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Alabama GOP Chairman wants to disassociate from the American Library Association


The American Library Association is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that has been pushing back against book bans nationwide. Multiple states in the United States are in the process of removing themselves from the ALA due to the organization’s defense of controversial books.

The most challenged books contain LGBTQIA+ content and are claimed to be sexually explicit. Multiple states are in the process of removing themselves from ALA due to the concern of children’s books containing this content.

John Wahl is the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. He said his main concern was being affiliated with the president of ALA, who is an open Marxist.

“I'm very concerned about belonging to an organization whose head is an open Marxist,” he said. “Marxism, really looks at this model more of destroying the family unit, destroying faith in God, in our local communities. And I think it's important for us as a society to ask ourselves the questions. Do we want to take a more socialist Marxist direction? Or do we want to stay where we're at as a constitutional republic, and kind of go back to the original vision of our founding fathers, and standing up for things like individual liberty, and protecting families and keeping our local communities strong.”

Wahl said his concern isn’t to ban books; the goal is to investigate what books are entering children’s’ sections of libraries across the state. He said local GOP members and parents share the same concern.

“We’re not talking about censorship. What we're talking about is age appropriate material in children's sections. And I think that's incredibly important, because we should protect children. There are innocent children who are in our libraries, and libraries should be a safe place for kids. It's not somewhere that parents should have to worry about them running across explicit sexual content,” he said.

Although there’s no monetary benefit if Alabama stays or removes themselves from ALA, Wahl said it’s good to weigh both sides of the situation.

“There's good and bad in every organization. And I think it's important that we try to find the best path forward for our constituents. Like I said, the thing that really troubles me with ALA is their obvious agenda towards a socialist and Marxist indoctrination of our children. I think that's very concerning. And I think that's something that I'm hearing from parents and, you know, representatives from across the state of Alabama,” he said.

Wahl has requested Alabama Attorney General’s Office to investigate if Alabama’s library board can remove affiliation from ALA but he is waiting on their response.

In the meantime, he has made a motion to create a list of books that contain inappropriate material so parents have an outlet to report those books.

Jolencia Jones is a graduate assistant at Alabama Public Radio. She joined APR in 2022. She graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in public relations. Over the past year, Jolencia has written a range of stories covering events throughout the state. When she's not working at APR, she's writing for 1956 Magazine and The Crimson White.

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