Feb 21, 2007

Fringe group wants janitors and bus drivers to set curriculum

Just when you think the Howell book-banners censorship quest can’t get any more absurd it does.

The anti-gay hate group know as the “LOVE” PAC (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) - led by Vicki Fyke, the advisor of the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans and school board member Wendy Day – has been waging a book banning battle 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.

After getting shot down by the school board, Fyke fired off a hail Mary earlier this month by sending 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 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.

That was on Feb. 9, and since they have had a response they have tried another ploy. According the the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, the complaint has been expanded to include whether support staffers — bus drivers or janitors, for example — could be breaking any laws if they give the books to students. I’m not sure what that means. A janitor or bus driver is supposed to decide what the child should read? Can someone explain that to me?

Fyke has also asked the Republican county prosecutor to see whether any laws on racial slurs or violent material may apply.

Let’s see: one of the books is an autobiography from a black author growing up in the south in the 1920’s to the 1940’s and the other one is from a black Nobel Prize winning author about racial prejudice in the north. Do you think there might be some violence and racial slurs in the book? I have read both the "The Bluest Eye” and "Black Boy” and I would like Fyke to point out to me the obscenity.

The article quotes another former Republican county prosecutor, Tom Kizer, who said he couldn't see any justification, other than politics, for prosecutors to pursue the issue. Exactly.
"I would be astounded if any prosecutor did that, and if one did, I would wonder what his motivations are," he said. So would I.

I guess when the attorneys are through laughing they will respond, unless they are actually busy with real crime.

As I have said numerous times before, this fringe extremist group will accept no compromise other than controlling what other people read. It’s not about children it’s about control, politics and censorship.

This is what Fyke says if their latest stunt fails, and it will. “We do have backup plans," she said, but declined to say what they were. "We'll have to decide on what 'Plan B' would be. We're certainly not going to let it go."

Of course you will not let it go. Sounds a little obsessive to me.

To further show how out of touch with reality she is she claims the so-called “LOVE” hate group is the majority in the county. "This still is something the community is incensed and outraged about ... I don't think we are (in the minority)."

She clearly has not been paying attention. If what she claims is true, then maybe Howell really deserves its reputation as a close-minded racist community. I don’t believe it does.

Monday is the start of Freedom to Read Week, and I urge everyone to “Take the Banned Book Challenge” and read one of the many excellent books that people have tried to ban over the years. You will be shocked at some of the great books that people like Fyke and Day and groups like the so-called “LOVE” group have tried to ban and censor over the years.

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