Marjorie Taylor Greene accuses Barack Obama of supporting adult content in schools

President Barack Obama/Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
President Barack Obama/Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Photo: Shutterstock

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) did not appreciate former President Barack Obama’s statement yesterday condemning attempts to ban books in schools.

Her reaction? Re-tweet out-of-context images from books about sexuality and say, “Books like these shaped his life while he was growing up.”

Obama’s statement started by saying that the “First Amendment of our Constitution states that freedom begins with our capacity to share and access ideas.”

“Books have always shaped how I experience the world,” he said in the statement. “Writers like Mark Twain and Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman and James Baldwin taught me something essential about our country’s character.”

“Today, some of the books that shaped my life – and the lives of so many others – are being challenged by people who disagree with certain ideas or perspectives,” he continued. “It’s no coincidence that these ‘banned books’ are often written by or feature people of color, indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

“I believe such an approach is profoundly misguided, and contrary to what has made this country great,” he said. “As I’ve said before, not only is it important for young people from all walks of life to see themselves represented in the pages of books, but it’s also important for all of us to engage with different ideas and points of view.”

He also linked to the American Library Association’s campaign United Against Book Bans.

Anti-LGBTQ+ activist Chaya Raichik – who goes by “LibsofTikTok” on Twitter – was outraged that Obama opposed book bans and posted some images from some of the most challenged books out of context.

“When they accuse us of ‘banning books’ they’re referring to graphic books containing pornographic content offered to kids in schools across the country,” Raichik wrote. “Why does Obama want your kids to read porn like this in schools?”

One of the books Raichik posted a picture of is Let’s Talk About It by Erica Moen and Matthew Nolan, which is a sex education book for teens (not just LGBTQ+ teens). Another is a controversial page from asexual and nonbinary author Maia Kobabe’s memoir Gender Queer, where the author writes about a sexual experience involving a dildo. One of the screenshots is from This Book is Gay, Juno Dawson’s book about “what it’s like to grow up LGBTQ.” The last book Raichik posted a screenshot from is the graphic novel Flamer by Mike Curato, which has a picture of a man in a shower where some hip (and not much else) can be seen.

None of the books are pornographic in that they are not intended to excite readers sexually.

Moreover, Raichik’s statement is inaccurate because attempts to ban books in the last few years in the U.S. have gone far beyond those four books and have included innocuous books like And Tango Makes Three, a book about a penguin chick with two dads, and The Life of Rosa Parks, which was banned for its discussion of racism.

Greene quote-tweeted Raichik’s images and sarcastically suggested that Obama read those books while growing up.

While those four books were not yet published when Obama was young, many people around Obama’s age sought information from books about sexuality while they were teenagers, and books that are intended to educate people about sexuality often have pictures of body parts.

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