Tuesday, September 29, 2009
How ironic it is that when news emerges of Governor Palin's book becoming available prior to its expected date, she shows up in my school's library. No, she didn't show up in person and no, there was no announcement to inform interested students about her book, which reportedly is already number one on the Barnes and Noble list.
She showed up in the center of a display highlighting Banned Books Week.
I was walking on my way to the weight room this evening when I stopped dead in my tracks after taking a few steps past the library. I backed up and took in the display in the window, which includes various books, quotes, and poetry about reading and book banning. Only one person's picture is a part of the display--and that person is Governor Palin. It was included in an old article called "Sarah Palin, aspiring book banner?" which was published in the LA Times a year ago. That article makes up a homemade poster that says, "Sarah Palin + Banned Books = Censorship."
Listen, I'm not talking about a local area library. I'm talking about a public school library, where they use this week to demonize Palin as the enemy of free thought, reading, and exploration. Nevermind the plethora of information out there that she never sought to ban books but had asked a general question of a librarian to discover how she would deal with censorship. Nevermind the numerous times Governor Palin has herself stated she never sought to ban books. And nevermind the fact that some of the books on the list, like Harry Potter, hadn't even been published yet! No, facts aren't important.
What's important is the growing determination to further a Left-wing agenda to destroy Governor Palin. What's important is the attempt to indoctrinate our children. I say indoctrinate because that is exactly what this is. As if it weren't bad enough that some schools are singing the "Mmm Mmm Mmm" praises of President Obama, chanting "Change Has Come," and changing the "Jesus" in the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" to include Obama, now I walk past the high school library in the district where I teach, and there are falsehoods about the former vice presidential candidate. There is a clear attempt to lead our children down a particular road, and somebody has to be the road block. That somebody will be me...tomorrow when I walk back in that building and address this issue.
That article in the school library window states in part:
Librarian Jessamyn West, who blogs at librarian.net, writes, "Usually I’m just happy to see libraries even mentioned in national level politics, but not like this."
This seems like a good time to mention Banned Books Week, beginning Sept. 27, which celebrates the freedom to read. 2007's most challenged book was "And Tango Makes Three," a children's book about a penguin with two dads; books by Mark Twain and Alice Walker appear, again, on the list. Exactly what books Palin might have wanted to ban have not been identified (other than some unsupported rumors), but it's safe to assume that she won't be joining in to celebrate the idea that no books should be banned at all.
I find it interesting that this particular article states that those books weren't identified. Another falsehood. Perhaps they left that out because the truth was embarrassing. Yes, it's embarrassing to list books that didn't exist when she supposedly tried to rid the world of them.
On the left and right of the display in the library window is the poem "Manifesto" by author, Ellen Hopkins. In the poem, Hopkins blasts "zealots, biggots, and false patriots," for their desire to censor. This poem is the official poem of this year's Banned Books Week--and Governor Palin's picture is the centerpiece!
What gives them the right to place this attack in the library window? Who approved the display--or who overlooked it? Am I the only person who walked by and saw it? What impression does it give our children? What impact will this have on their vote in a few years? I am livid, as I should be. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior.
Anyone who hasn't been hiding under a rock in the past year ought to know the truth about the book banning issue, but in case someone has just slithered out, here are some facts about Palin and the so-called book banning issue.
In an article called "Palin did not ban books in Wasilla as mayor," the USA Today reported
Taylor Griffin, a McCain spokesman, said Palin raised the issue of the library's policy because there had been widespread discussion in Wasilla at that time about banning books. She was trying to understand the city's policy, he said.
"Sarah Palin has never asked anyone to ban a book," Griffin said. "It shouldn't be surprising that the new mayor of a city that had seen recent protests over books and was in the process of re-evaluating the book-challenge policies at its library would ask the librarian what those policies were."
Michelle Malkin submitted in "The bogus Sarah Palin Banned Books List" this P.D.S. Alert:
Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again. This time it’s hysterical librarians and their readers on the Internet disseminating a bogus list of books Gov. Sarah Palin supposedly banned in 1996. Looks like some of these library people failed reading comprehension. Take a look at the list below and you’ll find books Gov. Palin supposedly tried to ban…that hadn’t even been published yet. Example: The Harry Potter books, the first of which wasn’t published until 1998.
The smear merchants who continue to circulate the list also failed to do a simple Google search, which would have showed them that the bogus Sarah Palin Banned Book List is almost an exact copy-and-paste reproduction of a generic list of “Books Banned at One Time or Another in the United States” that has been floating around the Internet for years. STACLU notes that the official Obama campaign website is also perpetuating the fraud. And it’s spread to craigslist, where some unhinged user is posting images likening Palin to Hitler. Here it is again.
It’s a fake. Not true. Total B.S. A lie.
If it gets sent to you by a moonbat friend or family member, set ‘em all straight. Fight the smears. They’ve only just begun.
Malkin hit the nail on the head. They had only just begun last year, and they still exist--in our public school libraries, of all places. Read her entire article here, which includes the bogus list of books.
She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.
One accusation claims then-Mayor Palin threatened to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. Actually, Palin never asked that books be banned; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication.
I could go on and on, but it's not necessary. As stated, anyone who cared to know, who actually did a little fact checking of their own, already got the 411 on the deal. However, I am addressing it again because obviously some who are supposed to be in the business of educating, have not been informed or are ignoring the information, and their ignorance is impacting--shall I say infecting--our children. This cannot go unchallenged--and it won't.
My approach tomorrow? I will go into the library with the facts and present them respectfully. I will ask that Governor Palin's picture and the article be removed. If that is denied, I will request they hang another article next to it--which I will graciously provide--that refutes the falsehoods. If I do not get anywhere with the librarian, well, I'll go to the next level. It is my hope that my talk with the librarian will suffice, but we'll see what happens.
No doubt as Governor Palin's book continues to sell, even before it hits the shelves, those with an agenda will beef up their attacks to misrepresent her as uninformed, anti-intellectual, and unworthy of paying attention to. I have some serious problems with that, but as a teacher, my main problem is that their misrepresentation hurts our children. So let the truth be told.
Below are pictures of the high school library display.