Feb 9, 2007
The most ludicrous news item of the day goes out to Vicki Fyke, the leader of the anti-gay hate group known as the LOVE PAC - (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) and the advisor of the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans.
The so-called “LOVE” group started a book banning controversy some two months ago by trying to ban a book from Howell High School 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 winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," and an acclaimed memoir written by Richard Wright in 1945, "Black Boy, " as well as the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel "Slaughterhouse Five.”
Local radio station WHMI is reporting Fyke has sent a letter the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Stephan J. Murphy; 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. The self-appointed community censor, along with school board member and “LOVE” member Wendy Day, is asking for an investigation and prosecution of any violations of the law. The book burners apparently have also added a new book to the list, “Running with Scissors,” a madhouse memoir of a 13-year-old boy raised by his mother’s psychiatrist by Augusten Burroughs. The book was just turned into a motion picture this past fall starring Alec Baldwin and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a few. Gee, maybe that’s why they object to it.
The books have already been approved for the curriculum by a group of teachers from the particular school, a district wide subject-specific content committee, a district wide curriculum and assessment committee, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and finally Superintendent Chuck Breiner. The Board will have final approval at its regular meeting Monday night.
Obviously, these people are not smart enough to come up with that ridiculous idea on their own, and they got it from one of the most well-known and notorious anti-gay hate groups in the state, the American Family Association of Michigan, led by Gary Glenn.
Apparently, Glenn passed on a legal opinion from the national AFA to Fyke that’s forming the basis for the ridiculous witch-hunt.
Parents have always had the opportunity to have their student opt out of any of these selections and read another title, but that has never been good enough for this group of vigilante censors. In addition to helping brand Livingston County with an image of small-minded intolerance that ban books, now they are going to make us the a joke to the rest of the state.
I’m currently in the middle of reading the “The Bluest Eye,” and it has been a great read. I keep waiting to read the alleged objectionable material, but the nearest I have come, so far, is almost 90 pages into the book when they talk about sex between a husband and wife. If that’s supposed to be erotic, stimulating, titillating or pornographic these people are very immature and have led very sheltered lives. It’s simply part of the story.