United States, Penn America, Leander Independent School District discussed on Women's Media Center Live with Robin Morgan


We are way past Orwell and 1984. When you put panda paper or press a computer key these days in the United States, you may very well be in trouble. Penn America publisher, reading list to note banned books week, and protect the freedom to learn. On it, for example, is an alert that months after the Leander independent school district in Texas, he honors Texas again. Months after the Leander district made headlines for banning a slate of books and graphic novels from its secondary school curriculum, the Austen area district released its decisions on an additional set of titles in August, announcing the 13 books that must be removed from schools with an additional 6 titles suspended until further notice. Across the United States similar book bands and censorious threats have taken hold in schools, academia, and the public square. With books that focus on the history of racism in the United States, targeted most frequently. There is a full scale attack on critical race theory for daring to examine the truth about institutionalized racism in this country, with the 1619 Project exhaustively researched, pioneered and organized by Nicole hanan Jones of The New York Times, coming under special fire. It's as if critical race theory wore the synonym the truth about white supremacy in America. But books on lesbian and gay themes and about violence against women also draw fire. Many are authored by women and by people of color, they discuss racial bigotry, immigration, same sex love relationships, mental health, and sexual assault and violence. Here's a sampling from the band list. Speak, by Laurie halse Anderson, the story of a first year high school student and social outcast, who has to face up to the fact that she was raped by an upperclassman. The book of unknown Americans by Christina enriquez, the story of a romance between two teenagers, immigrants from respectively Mexico and Panama. Brave face a memoir by Shawn David Hutchinson, the story of growing up as a gay teenager struggling with depression and with self harm. American street, by Ibiza boy, about a U.S. born Haitian teenager who moves back to the United States with her non citizen mother. Red at the bone, by Jacqueline Woodson, a narrative about generations of a black family in Brooklyn. And the famous graphic novel, portraying a dystopian England under a fascist police state, with the human spirits potential to withstand it. The for vendetta. Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. Now these books and more, all made it to Leander's band list. Fortunately, pan America is one of the groups fighting such decisions in the courts. And pan recently celebrated when the ban targeting black authors in particular was overturned in New York, Pennsylvania. But a soul on the freedom to read learn and write are all on the rise. As for the attacks against journalism in a free press, the decision of the Nobel committee to award Maria ressa, and demetri murato of the Nobel Prize, was specifically too called attention. To the dangers to democracy proposed by disinformation, and other false narratives presented as fact on social media and elsewhere. Under Russian president Vladimir Putin, journalists have been imprisoned, poisoned and assassinated, 58 in the last year. And many independent news outlets have been closed or taken over by Kremlin oligarchs. Since its founding, 6 journalists from novaya gazeta Mira tops newspaper have been killed, including Anna, politkovskaya, who had reported on human rights abuses in Chechnya, and was shot dead outside her apartment. In the Philippines, ressa and her news organization rattler have repeatedly been targeted band attacked and trashed, in campaigns of online harassment, and criminal charges, politically motivated under the direct direction of president Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa was found guilty of cyber libel in June 2020, and she spent years in Philippine courts, defending herself and her organization against multiple charges. Ten arrest warrants were issued for her in less than two years. And she currently is fighting 9 separate cases. She has remained a staunch advocate of freedom of the press, and is also emerged as a strong opponent of violence against female journalists, more broadly, with rappler doing reporting that his pioneer reporting on cyber harassment, online trolls, and disinformation campaigns. In the Philippines, 87 journalists have been killed, since 1992. That's according to the committee to protect journalists. Ressa noted in a Washington Post op-ed in May of this year. That she had first written about Facebook's problematic algorithms, as far back as 2016, and she added that they've only gotten worse. When we live in a world where facts are debatable, where the world's largest distributor of news prioritizes the spread of lies laced with anger and hate, and spreads it faster and further than facts, then journalism becomes activism. That was ressa, age 58 in an interview, who also described the Nobel, quote as a recognition of the difficulties, but also hopefully of how we're going to win the battle for truth. The battle for facts. We hold the line. At the height of online harassment against her, the work of paid troll farms. Restaurant recorded 90 9 zero hate messages an hour, sent to her on social media. This was after rapper ran an investigative series on the weaponization of social media. Duterte, who has recently announced that he won't run for office again, claims he doesn't oppose a free press, and calls ressa, a fraud. What follows on this program is the full, uncut interview I did with Maria. On May 20th, 2018, episode two four 8. I am rerunning the complete interview precisely because it is so stunningly precinct about Facebook and other major megacorporations. Online giants who manipulate the news and the information, politicize it, and channel hate. Maria speaks passionately about how social media has already become weaponized, and she notes in this interview that the Philippines, previously a fairly strong democracy in an area not known for democracies, serves as a harbinger, for what will soon happen in the rest of the world if we take no notice. Clearly.

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