Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland, the only Black governor in the nation, is resisting political figures and Republican-controlled legislatures that have campaigned for prohibiting books and teaching what they have scorned as “divisive concepts” in school.

“I see book banning in the country. I see … teachers being muzzled in the country right now. I see [the] curriculum of truth being removed,” said Moore, a Democrat, in a graduation speech Sunday at Morehouse College, a historically Black and all-male college in Atlanta.

He said, “When politicians prohibit books and silence teachers, they claim it’s an effort to avoid discomfort guilt — but we know that’s false. This is not about a fear of making people feel bad. It is about a fear of people realizing their power.”

He also urged the graduates to “challenge this threat” in the next stage of their lives and use the lessons learned from past periods of American history for the improvement of humanity. The alternative, he cautioned, was that “those who want to erase history” will not stop at Black history, but will continue the removal of the struggles and achievements of AAPI, Jewish, Indigenous and LGBTQ communities.

Moore said, “A threat to any history is a threat to all history. I’m talking about everyone in this country who has been part of the American story — and who are seeing the stories of those who came before us be deleted.”

Moore’s remarks are the latest indication that Democrats view book banning as a motivating issue for next year’s general election cycle. It is also a sign he is trying to increase his national visibility and experimenting ways to boost his prominence during the upcoming 2024 election cycle. He is regarded as a rising star in the Democratic Party with many expecting a White House run in the future.

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