Publishing houses are coming under fire after a group of them named Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) as a “distinguished public servant” in an event where they warned there is a war against books.
The American Association of Publishers is a board of publishers like the Hachette Book Group, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., John Wiley and Sons, Books, Tayor and Francis Group, the Disney Publishing Group, Scholastic, Pearson, Teacher Created Materials Inc, Penguin Random House, Princeton University Press, Simon and Schuster, University of Chicago Press, Chronicle Books, HarperCollins Publishers, the American Psychological Association, and McGraw Hill.
Some of the publishers on the list have authors whose books made it to the American Library Association’s list of “book titles that were banned, challenged, or restricted.” Yet, Sen. Tillis is among those leaders who fought for that same philosophy.
Scholastic is well-known as a children’s book leader, but it joined with Random House (also on the list) in the production of the “1619 Project,” which Tillis has targeted.
“Random House Children’s Books announced plans to publish four 1619 Project books for young readers—one young adult, one middle-grade, and two picture books. Upfront, a newsletter that the New York Times produces for schools with the publisher Scholastic, used the 1619 label on an article about 1960s student activism for civil rights and desegregation, linking that to ‘the Climate March to demand action on global warming, and March for Our Lives to call for an end to gun violence” reported Education Next in their Spring 2022 issue.
According to Sen. Tillis, The New York Time Magazine’s “1619 Project” and critical race theory have no place in America’s classrooms. “This is why I have significant concerns with the Department of Education’s recent effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs away from their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda. These proposed changes include implementing new federal grant priority for projects using The New York Time Magazine’s ‘1619 Project’ and Critical Race Theory (CRT).”
He introduced a bill that would slash any federal funding to programs using the “1619 Project,” then the publishers of the project gave him an award.
AAP president and CEO Maria A. Pallante made it clear that their industry was under attack by the book bans in schools.
“As we all know, across the country, thousands of books are being questioned with a scrutiny that’s newly chilling,” she said, “from novels to math books. This is not to say that parents and communities don’t have a say in public education, as the law is clear that they do. But that roll has constitutional limits. It does not extend to capricious actions that cross the line and amount to censorship. In fact, the line is important.”
The organization said that they liked Tillis because he supports copyright law.