Warnock: ‘I don’t know’ if my new children’s book ‘would be banned’ in Florida
Sen. Raphael Warnock says there’s a chance his new children’s book could “be banned” by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) because it addresses race issues.
The Georgia Democrat appeared Monday on “The Daily Show” to promote “Put Your Shoes on and Get Ready!”
The picture book, whose title draws from a phrase Warnock says his father told him and his 11 siblings every morning, “shows young readers that they, too, can find the power to be themselves and make a difference when they have the shoes that fit their feet,” according to its publisher.
“Black history is the American story. That’s why I wrote this book,” Warnock told the Comedy Central show’s guest host Chelsea Handler.
“Speaking on the subject of books, we have a governor in Florida who is trying to ban books and trying to ban critical race theory,” Handler said.
Last month, DeSantis’s administration sent a letter to the College Board rejecting a new Advanced Placement African American Studies course, saying its content was “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” The subjects of Black queer studies, intersectionality and activism, the reparations movement and Black scholars associated with critical race theory were removed from a revised course.
In 2022, DeSantis signed legislation called the Stop WOKE Act, which restricted how racism could be taught in Florida’s schools.
Warnock, 53, said of his own foray into children’s literature, “I deal with the issue of race in this book. So I don’t know if my book would be banned or not.”
“All families have complicated stories — and so does the American family,” he told Handler.
“All of us have to push back against this idea that education is the enemy — all of us: red, yellow, brown, Black and white.”
“We have to reject the idea that our children will be so traumatized by the truth of our complicated American story that they can’t bear it,” Warnock, a father of two, said.
“As a dad, I was trying to figure out how to talk to my kids about what I know they will encounter. And I think I deal with it in a way that honors the legacy of my dad, who as I talk about in the book, he served in the Army during the World War II era.”
“One day, [my father] was asked to give up his seat on a public bus while wearing his soldier’s uniform. For some, the skin he was wearing was more important than the uniform he was wearing, so he had to give up his seat,” Warnock, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, continued.
“That’s a part of the American story. But here’s the other part of the American story: My dad had to give up his bus seat, now I have a seat in the United States Senate.”
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