More On: culture war 50 years ago, Watergate gave rise to the culture war and corroded our institutions To actually stop mass shootings and other commentary Biden defends teachers: ‘Stop making them the target of culture wars’ America’s culture wars aren’t new — and don’t have predictable endings Marian the Librarian, the prim, bespectacled love interest of con artist Harold Hill in the classic musical, “The Music Man,” wouldn’t recognize her profession today.
Libraries, for decades the ultimate safe spaces, have become ground zero in the ongoing culture wars, with battles over banned books, drag queen story hours and free access to porn raging all over the country — from Louisiana to Idaho to Washington State as well as cities like New York and LA.
“The average person has no idea of this but librarians have been targeting children in recent years and trying to turn them into political activists,” said Dan Kleinman, a self-described “library watchdog” from Chatham, NJ, who has run a website called “ Safe Libraries ” for more than 10 years.He said he has documented the alarming radicalization of the nation’s libraries, including what he says is readily available porn in library computers.
Self-described “Marxist lesbian” Emily Drabinski was appointed head of the American Library Association (ALA) this year.Critics say the ALA is behind the movement to make the country’s libraries centers of wokeness.“Librarians see themselves on the front lines on what it takes to bring revolution to the US.You need soldiers in the revolution so they are teaching kids to be little antifa activists who hate their own country and will act as a collective to bring about change.”
Many activists point to the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library organization in the world, as the driving force behind what they say is too radical an agenda.
Dan Kleinman, a “library watchdog” from Chatham, NJ, who runs the website “Safe Libraries,” says “librarians see themselves on the front lines on what it takes to bring revolution to the US.” Stefano Giovannini The newly-elected head of the ALA — a self-described “Marxist lesbian” named Emily Drabinski — said she rose through the ranks the old-school way, from “looseleaf legal filer to library director.” But her mission is deadly serious.
“So many of us find ourselves at the ends of our worlds,” Drabinski said during her campaign to become ALA president.“The consequences of decades of unchecked climate change, class war, white supremacy, and imperialism have led us here.If we want a world that includes public goods like the library, we must organize our collective power and wield it.
The American Library Association offers us a set of tools that can harness our energies and build those capacities.”
“This Book is Gay,” “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy” are three of the highest-profile books whose sexual themes have led critics to seek their removal from libraries.
After Drabinski won, she posted on Twitter: “I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary .I am so excited for what we will do together.Solidarity!”
The influential Chicago-based Fobazi Ettarh, 32, who was most recently a librarian at Rutgers, is another example of what many call a modern “radical librarian.” Ettarh, who is also an educator and writer, says she represents “librarianship, education, activism, and all the intersections in between.”
Chicago librarian Fobazi Ettarh, 32, says the field is “riddled with white supremacy.” “People that say what librarians do in their own time, out of the library, is their own business.As if white supremacy is something you only do on weekends,” she wrote on her “ WTF Is a Radical Librarian Anyway? ” website.
“It is time to stop being shocked.
[People of color] have been telling you this forever.Trans people have been telling you this forever.The disabled.The queer.Librarianship is not the last bastion of democracy.It is not inherently good and sacred.
It is an institution.And like other institutions it is riddled with white supremacy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and so on, and on, and on… This is who we are .”
Inviting drag queens like Just JP (left) and Sham Payne to read stories to kids at public libraries including this one near Boston is a growing trend that some critics complain is not appropriate for young children.
Boston Globe via Getty Images Supporters of so-called “woke” libraries say they simply want their facilities to be more diverse and inclusive when it comes to gender and race ideology.Opponents say that young children should not be exposed to books like Juno Dawson’s “ This Book is Gay ,” (a current No.1 bestseller on Amazon), “ Genderqueer ” and “ Lawn Boy ,” which they say depict too-graphic illustrations of gay sex and are freely available to youths at public libraries.
Drag Queen Story Hour, which was launched in San Francisco in 2015, has become a mainstay for children at libraries all over the US and the UK.Drag queens in full regalia perform for children as young as two and three.Though at least two registered sex offenders were found to have been among the drag queens performing at a Houston public library in 2019, the program is still going strong.
The outrage over drag performers reading to kids in libraries has even gone global, with protests such as these in the UK earlier this year.
Getty Images Some librarians are fed up with the radical atmosphere.A 50-year-old male in a Western state, who did not want to be identified, said he arrives at work an hour early every day to avoid the younger library staff who he said are “totally woke and radical.”
“It’s all about the ALA here,” he said.“They’re the boss.Libraries want to be accredited by the ALA so they do whatever they say.They’ll enact their policies across the board and it’s insufferable.
Librarians are some of the most dangerous people in society.They are very well-organized and they communicate very well.Libraries are lost.They are rotten to the core.So much money has been dumped into them by organizations with agendas.”
Former Idaho library director Kimber Glidden resigned from her post following an outcry by parents over library books with LGBT-themed content.
MSNBC The ALA first began getting major funding in the late 1990s from the Bill and Melinda Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society among other progressive organizations.
At its most recent conference, panels included subjects such as “Addressing Critical Race Theory Challenges in Your Library” and “ Inspiring the Next Generation to Champion Social Justice through Speech and Debate .”
Last week, The Post reported that parents at Manhattan’s tony Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School were up in arms over the elementary school librarian — who was suspended from Twitter briefly last month for having tweeted, “Burn White Straight Male Librarianship to the Ground.”
Ingrid Conley-Abrams, the New York City librarian whose “Burn White Straight Male Librarianship to the Ground” tweet recently caused a firestorm at her posh prep school.Ingrid Conley-Abrams, 43, wrote the tweet in 2015 but was apparently suspended for it recently after the message was deemed hate speech.She is reportedly still employed by Columbia.
Meanwhile, librarians have been quitting around the country as communities have fought back against their radical agendas.
Last month, KImber Glidden, the director at the Boundary County Library in northern Idaho announced her resignation after a group of parents opposed to books with LGBTQ themes launched a petition to recall four of the library board members.
The American Library Association’s headquarters in Chicago.Conservative critics blame the ALA for pushing “books in libraries that should just not be accessible to children.” “Nothing in my background could have prepared me for the political atmosphere of extremism, militant Christian fundamentalism, intimidation tactics, and threatening behavior currently being employed in the community,” Glidden wrote.
Also last month, romance novelist Nora Roberts stepped in to save the town library in Jamestown, Mich., after residents upset by books they felt were too dangerous for children voted to defund the institution.Roberts wrote the library a check for $50,000 to keep it going.
Louisiana library board member Robert Judge got caught in the culture wars after speaking out about books whose radical, sexual themes he feels are being forced on kids.Robert Judge, a retired science teacher in Lafayette, La., volunteered to serve on the local library board last year and was elected president last fall.
Because of his conservative Christian beliefs and desire to ban some gay-themed children’s books from the library, he found himself in the crosshairs of those who think he’s a bigot or religious extremist.
“The ALA indoctrinates people getting their library degrees and they are pushing books in libraries that should just not be accessible to children,” Judge told The Post.“We don’t let children drink or drive or smoke or get married because they don’t have the cognitive abilities to handle all that yet.
It’s the same with some of these books they are forcing on them.So if protecting the innocence of children and the rights of parents to rear their children as they see fit makes me an extremist, then yes I am an extremist.”
Kleinman logs onto computers at the central branch of Brooklyn Public Library to see if Pornhub is accessible.Two computers blocked the content, but one allowed access.Stefano Giovannini The Rev.
Jonathan Lange has weighed in over the past year with essays about books he and others feel are too extreme in Campbell County, Wyoming, where parents complained about books with “obscene” sex and LGBTQ themes placed in the children’s section of their libraries.
‘Librarians are some of the most dangerous people in society.
They are very well-organized.
50-year-old librarian who wished to remain anonymous “Libraries aren’t responsive to their communities anymore,” Lange told The Post.“They’re totally beholden to the ALA and its policies and agenda.The ALA obliterated the distinction between adults and minors.They fight for kids of all ages to have access to everything in the library.When parents object, the librarians just invoke the ALA’s policies and refuse to remove them.
ALA spokeswoman Shawnda Hines emailed a statement to The Post saying, in part:
“Libraries are for everyone.
Discussion of challenging topics and issues in a shared civic space propels communities forward… ALA condemns the increasing harassment of library workers, board members, and community members who express support for their community library and each person’s freedom to read.We especially condemn the personal attacks against library workers, who are public servants dedicated to providing services and resources to their communities that support education, career development, self-improvement and local entrepreneurship.”.