Jan 26, 2007
The anti-gay hate group leading the charge to ban three books from Howell School because of what they allege is profanity and references to drugs and sex acts were called out by a couple of mainstream media reports because two of authors are black and depict the prejudice and discrimination many African-Americans face.
The so-called LOVE group - (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) – started the controversy some two months ago by trying to ban a book called “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them.” Since then, they have also tried to ban Nobel Prize author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," and an acclaimed memoir written by Richard Wright in 1945, "Black Boy." Both books address social issues of blacks in 1940s America and have been used for at least two years in an American literature class, according to the Detroit News, which first raised the discrimination issue on Jan. 24.
The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus picked up on the racial angle a few days later, saying “Two of the authors of books —assigned to Howell High School students — under attack by a family values group are black. Is that a coincidence, or a racial overtone that is remaining from Livingston County's days as a home to a Ku Klux Klan leader?”
Of course, the would-be-censors were quick to deny the charge. Vicki Fyke, the leader of the so-called LOVE group and the advisor for the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans, claimed she did not know the two authors were black, and she told the P & A "I don't know who the authors are, and I don't care who they are." "It's just not appropriate for children."
Would you really call high school sophomores, juniors and seniors children? She would have known the race of the authors if she had read the book.
Wendy Day, the LOVE member on the Howell Public Schools Board of Education pushing the ban, emphatically denied any racial motivation, according to the P & A.
"It's preposterous and outlandish for that to even be brought up," she said. "It's a ploy to discredit the discussion and distract from the real discussion that we should be having. I hope that people didn't fall for that."
And Day pointed out that the first book that raised concerns was the Freedom Writers Diary, "featuring a white, young, middle-class teacher."
In other words, “hey, we censor regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation." I really have no idea if this is a racial issue or not, but once again a group of small-mined zealots have reinforced this community’s reputation as a small-minded, racist community. I cannot read their minds, but I will not give them the benefit of the doubt, especially after reading an attack by one of their supporters on Sen. Barack Obama and the fact they were only formed to discriminate against gays to begin with.
At the very least they are equal opportunity censors.