Mar 11, 2007
In perhaps the biggest anti-climatic decisions ever, the anti-gay hate group known as the “LOVE” PAC (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) is dropping its four-month mission to censor Nobel and Pulitzer-winning literature, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.
The decision has a lot to do with the group’s ridiculous claim that the “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” were pornographic, but that absurd claim was turned down by the law enforcement agencies it lodged a complaint with.
Vicki Fyke, the leader of the hate group and the former advisor of the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans, was quoted last month in the P & A as saying the group had a back-up plan when the baseless complaint to law enforcement that the books used at Howell High School were pornographic failed, but she would only reveal it when that scheme failed.
"We do have backup plans," she said. "We'll have to decide on what 'Plan B' would be. We're certainly not going to let it go."
Apparently plan B is nothing, and Fyke said last week the group would work to elect candidates sympathetic to its causes, rather than pursue the books issue. It bears remembering that’s how this entire mess got started. Current Howell Public School board and “love” member Wendy Day snuck by and was elected to the board last May, and she was a major instigator of this embarrassing mess that wasted tax dollars, wasted the time of the FBI and gave the Howell community another black eye.
Here is perhaps the most ridiculous quote of all from Fyke’s more than 15 minutes of fame from this embarrassment, trying to blame the School Board for the mess caused by “love.”
“We recognize that, had our school board shown some leadership over these past two years, our community would have been spared a lot of embarrassment," she said.
What she really means is they should have listened to a small-minded but very vocal minority group of extremist censors and banned books. Maybe if Fyke took the time to actually read the books maybe our community would also have been spared a lot of embarrassment.
“Love” is not saying whom it will endorse, but when it does all sane, reasonable people should not vote for those candidates. Fyke claims the group is putting together an endorsement questionnaire, but does anybody really doubt they already know who they are endorsing?
In Howell there are two seats being contested by five candidates, including the incumbent, Jeannine Pratt. The candidates include, Dan Fondriest, 49, Genoa Township; William T. Harvey, 44, according to sources a strong Republican from Genoa Township; attorney Edwin J. Literski, 52, Genoa Township, a strong Republican; Pratt, 46, City of Howell, and Douglass Moore, 54, from Oceola Township.
The P& A reports that Harvey – whose son was one of the first people involved in the book controversy after he complained to his father about "Freedom Writers” -
said he agreed with LOVE's stance on the books, to the extent that the books were not appropriate for English classes because they focused on social problems.
"I agree that students should not be reading what would be considered adult content in an English class when there is so much better material to choose from," he said.
Harvey added that the curriculum should better reflect the overall district community.
"Look at the makeup of Livingston County ... there's a high number of churches, religious people, conservative people," he said. "By choosing a book that has material that is going to be offensive to many of your clientele, is that a wise choice to invite controversy?"
Cleary, Harvey will get “love’s” endorsement, and he is likely a “love” member. The obvious question is how can you expand your mind and become educated if all you read or study about is in your own small, little world, or why his son did not just opt for another book?
The other candidate sure to get the “love” endorsement will be Moore.
Moore also said he didn't see much educational value in the books.
"I wasn't sure how these books advance education," he said. "I don't see that there couldn't have been better ones to use."