President Joe Biden said Monday that Juneteenth is about “reading books, not banning them,” in an apparent reference to efforts to ban pornographic books from children’s libraries.
“Juneteenth is about Americans feeling the progress we can make for America. It’s about remembering history, not erasing it. It’s about reading books, not banning them. That’s what great nations do, and we are a great nation,” the president said in a tweet.
Juneteenth is about Americans feeling the progress we can make for America.
It’s about remembering history, not erasing it.
It’s about reading books, not banning them.
That’s what great nations do, and we are a great nation.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 19, 2023
Biden has made his fight against book banning a key part of his reelection campaign, featuring a clip about the issue in his 2024 launch video. The books shown in Biden’s video included To Kill A Mockingbird, Kite Runner, Invisible Man, Paradise, The First to Die At the End, Lawn Boy, The Bluest Eye, They Both Die at The End and Homegoing.
Lawn Boy includes depictions of young boys performing oral sex on each other, while The Bluest Eye has sexual themes like incest, rape and sexual dysfunction. School districts across the country have banned books that they have deemed to have inappropriate content, but Biden has deemed the bans to be an attack on the LGBT community. (RELATED: Biden Admin To Appoint Official To Protect Sexually Explicit Books From Being Banned)
On June 8, he said the Department of Education said it would be appointing a coordinator “to address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students.”
The Biden administration has also tied Juneteenth to abortion and voting.
Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks Tuesday at the Juneteenth Concert on the South Lawn of the White House, saying, “we must also fight to protect the freedoms already won.” Harris said the country needs to fight for voting, which she said is “under assault in states across our nation” and to “restore the freedom and the right of every woman in every state to make decisions about her own body.”
“Juneteenth as a federal holiday is meant to breathe new life into the essence of America — to ensure everyone feels the power of the progress we can make. It marks the long, hard night of slavery – but the promise of that brighter morning to come,” Biden said in a separate tweet about the holiday.