A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

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A FORUM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND VIGOROUS DEBATE, CORNERSTONES OF DEMOCRACY
[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ].
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yvonne Abraham

The following letter to the editor was rejected without comment by the Boston Globe.


Shiny Facades
Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham heaped praise on libraries and librarians in her essay, “At Boston Public Library, new light and life for visitors.” What she revealed was an unquestioning embrace of a positive stereotype, as well as her inexperience testing the waters of democracy regarding libraries and librarians.  Furthermore, it was rather pathetically puerile of her to turn that story of a library renovation into something anti-Trump:  “The man who now leads this country, and his fans, seem convinced that government is not merely useless, but malevolent—a destructive force that takes from the people.”  
Well, government hacks a-pathetic to issues of freedom of speech and expression 
were certainly not good. Nowadays, far too many journalists like Abraham didn't even seem like they attempted to present their reportages in an objective manner, which of course explained why they were held in somewhat low-esteem by the populace.    
     Now, were libraries and librarians really above reproach?  Well, Abraham sure thought so:  “If you’re looking to refresh your faith in our ability to achieve great things together, a public library is a good place to be.”  By testing the waters of democracy over the past several decades, however, I've been able to determine that perhaps many librarians do not favor freedom of speech and expression, let alone vigorous debate, cornerstones of democracy.  
Was a public library really such a good place to be when it, for example, might ban patrons who dared criticize it?  Hell, that happened to me at Sturgis Library on Cape Cod!  Why wouldn’t the American Library Association and its aberrantly-named Office for Intellectual Freedom publish my account of that or any other criticism of libraries in its American Libraries Magazine?  Was that the new intellectual freedom?
Why did journalists seem only to be hagiographers when dealing with librarians or, for that matter, poets and artists?  Had Abraham read the New York Times mind-numbing interview with the new librarian of Congress, “Carla Hayden Thinks Libraries Are a Key to Freedom,” and thus followed that model of what journalism should not be?  
Abraham stated, regarding the BPL:  “Around me, people of all ages and races are roaming, working at desks, or reading in cozy chairs.”  Well, that was nice, but if she went to Sturgis Library, I would not be one of those people, because I had been permanently banned without warning or due process for having written criticism about its director!  Might there be others like me, though in the Boston area, who were not permitted to enter the BPL because they dared criticize its director David Leonard?  And why would the BPL, with its $78 million renovation, refuse to subscribe to a literary journal like The American Dissident (only $20/year!), let alone provide a reasonable answer for the rejection?  How many other books and periodicals were rejected by the BPL, thus de facto mocking the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights:  “libraries should provide materials and information presenting ALL points of view”? 
Abraham stated, “Libraries connect us to facts (remember those?) and to other people. They bring the world to us, and us to each other. They welcome everyone. And they’re a testament to the good that government does.”  Well, they certainly did not welcome me, nor the ideas of those published in the American Dissident!  Far too many librarians acted as gatekeepers of information, excluding some of that “world” mentioned by Abraham... and thanks to reporters like her, they were not held accountable.  
Now, why would Abraham, the Boston Globe, Barnstable Enterprise, and Cape Cod Times not want to report what happened to me?  After all, my civil rights are being denied today in my town of Barnstable because I am not permitted to attend any cultural or political events held at my neighborhood library.  Would Abraham like to read the open letter I'd posted and wrote less than one week prior to my permanent banning?  Would she like to examine the long list of people I’d contacted in vain from the ACLUM to PEN New England, NCAC, and Barnstable County Human Rights Commission in an effort to regain those civil rights?  Nope!  After all, it would be tough to draw an anti-Trump connection…
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Abraham never did respond.