YouTube Comedians’ Roast of Right-Wing Book Bans Even Got Laughs From Moms for Liberty
Right-wing anti-literacy advocates like the activist group Moms for Liberty could write the book on being prime, Grade-A parody fodder — a book that they would later burn.
Across the country, concerned conservative parents are on a campaign to have material they deem objectionable removed from library shelves and classrooms, where they fear that children may be exposed to the viewpoints and experiences of gay people, Black people or anyone else outside the white Christian nationalist demographic. Supported by local governments in Republican-controlled states like Florida and Texas, organizations like Moms for Liberty have helped to ban or challenge 2,571 separate works of literature in the past year. Their argument in favor of these acts of state-sanctioned censorship boils down to the same excuse every conservative trots out when they’re looking for justification to infringe upon the rights of the marginalized: “Won’t anyone please think of the children?”
The school board meetings where these works of literary leftist brainwashing are symbolically tossed onto the book bonfire are so ripe for ridicule that one prominent political comedy YouTuber, Walter Masterson, has turned crashing these crackpot conventions into an exceptionally satisfying side-gig. Joined by popular TikToker Maximilian Clark, Masterson attended the Oxford School District of Pennsylvania’s public hearing on whether they will ban the beloved young adult novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower from their schools. The pair’s parody of the brain-dead talking points was so perfect that even the reactionary-controlled school board had to laugh.
As is the case with too much political satire in modern times, I can’t tell if it’s more funny or frightening how much cognitive dissonance is at play — not only are the two testimonials from Clark and Masterson so tonally and substantively similar to the earnest accounts from concerned conservatives that followed, but Clark’s comment, “If someone who is gay and they read a book with a gay character they might think that that’s normal,” can be interpreted as either for or against the Perks of Being a Wallflower ban depending on the level of empathy of each attendee.
Critically, Masterson’s explanation at the end of the video cuts to the heart of the issue — hearings like the one featured in this video are not actually about gay characters in books, or teaching children about slavery, or even a rainbow in a classroom. They are about eroding the public’s trust in one of our most essential institutions to further fracture the populace and paving the way for unelected and oppressive private entities to control the minds of the younger generations. Conservative officials like Oxford School District board president J.E. Tighe, who was caught on camera chuckling and Clark’s dramatic exit, are either maliciously or stupidly complicit in creating the hostility toward public schools necessary for their full eradication.
That’s not to say that resistance to attacks on education are in vain — as Clark revealed on Twitter this past Wednesday, “Happy to report that democrats reclaimed 3/5 seats on this board in the election yesterday. Thanks to the local volunteers (not Walter and I), but keep voting, keep campaigning and keep chasing these folks out.”