Feb 22, 2007

Anti-gay hate group claims are ‘baseless’

One of the cardinal rules journalists live by is to say something and convey the story with as few words as possible using clear concise language. The editorial in today’s edition of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus on the book-banning situation in Howell Public Schools does precisely that.

The leader of the anti-gay hate group known as “LOVE” PAC (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse claiming the books in question violate child pornography laws and further makes the ridiculous claim that the books' presence in high school classrooms violates the law by disseminating sexually explicit material to minors.

The “LOVE” group has been waging a losing book banning battle for the past four months against “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them,” Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," an acclaimed memoir written by Richard Wright in 1945, "Black Boy " and the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel "Slaughterhouse Five.” The group claims they are pornographic.

The editorial from the conservative Press & Argus Editorial Board clearly calls for an end to the “LOVE” nonsense in no uncertain terms.

“The allegation is baseless. Those who received a complaint about it need to reject it quickly. It does not require detailed analysis.
Surely, we can have reasonable debates about our school curriculum without stooping to these shabby tactics. It's shameful to suggest that these books are pornographic. It's deplorable to suggest that our teachers, administrators and school board members are distributing pornography.”

Truer words were never spoken.

The editorial ends with somewhat of a question.
“There is no reason for the prosecutors and the attorney general to sit on these complaints.”

We seem to forget they are all Republicans, and although the “LOVE” group is a small but vocal minority, they are making baseless and unproven claims that they have more than 1,900 members. These are still politicians, and they are most likely looking for a way to dismiss this ridiculous claim without making the “love” group look any more silly than they really are.


fahrenheit451moderator said...

Wow. I cannot believe the measures this group will go to in order to get their own way.

Personally, when I heard about the Freedom Writers Diary, I thought it sounded like an interesting book. Now that someone is trying to ban it, I really want to read it.

I hope all Christians are not painted with the same brush because of a few narrow minded, insecure people who are unwilling to help their children deal with issues using critical thinking skills. Being sheltered from real-life situations even when encountered in a "safe" way in a book, does not lead to personal growth.

Communications guru said...

This group popped up in the spring of 2005 saying a rainbow flag by the high school’s diversity club was really a gay pride flag. They have not stopped stirring the pot since, and this hate group has a much larger agenda than just banning a few books.

I have not read Freedom Writers Diary yet. I read “The Bluest Eye” a few weeks ago, and I just finished “Black Boy.” The good news is those books were hard to come by in Livingston County because of the demand. I had to get on a waiting list for all three. After getting the “The Bluest Eye” I finally went to the Lansing Library to get “Black Boy.” This group is not a group of Christians.

Thanking you for posting, and I hope your “Take the Banned Book Challenge” is going well.

Republican Michigander said...

I wouldn't say the claims are baseless, as it depends on how the law is read. I don't think it's an open and shut case, although vagueness (a problem in the statutes) usually favors the defendant based on common law. The paper is yapping based on their opinion, nothing to do with the law itself. Very irresponsibile editorial.

I don't have a problem with the procecutor and AG sitting on this until they have the facts and are able to make an informed decision. That's what they are supposed to do, unless you are Mike Nifong.

I will be surprised if they prosecute. Based on what I have seen so far, I wouldn't prosecute if it was my decision, even though I disapprove of the Bluest Eyes being part of the curriculum.

Communications guru said...

I would say the claims are baseless because they are, and the editorial was clear, correct and straight to the point with no wasted words like editorials are supposed to be. Just because you don’t agree with it does not make it irresponsible.

Fyke claims the books are pornographic, and there is no way anyone can make that huge leap. That’s just commons sense, and I don’t need to be a law student to know that. If anything comes of that ridiculous letter it will be based strictly on politics, and it will have nothing to do with the law or commons sense.

I have read two of the books, and there is no way any reasonable person could come to the conclusion that any of them are pornographic or even obscene. Have you even read the “Bluest Eye?” I have, and I suggest you read it too.