Librarians see themselves on the front lines on what it takes to bring revolution to the US. You need soldiers in the revolution so they are teaching kids to be little antifa activists who hate their own country and will act as a collective to bring about change. — Dan Kleinman of Safe Libraries, in the New York Post, September 10, 2022
Last year I wrote a piece for Counter-Currents entitled “Into the Abyss: the Fate of Professional Associations.” In it, I concentrated on the full-throttle wokeness of the American Bar Association and the American Psychological Association.
The medical profession, I must add, is quickly going down the same road to perdition. Under the “diversity” mandate, some medical schools are dropping the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to eliminate racial bias in admissions. The University of Pennsylvania’s Perlman School of Medicine has already dropped the MCAT for minority applicants.
The Association of American Medical Colleges sets the standards for medical education. In 2022 it released its curriculum competencies. According to the Association of Mature American Citizens,
. . . the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) — which sets the standards for medical education –released curriculum competencies requiring an understanding of “intersectionality,” “white privilege,” “microaggression,” and “allyship.” The competencies further ask that students be able to “identify systems of power” including “white privilege, racism, sexism.”
In other words, no one will get into medical school without being able to recite the woke catechism.
The goal toward which American “professional” associations appear to be moving their members is the complete demolition of what Counter-Currents readers might think of as the traditional American way of life. I’ll get to the American Library Association’s role in this endeavor momentarily.
Traditional America was a white America, and a sea change of self-perception has been engineered by the organs of the managerial class to unremittingly demoralize white Americans so as to have them think of themselves as morally defective by virtue of their race — their “whiteness” and “white privilege.” From the standpoint of politics, power, and domination, thinking of yourself as a morally defective creature makes you highly vulnerable, if not defenseless, and willing to submit to whatever demands your moral superiors — as you believe them to be — care to impose. Their only limits are imagination and audacity. The black, extortionist reparation proposal recently coming out of California, encouraged and taken seriously by the ruling class, shows just how successful this demoralization project has been. No one in the traditional America I grew up in could have remotely conceived that this would someday be happening.
“California Dreamin’” has produced a nightmare.
Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What’s the point of senators making laws now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
— C. P. Cavafy, “Waiting for the Barbarians”
There is a soft side and a hard side to this sea change, behind each of which are institutional, organizational forces determined to make us believe that we are morally inferior. The hard-side operatives work on making white people feel bad about themselves: feeding us non-stop the terrible stuff white people have done to nice, non-white people, and why they can’t escape the blame. This is the shenanigans of what I call “the shame-guilt complex”: public education, higher education, and a large swath of the social work and mental health professions. High-profile hucksters such as Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, and Tim Wise crawl out of these fetid swamps and prey on fee-paying, masochistic whites, engaging them in public rituals of submission, shame, and confession. The public schools and universities, with a captive child-youth audience, concentrate on the guilt side of the coming generation with the relentless, cult-Marxist pedagogy of victimization that turns the history of the West into a continuous, cartoonish loop of horrible white people denying colored people’s humanity.
The hard side also includes a multi-tentacled, coercive apparatus: human resources departments and the “diversity” gang, who dictate the speech-conduct codes and punish workplace dissidents. Law enforcement, now defanged for being “racist,” puts whites at the mercy of the minority criminal underclass. Corrupt prosecuting attorneys and Leftist judges apply the law and manipulate the legal proceedings to favor the designated victim groups. The political bosses from both parties create and empower the government agencies that unleash the unelected, anonymous compliance and intelligence personnel. They operate the soft terror machinery that keeps the kulaks in a permanent state of passivity and obedience.
The message from the soft side is that “people of color are morally pristine” — yin to the yang of “white people are cretins.” The soft-side image-makers — the mainstream media, pop-culture celebrities, and the entertainment industry — have been reimaging America to reflect the superior virtue of the oppressed, specifically the Potemkin version, a fiction that bears no resemblance to reality. Netflix, Amazon, ESPN, and so on bombard Americans daily with productions bearing the nobility-wisdom-goodness motif of blacks who have somehow managed to transcend centuries of subjugation, exploitation, and humiliation by their white oppressors. Black doctors, judges, artists, scientists, and politicians perform as models of competence, rectitude, and imperturbability. They restrain crude, unruly, not-so-bright whites from screwing things up and protect the gentle, respectable black middle class from the aggression of racist whites from the trailer parks. The corporate bosses have stepped up to do their part in “the Great Replacement” by reimaging white Americans with black and brown people in advertising, marketing, public relations, and mass media — a sudden disappearing act even some of the “good whites” are starting to notice.
It is important to show how the professional associations are a huge part of the sea change from both the hard and soft sides. They are aggressively pushing America toward a “multicultural” society, a racial spoils dystopia ruled over by the priestly class from the Church of the Latter-Day Cranks of Human-Equality. As noted above, the legal and health professions have sold out to the “diversity is our strength” mau-mauers who clearly understand that demoralizing white Americans will bring about a transfer of their power, status, and wealth to a more deserving population, leading to the victory dance on the grave of European civilization.
This brings me to another professional association that is firmly in the clutches of the multicultural nomenklatura: the American Library Association (ALA).
Libraries have long been associated with books and journals, the vehicles of learning. They are the repositories of civilization’s recorded experience and accumulated wisdom. Librarians were “curators,” etymologically from the Latin curatus: “to take care of.” As a profession, “caring” for the materials in their keeping involved logically organizing them so as to make them useful to those who needed them for serious purposes of research and scholarship. Curator-librarians possessed a deep respect for the complexity and value of knowledge, and a level of intellectual sophistication and learning that made them valuable partners with those in the quest for knowledge. They were respected as distinctive contributors to the life of the mind and the reading community.
Having been an academic librarian for much of my professional career and a member of the American Library Association, I can confidently assert that librarians, as those “curators” I have depicted above, no longer exist. Technological change is one factor in the dissolving of the ALA into what is now a collection of political activists devoted to advocacy, agitation, and agitprop. Current ideological forces drive the agenda of the ALA and determine what librarians today consider to be the most important features of their work.
The latest demographic breakdown, from 2017, of ALA membership is a good indicator of where the association falls in the conservative-liberal spectrum: 93% possess a Bachelor’s degree or above, 81% are female, 87% are white, and 59% are age 45 and above. I suspect, though I have no data to prove it, that Jews are heavily overrepresented in its membership as compared to their percentage of the US population, particularly in the large university research libraries and major government libraries. The Director of the New York City Public Library, the second-largest public library in the US after the Library of Congress — which is the fourth-largest in the world — is a guy named Marx: Tony Marx. According to Wikipedia, after graduating from Yale Marx spent a year in South Africa working in the anti-apartheid movement.
So here we have the demographic picture of an organization made up of largely older, white, college-educated women, with lots of liberal, activist Jews in the mix. Knowing the lop-sided, political tilt of that configuration, it strongly suggests the stereotype of a Covid mask-wearing, Donald Trump-hating, Black Lives Matter-supporting, gun-loathing, CNN-watching, Zoloft-taking, Prius-driving feminist who is highly allergic to pronoun abuse, microaggressions, and eruptions of transphobia.
The ALA website is a cornucopia of virtue-signaling, anti-racist chest-thumping and Left-wing agitprop. From a 2020 Association news release: “ALA takes responsibility for past racism, [and] pledges a more equitable association.”
This is the Soviet-era template into which the apparatchiks insert the customary lingo that conforms to the strict requirements of the Party’s style sheet. It is monotonously uniform, with a predictable pattern of utterance, and evinces in this case a level of self-effacing, struggle-session enthusiasm that dispels any doubts that the organization has not purged any suspected deviationists. It huffs and puffs its way to a level of such absurd, groveling overreach that all you want to do while reading it is scream: “Enough!”
The American Library Association (ALA) accepts and acknowledges its role in upholding unjust systems of racism and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the association and the profession. We recognize that the founding of our Association was not built on inclusion and equity, but instead was built on systemic racism and discrimination in many forms. We also recognize the hurt and harm done to BIPOC library workers and communities due to these racist structures. We commit to our core values, particularly equity, diversity, and inclusion, and will demonstrate this commitment by reassessing and reevaluating our role in continuing to uphold unjust, harmful systems throughout the Association and the profession.
ALA accepts . . . acknowledges . . . upholds . . . recognizes . . . builds on . . . also recognizes . . . commits . . . demonstrates . . . reassesses . . . reevaluates . . . continues to uphold.
The committee of earnest dimwits that assembled this prolix politically-correct boilerplate must have run out of action verbs and energy, brought it to a close, and went out for drinks.
Part of the ALA’s organizational structure is the “Office of Intellectual Freedom,” an analogue to “The Ministry of Truth” in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It devotes much of its energies and resources to fighting attempted book censorship in school and public libraries. Click here to survey the title covers of “The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022.” The ALA schoolmarms really worry about “the children,” and most of the titles are children’s books found in school and public libraries. Below are several of them, all “Challenged for: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit”:
“Content claimed to be sexually explicit” is a nice rhetorical slight-of-hand move: Who’s to say, really, what’s sexually explicit for children, comrade? Well, we all know it’s going to be those Right-wing Christian types who think sex is bad and that they should have a say in how their children are exposed to matters concerning it.
God knows how tragic it would be for your eight-year-old not to be immersed in the ins-and-outs of gay childhood! The “censorship” that that guardians of ‘intellectual freedom” seem most to worry about comes from parents who object to having their children exposed to works of sexually explicit, social justice-laden propaganda, decked out as wholesome “children’s literature.” To suggest that parents concerned with the well-being of their children are enemies of intellectual freedom is a typical Soviet-era style move of the woke vanguard: turn normal people with legitimate concerns into villains — censors, enemies of the intellect, people, democracy, etc. — while elevating yourselves as courageous, telling-truth-to-power champions of a free society.
Drag Queen Story Hour (DSH), as you would suspect, an ALA-protected program for the benefit of “the children” and to further the goals of — what else? — “diversity and inclusion.”:
DSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.
To find a depiction of something more remote from the constraints of reality than this deranged apologue would be a monumental challenge:
Many libraries across the country have been hosting or participating in Drag Queen Story Hours. A few have experienced pushback from some members of their community. (emphasis mine)
You can see where this is going. Drag Queen Story hour is just another fun-filled, family-friendly event for the kids — very popular (“many libraries” everywhere), but of course “a few” Right-wing enemies of the “glamorous” queers everyone wants as role models for junior are pushing back. Not to worry: “To support libraries facing [drag queen story hour] challenges [ALA has] established this collection of resources.”
Why have the ALA folks made connecting kids with drag queens into a moral imperative? To combat “the marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion.”
Now, you might think that an organization deeply committed to intellectual freedom would want to promote a vigorous discussion about why separating drag queens from children might have actually been a good idea up until crackpots with degrees in subjects like “Queer Studies,” and who never heard of biology, recently ran “childhood gender fluidity” up the flagpole, and that people such as the ladies who run the ALA were stupid enough to salute. There are reasons for the long “historical exclusion” that are obvious to anyone with a healthy respect for reality and who cares about children. Marginalization and exclusion sometimes make perfect sense — Death Row, for example — but for those “creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society,” drag queens and kids are a perfect match.
Children and young people need “unabashedly queer role models,” but they also need to understand more about racism. And who better to lend them a helping hand than Ibram X. Kendi — who is to anti-racism what Bernie Madoff was to sound financial investing — opened the ALA-sponsored 2023 LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience in New Orleans that was held in January.
Kendi and Nic Stone
kicked off the . . . opening session, where they discussed their new book, How to Be a (Young) Antiracist. Stone, a middle-grade and young adult author, adapted Kendi’s 2019 bestseller How to Be an Antiracist to help teens better understand their role in identifying and dismantling racism.
Drag queens as role models and the wisdom of Ibram X. Kendi are what the folks at the ALA, with their politically airbrushed language, seem to want us to believe are going to advance the well-being of the next generation of American citizens.
The library profession is no longer even a profession, if we apply a definition that captures what has long been held to be its essential elements:
A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others.
Minus “ethical standards” and a “widely recognised body of learning,” the American Library Association has come to represent a loose collection of social justice zealots, computer-technical specialists, and managerial-type careerists caught up in the religion of “diversity,” all of whom are happy to go along to get along. The ALA’s leadership is corrupt and malevolent. Its role is especially pernicious because of the way it targets and indoctrinates children, and young people as well; as “library watchdog” Dan Kleinman has put it, the ALA today seems to see its job as being to help “teach kids to be little antifa activists.”
The one bright spot, relatively speaking, I’ll mention is that while in the future you will likely need the service of legal and medical professionals who can “identify systems of power,” the Internet and other forms of technology make it possible for you to go the rest of your life without having to encounter a librarian. For normal people, it’s best to ignore them. If you need physical books from an actual library, most of them will have self-checkout machines. You’ll be able to borrow them without having to talk to anyone. Best to keep the children away, too.
During the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans [in 2018], the Board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature. ALA President Jim Neal and ALSC President Nina Lindsay released the following joint statement:
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers. Although Wilder’s work holds a significant place in the history of children’s literature and continues to be read today, ALSC has had to grapple with the inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness through an award that bears Wilder’s name.
Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.
Welcome to the kind of underhanded, passive-aggressive character assassination you get from today’s librarians who represent the profession.
My daughters grew up reading and treasuring Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. Of all their childhood authors, she stood out by far as the best. If her works “reflect dated cultural attitudes,” so much the worse for the updates. She was a wonderful writer, and from her books it was clear that she was a very fine person. Her stories were realistic, powerful, and portrayed the kind of fortitude, decency, and courage in American pioneers that was moving and inspirational. Nothing she wrote “contradicted” anything lasting and worthwhile. Her character and literary legacy are worth more than the sum total of anything that has ever come from the “Library Service to Children” troop of dancing chickens who clamored to remove her name from the award.
Jim Neal, at the time of his cowardly, careerist capitulation to the rabble, was Head Librarian at Columbia University. Resorting to the banal “core values,” “inclusiveness,” and “diversity” grievance-babble was his cover for one more symbolic act in the trashing our white heritage.
I felt it as a personal affront. Knowing him from professional encounters, I sent him an e-mail that concluded: “Shame on you, Jim! I thought you were a better person than this.” I never got a reply.
* * *
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