Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Racist ALA Supported Bestiality for Howell, MI, Children Because Author Is Black; What Will It Do in Vinton, VA, Where Bestiality Book Author is White

In a racist act (in my opinion but it is pretty obvious), the American Library Association [ALA] has used racism as the excuse a public high school should retain a book containing bestiality. The ALA's late de facto leader dismissed parental concerns about inappropriate material in the public school by saying, "Toni Morrison is challenged regularly because she is a black author who writes about the real world." That was in Howell, MI, 2007.

Okay, I guess the ALA would allow bestiality books written by white authors to be removed from public schools. Somehow I doubt it, but here's our chance to find out, this time in Vinton, VA, 2009, this time with a white author, this time also filled with inappropriate material that may be legally removed. Read this:

"Perversion 101: Kids Taught 'Gay' Sex, Rape, Bestiality; High School Teacher Keeps Job Despite Handing Out Pornographic 'Banned Book,'" by Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily, 5 October 2009.

The article starts this way, read the rest online:

A father of a high-school student is infuriated after he said a teacher provided "banned books" to her 11th-grade students, including at least one with explicit descriptions of homosexual sex acts, rape, masturbation, profane language and even bestiality.

John Davis, father of an 11th-grade student at William Byrd High School in Vinton, Va., told WND that English teacher Kathleen Renard provided her personal copy of a book called "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky to one of her English students, and it was passed to his son. The book is published by MTV Books.

Davis found the book in his son's possession, along with a bookmark that said, "Read banned books. They're your ticket to freedom."

"My son was reading the book and stated it was a school assignment," Davis told WND. "He was embarrassed that I began to peruse through the book and discovered its contents. He advised that the book belongs to his English teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Renard."

Upon reading the book, Davis discovered the following:
  • sex acts between teenagers
  • male and female masturbation
  • suicide
  • oral sex
  • extensive use of profanity, especially the "F"-word
  • multiple cases of homosexual acts between teenage boys, including kissing, seduction and anal sex
  • illegal drug and alcohol use, including smoking marijuana and LSD usage
  • anonymous homosexual acts between men and boys
  • rape of a teenage girl while she cried
  • molestation of a young boy by a woman
  • molestation of a young girl by an older man
  • how hitting a girl can turn her on and make her love a boy
  • attempted sex between a boy and a dog
Continue reading here.

The school motto is "Accept only the Best at WBHS." I have not read the book in question; perhaps it IS the best bestiality book available.

Look at this:

"This is one of the better schools around," he told WND. "People need to wake up and start questioning some of the things that are going on in the schools. They wonder why we're having so many problems with teens. A lot of it has to do with what goes on in the schools."

He is not the only parent to say that. See: "Warning to All Parents to Know What Your Child is Reading."

Let's see what the ALA does his time—after all, the author of the bestiality book is white this time. Skin color is apparently important to the ALA, right, ALA?

The real question is will Vinton, VA, follow US Supreme Court precedent or will it, like Howell, MI, fall prey to ALA misdirection. Time will tell, though the school is making a great start.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dear Dan,

    Can assume that American libraries stocking the Bible and Torah means that the ALA supports genocide and incest, as outlined in the Books of Genesis and Daniel?

    Can assume that you support incest as well, as it appears in Scripture?

    Can I also assume that you support animal cruelty by your silence on the evils promoted in "Moby Dick?"

    All four of the Gospels contain graphic violence and witchcraft. Can you explain to me why you and the ALA have aligned to support such inappropriate subject matter for our children?

    I await your response eagerly.


  3. I’ve deleted my earlier comment and replaced it with this more complete comment, after having read your post several times.

    1: Labeling the ALA racist does not seem appropriate in light of the evidence you provide here. The ALA gives every indication of resisting censorship of both African-American and white authors. Certainly that has been the case with the authors and books you mention here.

    2: You might feel that the ALA has inappropriately “played the race card” by citing racism as a motivating factor in other people’s attempted censorship. Whether or not that is true, it is not an appropriate basis for labeling ALA itself as racist.

    3: The “digital divide” is a real and measurable social phenomenon. Whether or not someone has a computer with internet access at home, or relies on a public library for that access (or does both), is very much affected by socio-economic class, and therefore is related to race and other social categories. In addition to a digital divide in basic internet access, there is a digital divide in the impact of internet filters for adults: those who rely on library computers for internet access will be more completely constrained by those filters than those who also have unrestricted access at home. This was one PART of the ALA’s argument against CIPA-required internet filters.

    4: Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” is an adult novel, not normally classified as Young Adult fiction. Those choosing this book for high school students did so for the educational value of the work, and were not laboring under the false assumption that this was a tidy little story for children. The students working with this text are generally 15 to 18, and should be able to handle it.

    5: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” MIGHT be sufficiently vulgar for a school board (not a public library) to consider removing (I haven’t read it, and don’t plan to). The trick, of course, will be for the board to demonstrate that they are removing the book on the basis of vulgarity, and not out of a desire to impose social or political orthodoxy. The easiest way for them to do this is through a consistent and coherent set of standards. Will they be able to come up with a set of standards that excludes “Perks” without excluding other books they want to keep?

    6: I’m not sure what you mean by asking if the school board will follow Supreme Court precedent. The Pico decision says a school board CAN remove a book on the basis of “pervasive vulgarity,” whatever that means. It does NOT say the board MUST remove any such book, since “pervasive vulgarity” is not the same thing as “obscenity.” This decision is up to the board, which certainly has the authority to retain a “pervasively vulgar” book, if it deems the work to be of educational value.

  4. Chuck, thanks.

    Non-Censor, outstanding comment.

    In my opinion, anyone "playing the race card" is racist. See: "'Playing the Race Card' Is a Risky Political Ploy." Judith Krug injected race into the matter where none existed. "Playing the race card is an idiomatic phrase that refers to the act of bringing the issue of race or racism into a debate, perhaps to obfuscate the matter." And she is the 40 year de facto leader of the ALA. So the ALA acted in a racist fashion, in my opinion. It would have been better for her to judge people by the content of their words and character rather than the color of their skin or her perception that others might themselves be racist. And if she did not think they were racist but used the racism claim to besmirch them anyway, that shows a callous disregard for those truly opposing racism, let alone for the individuals she smeared. Anyway, that's my opinion.

    I see nothing as black or white. I never make a single judgment on the color of people's skin. It's not even in my mind, and I don't ever remember a time when it was.

    So it was particularly galling to me to see Mrs. Krug raise that issue and unfairly brand portions of an entire community as racists, just so she could intimidate the community into keeping the inappropriate material. To me, that makes her the racist. And since she's the ALA's leader, the ALA uses racism to promote its interests, therefore it is racist itself.

    Again, that's my opinion.

    You talk about socio-economic class then say it is related to race. Really? Sounds like you may be bordering a teensy bit on implying something racist.

    You note the "digital divide" issue was raised by the ALA in US v. ALA. It lost on that point in the Court. Why did it raise that issue again? Could it be exploiting racism again? I think so.

    "Those choosing this book for high school students did so for the educational value of the work...." Really? Bestiality? Beating a girl until she likes you? Etc? Reading, writing, arithmetic. Where does bestiality fall along that spectrum?

    I think it is more likely the school board was not aware of the contents of the book until now. The question is whether bestiality and the like will be part of the "educational value" of the public school. The school should be able to make that choice without being browbeaten and misled by the ALA/ACLU/NCAC/ABFFE, etc.

    Agree with your paragraph 5. (Actually, other than the above few things, I generally agree with your entire comment.)

    Agree with your paragraph 6, though "obscenity" is not the issue here.

    Thanks for commenting.

    If the school board deems the book pervasively vulgar or educational unsuitable, and if it is not removing the book for political reasons like opposition to homosexuality, then the school board may legally remove the book immediately. And blowing of smoke by the ALA, the NCAC, the ACLU, the ABFFE or the like should be seen as the misdirection it is. If any of them threaten to sue on an issue already asked and answered in the US Supreme Court, then a counter suit for treble damages under vexatious litigation statutes should prove lucrative for the school board.

    The ALA used racist arguments in Howell, MI, let's see what it does here in Virginia.

  5. You write: "You talk about socio-economic class then say it is related to race. Really? Sounds like you may be bordering a teensy bit on implying something racist."

    It isn't racist, in the least, to state the simple demographic facts. Yes, socio-economic class and race are distinct phenomena, but they are still highly correlated in American Society.

    And the ALA did NOT lose on that point in US v. ALA. That is, the court did not pass judgement on the truth or falseness of claims about the socio-economics of the digital divide.

    Why reduce Morrison's entire book to a question of bestiality or other unpleasantness it might contain? Can a book not have educational value even if it has some objectionable parts? Doesn't the legal definition of obscenity require us to consider a work as a whole, rather than just out-of-context excerpts? How many nasty bits does a book have to have before we close our eyes to the other things of value in it?

    I agree that a school board may remove a book it deems to be pervasively vulgar. But Board v. Pico makes it clear that that assessment has to be made in earnest, and cannot be arbitrary. Given the Pico decision, the ACLU would not sue a school board in a situation where it was highly credible that the books were really removed for reasons of vulgarity.

    Were the ACLU to sue a school board about removing books,it would be because the board gave reason for others to doubt their honesty about the motivations for that removal. That would be a legitimate question for the courts to decide and not a frivolous suit. Remember that that is exactly what the Supreme Court did in Board v. Pico: they sent the matter back to a lower court for a trial of fact as to why the Island Trees school board removed the books it removed. That was when the Island Trees school board gave up, realizing they had given evidence that their motivation was "political orthodoxy" rather than "pervasive vulgarity."

    And there we come back to the eternal problem. The easiest way to avoid any such a suit is for a school board to consistently apply clear standards that differentiate what will and won't be kept on the library shelves or used in the classroom. Harder to do than most people think, especially since the court gave no guidance about defining or measuring "pervasive vulgarity.

  6. The ALA argued the "digital divide" among other reasons for not requiring filters, yet the Court required filters. To me, that means the ALA lost on that issue.

    As to obscenity, I said that is not the issue, and it is not. So statements such as yours to get people to ask themselves if a work taken as a whole is obscenity are irrelevant. Naturally nothing in a public school has no lesson of some kind in it, so that's why the ALA acolytes keep pushing that idea. But it's irrelevant.

    The issue is that defined in the Pico case. Under the Pico, well, you and I seem to agree about what Pico says. So, given the right circumstances, the school can remove the book quickly and legally.

    As to the ACLU suit, the ACLU is known to intimidate local communities. This is sometimes done with legally false scare tactics. Often the scare tactics work. So if the school legally removes the book, and the ACLU responds with a legally false lawsuit threat and the case moves forward, the school can and should move for treble damages, attorney fees, etc. One successful case like that should help stem the hollow threats nationwide.

  7. Granted that the argument about these books and this school board is not about obscenity. But the same basic question remains: how much and what kind of "vulgarity" or "inappropriateness" must a book contain before it can be removed on that basis? In the case of Toni Morrison, we are discussing a Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author. Some of her writings describe unfortunate events that were very much part of the real-world experience of the people whose lives the author explores. Does one vulgar word cancel out the educational value of the book, or is it two? Does the mere mention of rape warrant removal, or does it have to be described in lurid detail?

    You say "The ACLU is known to intimidate local communities." I assume this means accusing a community of censorship when no censorship occurred. Give a specific example of where the ACLU has proceeded against a community improperly. What "legally false scare tactics" were used? Did the community settle or go to trial? Did the court determine that the ACLU's action was inappropriate?

  8. Non-Censor asked, "Give a specific example of where the ACLU has proceeded against a community improperly. What 'legally false scare tactics' were used? Did the community settle or go to trial? Did the court determine that the ACLU's action was inappropriate?"


    Nampa, ID.

    The library board of trustees, if I recall, finally agreed after about three years to move certain books to a location where you had to ask for them. The books included the Joy of Sex, the Joy of Gay Sex, etc., if I recall. The library then moved the books as directed.

    The ACLU threatened a lawsuit. The threat was somewhat generalized in writing, if I recall, but an ACLU spokesman, a woman, went on radio and broadcast the reason for the ACLU threats.

    The reason? Embarrassment.

    You see, the ACLU argued people would be embarrassed to ask for those books, therefore freedoms were denied, therefore the ACLU will sue if the books were not restored to the children.

    Result? The library caved in almost immediately. In one week, the books were restored to the children. It never went to court for fear of the ACLU and the effect on city coffers.

    That fear is used by the ACLU in cities nationwide and the ACLU essentially wins by default, simply by writing a threatening letter.

    So where's the "legally false scare tactics"?

    The US v. ALA case, the one finding filters constitutional, featured the argument that embarrassment was a reason why computers should not be filtered. The Court specifically found embarrassment had nothing to do with it. Embarrassment was irrelevant regarding First Amendment rights.

    So the embarrassment argument is a legally false argument. The ACLU threatened Nampa with a lawsuit over embarrassment, and Nampa caved. Nampa did not know embarrassment was irrelevant.

    So why award treble damages? Why should the city countersue and possibly win on the issue of vexatious litigation?

    Because, the ACLU was a party to the suit that raised the embarrassment issue in US v. ALA and LOST! The ACLU et alia lost on that very issue! The ACLU! Yet it threatened Nampa to sue over embarrassment, the very issue it itself already asked and got answered in the US Supreme Court! The ACLU, in other words, was making idle threats! That's cause for a successful vexatious litigation suit!

    If the ACLU threatens things it already knows are losers, that is wrong and should not be tolerated.

    There is no need to take what the ACLU says on face value on intimidating letterhead with big, broad signatures, especially where it has proven itself to be empty-handed bullies like in Nampa, ID.

  9. The situation you cite is not a valid example of "intimidation," since there was, in fact, a significant censorship issue. According to the information you provided, this was a public library, not a school library, and the books you describe are not legally definable as obscene. Restricting access, therefore, does constitute a burden on Free Speech (this has been determined in court cases, such as Sund v. City of Wichita Falls [on my blog recently] or others).

    It isn't "intimidation" if the ACLU is raising a legitimate issue, and the speed with the library board caved indicates that their own legal advisers warned them not to take this to court because they were in an indefensible position.

    Your attempt to apply the US v. ALA decision, about internet filters, to this situation of books on the shelf, is far over-extended. An adult library patron doesn't have to say unblock site x or site y to the librarian, but need only say "unblock the computer I'm using." But to get a book a patron must say, "give me a copy of the Joy of Gay Sex." The US. v. ALA decision in no way addresses this issue and does not undo any of the other court cases in which such restriction was held unconstitutional.

  10. You missed the point. The ACLU did NOT raise a legitimate issue because they already knew it was a loser, and they were the very party that lost on that issue, in the US Supreme Court, no less.

    Dance around this all you want. The ACLU fired with blanks but scared Nampa anyway. As a result, children retain access to the Joy of Sex. Why do you continually defend the ACLU, even when it intimidates communities with legally losing claims it itself lost?

    I am not applying US v. ALA to this book matter. You asked me about the ACLU's vexatious litigation and I used that case to respond to show the ACLU knew it was promoting an argument it already knew was a loser.

  11. How can you say that the ACLU fired with blanks in the NAMPA situation or engaged in intimidation?

    There is no dancing involved here. US. v. ALA or no, courts have held that restricting access to protected speech by requiring adults to ask for a specific book infringes on the first amendment. That means the ACLU was bringing up a legitimate censorship issue, and was not engaging in empty intimidation.

    Yes, children in that library now have access to books about sex, if they go outside of the children's section.

    SO WHAT!?

    Those books are constitutionally protected speech (which the library itself admitted by restricting access rather than simply discarding them). As courts have said, a parent with a concern about what books a child can get in the public library should accompany that child to the library and supervise their use of library materials. In no circumstances does a library act as a parent. A parent with such a concern specifically does NOT have a right to burden the entire community with their concern. See (AGAIN) Sund v. City of Wichita Falls.

    The simple legal fact is that the library you mention attempted to engage in illegal censorship. It was NOT intimidation on the part of the ACLU to bring that to their attention.

  12. Apparently, you have missed what I have said.

    In summary, the ACLU's main issue in Nampa was embarrassment, an issue it already knew was a loser because it itself already lost on that issue in the US Supreme Court. So raising that issue as if it were valid may be viewed as the basis for a vexatious litigation counterclaim.

    You then make judgments about the Nampa situation that implies, no that actually says, in capital letters representing shouting, with multiple punctuation marks, "SO WHAT!?"

    You aren't justifying the ACLU's threatening actions, are you? You are not saying "so what" if kids view porn like other people say, are you?

    The Sund case is irrelevant here. It was about kiddie picture books dealing with homosexuality and a local ordinance that forced the library to act. It has nothing to do with the Joy of Sex and legal efforts by the library itself to keep children from accessing the book.

    What Nampa did was not "illegal censorship." I love the way you declare things are the way you think they are or want others to think they are. It was legal. It was done, and legally. It's done in other communities as well, and legally as well. Only the legally empty threats of the ACLU forced the library to reverse in one week what took three years to enact.

    Non-Censor, your persistent needle threading attempts are cute, as are your rewriting arguments and facts, but certainly you do not think the ACLU is always right and local communities are always wrong, do you?

  13. There is no needle-threading or rewriting of facts at all here. And No, I do NOT think the ACLU is always right or that communities disagreeing with the ACLU are always wrong. Courts have not always agreed with the ACLU's position.

    In the case you mentioned, however, I DO agree with the ACLU, and I DO support their action against the library, since the library was clearly breaking the law. You claim the ACLU have lost the "embarrassment" argument, but that is simply not true: courts, as I said above, have held that the kind of restriction the library attempted infringes on Free Speech, in part for the very "embarrassment" reason mentioned. The ACLU didn't make that up, courts did.

    Sund very definitely applies to this case -- and to very many cases of censorship in public libraries -- since Sund was about community objections to books that fall within the category of protected speech. So is the Idaho case you mention. With regard to a public library, there is no legal difference between Heather Has Two Mommies and the Joy of Gay Sex. The subcategorization you attempt here has no basis in law. The city ordinance mentioned in the Sund case does not affect the legal outcome, since the court found that BOTH the ordinance AND the re-shelving of the books (very specific language there) violated the First Amendment.

    What does NOT apply is US v. ALA, which was about internet filters, and not in any way, shape or form about books. I challenge you to quote from US v. ALA where it extends any of its findings to books, or otherwise undoes or reverses any prior findings on free speech. You can't, because it isn't there. The US v. ALA decision simply did not address the issues you claim it addressed. Not even close.

    And if my previous questions and exclamation points weren't enough (and since you didn't answer the questions posed), I reiterate: SO WHAT if a child wanders out of the juvenile section of the library and finds the Joy of Gay Sex.

    If the parent allowed the child to roam the library unsupervised, the parent implicitly gave permission for the child to find whatever can be found. If the parent had a concern about that, the parent should have accompanied the child and supervised the child's use of library materials.

    NO parent has a legal right to assume or demand that a library contains nothing they want to keep from their children. It doesn't even make logical sense to claim that they do, since any 100 parents will have 99 different opinions about what is or is not appropriate for their child, and the library is not acting as anybody's parent.

  14. Non-Censor, you have got to read US v. ALA. The embarrassment issue is a loser. If you are going to make arguments, at least be aware of that.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree on everything else. We've discussed it already.

    Non-Censor, your conversation with me on this blog post has been really outstanding. You raised legitimate issues, as did I, and we responded to each other with respect and almost always on the issues. I really encourage that kind of discourse. Feel free to write here anytime you wish, for any reason. Further, although I know you have your own blog, if for some reason you wish to guest blog on mine, please let me know.


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