people are restricting the literature for students just because of their conservative thoughts. Academical readings bring these kids new perspectives and intellect, however, these avid young readers are not having access to such rich literature.