Brent Bozell has a column at Townhall in which he takes us dirty hippie librarians to task for our censorship:
It is quite apparent who the ALA believes to be the heroes and villains of this struggle. There are the avatars of intellectual freedom, the brave souls who champion open-mindedness, and then there are the censorious busybodies. Some have made the obvious point that challenging libraries to provide titles they’re not stocking would turn the tables and make people realize that librarians can also be censorious in the titles they choose not to display. The mere act of selecting some books and excluding others is a “censorious” act.
Press accounts leave out that the ALA not only disdains the public “challenges,” it lobbies on the books’ behalf. In 2006, the two-penguin-daddy “And Tango Makes Three” was honored as an ALA Notable Children’s Book. The librarians’ group isn’t simply for “freedom.” It’s for sexual liberation, promoting the “non-traditional,” and it takes offense at the idea that parents might not want their children discussing homosexuality in kindergarten. Simon & Schuster, the publishers of “Tango,” offer discussion questions about the book on their website. One says: “Tango has two fathers instead of the traditional mother and father. Do you have a nontraditional family, or do you know someone who does?”
Already we can predict how the ALA next year will complain about any objection to a book called “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” the story of a young guinea pig who worries that her Uncle Bobby won’t play with her anymore after he “marries” his boyfriend Jamie. The book ends at the “wedding,” with Chloe as the enthusiastic flower girl. In other words, the ALA doesn’t favor open discussion and debate with parents — which is what the “challenges” represent. Its idea of “freedom” is emboldening librarians to be brave enough to indoctrinate children with what they really need to know, whether their parents object or even know about it. If public debate follows, it’s viewed as a distasteful and unfortunate bump on the road to enlightenment.
You keep using this word. I don’t think it means what you think it means, Brent.
First off, the ALA’s Most Challenged list is compiled to bring attention to books that people–specifically, people form the community served by the local library–want removed for ideological reasons. Promoting books that bigots and other non-elites* want banned is the exact opposite of censorship.
Secondly, promoting books with a minority viewpoint, such as And Tango Makes Three, while not promoting, say the Bible is not censorship either. The Bible, or to be less inflammatory, Doctor Seuss books, don’t really need promoting. Everyone already knows about those books and the viewpoints they express and knows that they can come into just about any library and find them. But people also come into libraries looking for other books, sometimes ones they may not even know exist but hope to find because they need information that isn’t contained in the usual books. Information such as how to handle introducing children to the notion of same sex parents. And because libraries serve everyone in the community, not just the privileged white Christian majority, they often carry and promote these books as well as the standard selections that won’t offend your lily white, antiseptic mind.
Also: if you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, you can always find the nearest librarian and request them to carry it. They’ll more than likely agree to purchase it, with the caveat that they may not be able to do so right away, since their budget has been cut by anti-intellectual shills for one of the most unenlightened and disastrous administrations in US history.
Link via Mister Leonard Pierce at Sadly, No!
* Thanks to the tireless efforts of Brent Bozell and the right wing clown car posse, everyone who isn’t a coal miner’s daughter or a member of the KKK’s noose tying brigade is now an “elite” which no longer means good, but has come to mean self-satisfyingly superior. Because why anyone would want to feel superior to mouth breathing red necks and lynch mobs in search of a body is clearly beyond the intellectual skills of Brent Bozell. These are his people after all.