“The tyranny of the minority is infinitely more odious and intolerable and more to be feared than that of the majority.”

President William McKinley

Florida Governor and presidential wannabee Ron DeSantis’ anti “Woke” campaign is a series of undemocratic solutions in search of problems and “red meat” for GOP and MAGA conservatives.  One of its most egregious manifestations has been book banning including some eighty written by highly-acclaimed author James Patterson; books millions of children love and read.

The removal of Patterson’s books stems from Stuart resident Julie Marshall feeling they didn’t belong in elementary schools as they lacked any “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for students.”  Yet, she admits she is not a licensed teacher, librarian or media specialist and has not read any of Patterson’s books!

Subsequently, the State Department of Education and numerous local boards have pushed to remove Patterson’s books (which few, if any, members have read) from their school’s shelves.

Ignored in this totalitarian abuse of authority is equal consideration for the opinions of parents who hold different values and viewpoints and might feel totally comfortable with their children’s exposure to Patterson’ s books, as well as materials dealing with controversial subjects including racial inequality, LGBTQ tolerance and early introduction to sex education; particularly when they’ve actually read those materials.

What’s next?  Small, fundamentalist groups who want science books banned for teaching evolution and scientific or medical practices such as blood transfusion, cloning or genetic engineering or history which exposes students to the history of slavery or mistreatment and, in some cases, extermination of Native Americans?  Bowing to their wishes can only accelerate our nation’s educational illiteracy and weaken our youth’s capability for critical thinking.

One wonders how Ms. Marshall would feel if a Florida resident wanted the Bible removed for its many passages condoning such issues as slavery, incest, rape, killing and intolerance. 

While parents should have some say in their children’s education, educational decisions affecting those of others must not be driven by community activists, especially those with little knowledge of the subject matter they are trying to regulate.

Americans, and Florida residents in particular, should be frightened and concerned for the future of our Republic when small minorities (perhaps as few as one) can demand the censure or books or other materials which others might deem perfectly acceptable and important for themselves and their children.  To tolerate laws which permit this type of censorship and tyranny of the minority can, and in many nations has, become a slippery slope toward totalitarianism.