Fund a Forbidden Books Room at your local public library?

Wanting to see what the fuss was about, as soon as the book made it into the news, I reserved the not-banned If I Ran the Zoo from the local public library. A few days later, a librarian called. My reservation would be honored, of course, but the book could not be removed from the library. “You can make a reservation to come in and look at the book here,” she explained. “That’s the guidance we’ve gotten from the Minuteman Library Network.”

(See Fund burning of existing copies of harmful Dr. Seuss books? for some representative pages from this book, courtesy of libgen.)

As the process of evaluating (not banning) older books continues, I wonder if it will make sense for libraries to set up forbidden books rooms, each of which could be named for a generous patron. (The rooms could also be used for viewing works in which Gina Carano appears.)

From McElligot’s Pool (also on libgen):

How is that racist? Here’s the next page, objected to for its use of the word “Eskimo”:

Related:

  • “Chicago Public Library removing 6 Dr. Seuss books from the shelves while it determines long-term options” (Chicago Tribune): “Library staff encourage patrons of all ages to engage critically with our materials, but materials that become dated or that foster inaccurate, culturally harmful stereotypes are removed to make space for more current, comprehensive materials. … Staff will continue to evaluate all Library resources and consider bias, prejudice, and racism when making decisions about our programming, services and recommendations, in addition to our collections,” Molloy said.
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White privilege for canines

In a group chat, a friend posted a picture of the Samoyed puppy he hopes to adopt. Here’s Alex the puppy, from 1996:

Response from another friend:

I am disturbed by the whiteness of your dog. Not a speck of brown. And that smug look on his face. Gloating in his entitlement. He needs a shock collar so he can experience the life of a BIPOC dog. A shock whenever police are near for example. A shock for social justice.

Another exchange from the same group…

White guy: “Koreans do not like big dogs” I am told.

(immediately following) Immigrant from Korea: Small dogs much more tender.

A participant wrote about taking his teenage son to the Kennedy Space Center. Asked what he’d learned, the lad replied “I learned that the Shuttle was primarily designed by women, black guys, and Asians.” (For the tourists NASA has produced a bunch of reenactment videos with present-day actors pretending to be 1970s engineers.)

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Fund burning of existing copies of harmful Dr. Seuss books?

Books containing harmful ideas will no longer be sold new, says “Dr. Seuss Enterprises Will Shelve 6 Books, Citing ‘Hurtful’ Portrayals” (NPR):

“In And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, for example, a character described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes. In If I Ran the Zoo, two men said to be from Africa are shown shirtless, shoeless and wearing grass skirts as they carry an exotic animal. Outside of his books, the author’s personal legacy has come into question, too — Seuss wrote an entire minstrel show in college and performed as the main character in full blackface.”

Let’s look at If I Ran the Zoo. The used (“collectible”) book is still available at Amazon, however, for $1,700:

and it may be available in a lot of public libraries where young minds could fall into error.

Would it make sense for a billionaire Silicon Valley progressive to fund the purchase of all extant copies of these harmful works and then burn them? A typical public library would presumably be happy to receive $1,700 for a worn book that had originally cost them $10. Like the Pfizer vaccine that is not banned in India (“mostly false” and a “conspiracy theory” according to Newsweek; it is just that the vaccine is not approved and therefore illegal to use), the libraries wouldn’t be banning If I Ran the Zoo. It would just be deaccessioned to make room for better/newer books.

(If your budget is smaller and you’re looking for bedtime stories that don’t offend modern merchants, Amazon will sell you a new copy of Mein Kampf for $22.49 ($10.99 Kindle):

“I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trade unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby.” and “For this, to be sure, from the child’s primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission”)

The Russians and Dutch rebels behind Library Genesis have preserved a PDF of the not-banned Dr. Seuss work. The world of 1950 contains some all-white neighborhoods:

But one can travel to find Asians (“who all wear their eyes at a slant”):

He goes to Nantucket without a Gulfstream? My rating: #MostlyFalse

The remote African island of “Yerka,” not as realistically depicted as in National Geographic:

As with the 2016 election, it all comes down to the Russians:

Update, evening of 3/3: at least some sellers are hoping to get $5,000 per copy.

What was the book worth before it was not-banned? $1.25 on eBay, January 4, 2021:

How about on March 3, 2021 for a “brand new” copy with no historical pedigree? $405 on eBay:

Related:

  • the Cobra effect (if a billionaire offers $1,700 per copy, maybe more copies will magically appear?)
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Executive Order Idea: Rename District of Columbia to District of Crazy Horse?

Joe Biden is fixing most of what ails us via executive order. Could he turn his attention to a thorn in America’s side that surrounds him: The District of Columbia? There is nothing good to say about Christopher Columbus. He #DeniedScience (regarding the circumference of Earth). He was cruel to both Europeans and Native Americans.

If not after Columbus, after whom should we name the city of bureaucrats, cronies, contractors, and lobbyists? We have a list of the 100 Greatest Americans, according to University of Washington circa 2009. Drawing from this and with an eye toward minimizing reprinting, the city could be

  • District of (Noam) Chomsky
  • District of (Hillary) Clinton [Bill Clinton does not make the list]
  • District of (Cesar) Chavez [not to be confused with the most successful politician of modern times, Hugo Chavez]
  • District of (Rachel) Carson
  • District of (Samuel/Mark Twain) Clemens

(Racist Woodrow Wilson, subject of a recent renaming at Princeton, is on the list!)

“District of Sacagawea” would make the most sense to me because I am a huge fan of this talented diplomat who traveled with an infant, but she is not on the list (sexism?). My choice therefore is to fall back on District of Crazy Horse.

A mid-1990s photo of a D.C. memorial to a slaveholder (this one should be renamed too!):

Related:

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Science lawn sign idea

A fair number of our neighbors seem to have invested in “In this house we believe… science is real” or “Science is not a liberal conspiracy” signs. Signs of Justice (TM) are ubiquitous:

How about making some $$ with the following sign:

In this house we oppose science, because it was invented by the white patriarchy to enslave indigenous peoples, to enrich corporations that poison humanity with processed and genetically modified foods, to pollute our local environment, to destroy the Earth with climate change, and to kill millions of non-white people with nuclear weapons.

Readers: Who can turn the above text into a fetching graphic design?

(Don’t try to sell this in Florida. Lawn signs, bumper stickers, and other attempts to tell others how to think and what to believe were present at perhaps 1/100th the rate of what we have here in Maskachusetts.)

From a reader who wishes to remain anonymous, lest he/she/ze/they be Gina Caranoed:

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Animated and illuminated BLM yard art? (or Rainbow Flagism displays?)

Our neighborhood has gone from Bleak Maskachusetts Winter to Yet Bleaker Maskachusetts Winter due to folks having taken down their epic yard displays, e.g.,

What about cashing in on the latest trends in righteousness, and making American suburbs far more beautiful in the process, by offering animated and illuminated BLM yard art analogous to what one can buy for Christmas? The Christmas season is short, but the BLM season can last continuously for decades!

Americans have demonstrated a commitment to BLM yard displays by purchasing signs, but generally these are not illuminated. This should give us some confidence that some containers of night-time BLM yard displays would fly off the shelves.

Readers: What should the illuminated and animated displays depict? Let’s refer to the Wikipedia timeline of BLM for a few starter ideas:

  • animatronic Karen Amy Cooper with camera and image recognition software that can identify Black passersby and harangue them
  • an inflatable burning Minneapolis Target store, commemorating the mostly peaceful protests of 2020

What if we adapt the idea to the religion of Rainbow Flagism? Would would the nighttime lawn scenes look like then?

Related:

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How does Indian-American intersect with BLM?

Message in a discussion group from an (East) Asian immigrant:

My town is half Indian. Everyone is “Love is love”, “BLM”. I want to see their daughter fall in love with a Dalit boy.

Readers: How are your Indian-American friends doing with BLM? What does it mean to folks who recently showed up and missed nearly 400 years of Black-white relations? Are they identifying with the oppressed or the oppressors?

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MLK Day: Maskachusetts imprisons Black urbanites on weekends

This is the weekend when many Boston-area commuter rail lines cease to run (NBC). Black families that have been locked down for nearly a year, their children in the parody of education that we call “remote school”, will henceforth be unable to come out to the white suburbs/exurbs and walk around in the conservation land.

(The righteous folks of Arlington and Lexington, Massachusetts nearly all have BLM signs, but they previously fought hard to keep the core MBTA subway system from expanding in their direction, thus imposing a transportation barrier to the dark-skinned. Coronaplague has enabled white suburbanites to get a little closer to their dream of isolation from the BIPOC.)

In What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do for us today? I noted that MLK seemed to contemplate a future in which Black Americans would have jobs. Presidents Biden and Harris, though, promise to make it illegal for millions of Black Americans to work (via shutdown: CNN; also via a $15/hour minimum wage: Prospect (anyone whose skills weren’t worth at least $30,000/year would become either impractical or illegal to employ)) and instead to provide them with more welfare.

MLK organized a 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (the two things that, in a typical state with shutdown orders from the governor, Black Americans have lost during coronapanic!). From the speech:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

(What about those who don’t identify as “sons”? They were going to be cooking in the kitchen and then serving at the table?)

Harvard University did not get this memo:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

Gender binarism:

…. one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

Circling back to the “Jobs and Freedom” theme, is it fair to say, then, that coronaplague has helped white Americans take the country farther away from what MLK was hoping to see for Black Americans?

Related:

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Competitive white suburban parents quite happy about school shutdown

One of the scarcest commodities during coronaplague is honesty. Rich white Americans love to say that they are advocating the lockdown of poor Black Americans and the closure of schools for Black children for the benefit of poor Black Americans.

One of our Boston-area Deplorables refuses to be cast into this mold. He says that he is happy that Shutdown Karens are denying an education to children of color throughout the U.S. and also denying urban children the opportunity to train athletically. His primary goal right now is getting his white children, currently in high school, into elite universities (both parents are Ivy League grads), and where the New York Times sees deprivation (caused by the policies for which the New York Times has advocated) he sees reduced competition. Unlike their urban counterparts, his children have not had any interruption or slowdown in their learning . His children have not had any interruption in their elite athletic training (since dad was an elite college athlete and can train them himself whenever organized sports are canceled; plenty of space in their massive suburban house with fully equipped gym and multi-acre yard).

(In fairness to this Deplorable, he was not himself in favor of shutting down any schools. But now that the say-gooders have crippled millions of his children’s competitors, he is not shedding crocodile tears.)

Related:

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NYT: Government funding based on skin color is ALLEGEDLY discriminatory

Who says that the New York Times has lost its ability to be neutral? “A Covid-19 Relief Fund Was Only for Black Residents. Then Came the Lawsuits.”:

Oregon earmarked $62 million to explicitly benefit Black individuals and business owners. Now some of the money is in limbo after lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. …

But now millions of dollars in grants are on hold after one Mexican-American and two white business owners sued the state, arguing that the fund for Black residents discriminated against them.

The journalists can’t say whether or not a government fund reserved for people with a particular skin color actually is discrimination based on race, so they report on what was alleged or argued.

Also of interest in the article, the most persuasive argument for why this fund should be able to discriminate on the basis of race is that other government programs are already discriminating on the basis of race:

Supporters of the fund argued that the $62 million accounted for about 4.5 percent of what the state received, leaving plenty for residents who are not Black. They also noted that other Covid-19-related funds were tailored in a way that allowed them to almost exclusively benefit particular racial or ethnic groups — a $10 million fund created by the state that largely benefits undocumented Latino immigrants and one created by Portland officials to aid a district of largely Asian-owned businesses.

What’s the fund for the undocumented?

The Oregon Worker Relief Fund provides financial support directly to Oregonians who have lost their jobs yet are ineligible for Unemployment Insurance and federal stimulus relief due to their immigration status, and now face hunger, homelessness, and economic hardship.

This raises another issue… the state money is coming from a separate source compared to the federal money. Wouldn’t the 14th Amendment‘s Equal Protection clause require the state to make money equally available to the documented, undocumented, and non-immigrant?

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