On Thursday, singer John Rich showed up at the Tennessee state legislature to testify on behalf of Rep. Scott Cepicky’s HB 1944, a bill to crack down on library books Scott and his friends feel violate the definition of “obscenity”, which appears to vary from state to state and from legislator to legislator.
The Tennessee Library Association has spoken out against this bill. So have many teachers and parents. But it has a lot of support from those Moms For Ignorance aka Bored Moms for Liberty (whose Williamson County chapter was just scorched to the ground by a Republican school board member this week).
It also has the support of John Rich, who has been very outspoken about the issue of obscene library books and the curriculum, despite the fact that his kids go to an expensive private school, and despite the fact that his big hit was “SAVE A HORSE, RIDE A COWBOY”, with a music video featuring women dancing provocatively on a bridge in Nashville.
Rich took to the podium during the committee meeting and honed in on one point in particular, reading the legal definition of “Grooming”, saying that he only sees one difference between library books having what he deems to be sexual content in them and pedophiles in white vans luring kids in to show them sexually illicit content: “Kids can run away from the guy with the van.”
Here’s the VIDEO:
Y’all —- Today at the TN legislature, testifying for @CepickyTn64’s pro-censorship bill, singer @johnrich accused schools/librarians of “grooming” kids because there some library books may discuss sexual content.
(Reminder: His big hit was “Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy” 🤷🏻♂️) pic.twitter.com/KTVIiLoCxm
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 24, 2022
Never mind that teachers and librarians are trained to educate kids. Never mind that pedophiles are actually out to physically harm children. Never mind that there’s a state rep named David Byrd STILL in the Tennessee legislature who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he sexually abused them when they were on his high school basketball team in Wayne County, and these same Republicans still continue to serve with him every day without saying a damn thing.
None of that matters to Rich. Nor, apparently, do the feelings of librarians and educators in our state, who had to be horrified by being compared to “groomers” and pedophiles in white vans.
What a disgrace.
He owes them an apology, as do the legislators who brought him there that day (hi Scott Cepicky).
Last week at a Williamson County works session the head of the WCEA gave a tearful speech saying teachers in Tennessee feel attacked these days, and that it feels like “death by 1000 cuts”.
WATCH: “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR PROFESSION. DEATH BY 1000 CUTS.”
Leann White of WCEA delivers an emotional plea on behalf of TEACHERS @WCSedu’s work session.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 18, 2022
And understandably so. Rich and the bored moms attacking them over books is just a small part of a much bigger attack on our public schools intended to help Governor Lee and his co-conspirators overhaul our public education funding system to steer billions of taxpayer dollars to privately run charter schools to fill kids with their moral , political, and yes religious ideologies.
READ Holler founder Justin Kanew’s op-ed in the Tennessean that lays it all out.
It’s a heist happening right before our eyes. Now is the time to speak up – not only against HB 1944, but also against the many bills intended to help privatize and voucherize our public education system, even against the will of local school boards.
Our librarians, and our schools, are under attack. Who will defend them?