Protecting Our Democracy is launching a six-figure digital advocacy campaign that targets book bans and other attacks on our democratic institutions. The campaign will kick off with a new ad, “What Happens?” and will run across digital platforms.
“Book bans are a symptom of a broader effort by extreme groups to stifle speech, the free exchange of ideas and knowledge itself,” said Protecting Our Democracy Chair Sean M. Spiller. “We’re seeing a rise in antisemitism, anti-LQBTQ and racist rhetoric across the United States, and right here in New Jersey. Banning books that represent diverse perspectives is very much a part of the process of fomenting hate against our neighbors,” he continued.
The number of book bans occurring nationwide has exploded over the past two years. The majority of the books that have been banned deal with themes of race or LGBTQ+ issues. These bans are having a corrosive effect on the fabric of our communities and are putting lives at risk from political violence.
“Our educators and librarians have been thrust onto the front lines of the battle to preserve our institutions and personal freedoms,” said Spiller. “It is absolutely sickening every time you hear about a threat of violence directed at a library or intimidation of community groups. We must do everything we can to lead away from fear and toward a greater understanding of one another.”
Protecting Our Democracy launched prior to the midterm elections with a multi-pronged campaign that is the result of six months of research and polling. The organization’s campaign to stand up against book bans is a part of a broader effort to center public focus on the profound threats to our democracy, build support for democratic institutions and push back against disinformation. Protecting Our Democracy is also building out an advanced data-driven organizing effort.