LeVar Burton Opens National Book Awards By Shading Extremist Group Moms For Liberty

LeVar Burton hosted the 74th National Book Awards on Wednesday and during his opening speech, he took a jab at the right-wing group Moms for Liberty.

“Before we get going, are there any Moms for Liberty in the house?” Burton asked, while the New York audience laughed. “Moms for Liberty? No? Good. Then hands will not need to be thrown tonight.”

In an Esquire interview published Wednesday, Burton said he was “thrilled” that “hardly any candidates backed by Moms for Liberty won their races.”

“These are people who would rather children not know the truth,” Burton told Esquire. “Those kids will never know what they’re missing, but it’s our job to stand up for them, to be their voices and their advocates. That’s what being an elder in this society means to me.”

“We have this aversion in this country to knowing about our past. And anything that is unpleasant, we don’t want to deal with,” he said at the time. “This is not going away. Nothing goes away, especially if you ignore it. So, read the books they’re banning. That’s where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason why.”

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