Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial candidate suggested sending pornography to a reporter during a news conference about schools in the state.
Gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who is running against Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer, rejected the odd offer after he proposed a statewide ban on ‘pornographic’ books in K-12 schools on Tuesday. .
Although Dixon did not specify which books she would ban, she said: “I would take a look at the pornographic books that we see and make a decision on what we do to make sure we don’t have any ‘children reading pornography – or having a teacher read pornographic material to children or a child at school.’
Books read by children have taken center stage in a nationwide culture war, leading to an unprecedented number of book ban bids. In the first eight months of 2022, the American Library Association (ALA) recorded 681 library and school book disputes, affecting 1,651 unique titles.
According to the ALA, the removal requests specifically targeted books that address racism, racial injustice, and LGBTQ experiences or relationships. On the ALA’s list of the 10 most contested books in 2021, each title focuses on marginalized communities or issues of sexuality.
Michigan had 41 book bans in four districts in the first nine months of the 2021-2022 school year, according to PEN America, a nonprofit organization focused on free expression.
“Do you need me to define pornography?”
In the video which went viral on Twitter, a Michigan advance reporter asked Dixon, “Can you define what pornography means to you in terms of books in K-12 schools?”
“Do you need me to define pornography? replied Dixon. “I mean, I can, if you want. Okay, so there’s two naked people and they’re engaging in a sex act. And several different sex acts. You want me to send some to you for you to can you see them?”
Sara Broadwater, director of communications for Dixon, said the press conference reviews were dishonest.
“This is a faux pearl from left-leaning activists who are very familiar with the garbage in schools,” she said. “Tudor isn’t talking about banning books – it’s talking about removing obviously age-inappropriate books about sex from young children’s classrooms. It’s absurd for anyone to call this an extreme concept. If it weren’t for not a problem, no one would talk about it. People who push this stuff on kids are sick.
Dixon has previously starred in low-budget zombie and vampire-themed films such as Buddy Bebop vs. the Walking Dead. In the spring, videos of her acting in those productions surfaced which featured sexual scenes, including a zombie biting a man’s genitals, according to The Detroit News.
The candidate also called for the resignation of State Superintendent Michael Rice over Department of Education training videos for teachers. The videos suggested referring to students by their preferred pronouns and offered tips for reporting mental health issues without disclosing a student’s sexual or gender orientation to their parents, according to local reports.
Update 9/22/2022, 8 p.m.: This article has been updated to include comments from the Dixon campaign.