The Daily Beast

The Right’s Throwback ‘Cancel Culture’ Tactic: Smear Schoolbooks as Porn

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

For more than a year after its publication, author George Johnson’s memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue was met with universal acclaim. The book, an account of Johnson’s upbringing as a queer Black boy, landed on “best of 2020” lists at Kirkus Reviews and the New York and Chicago public libraries.

“There were no attacks until about eight weeks ago,” Johnson told The Daily Beast.

The shift occurred near the beginning of the 2021 school year, when a coordinated campaign against the teaching of certain race- and gender-related topics plunged school board meetings into a panic. Johnson’s book and others attracted the furor of adults in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and elsewhere.

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