Bozell: PC Police (or GLBTQ Police) Takes Over the Library

Brent Bozell's latest culture column starts from the standard Associated Press boilerplate celebrating how the American Library Association has allegedly kept the country safe from blue-haired censors of anything edgy. But AP and other reporters never dig below press-release level to discover that the ALA has censors of its own. Instead of merely noticing how children's books promoting gay parenting and gay marriage are controversial, the ALA's left-wing activists are pushing a social agenda that includes screening out "inappropriate" conservative titles:

Press accounts leave out that the ALA not only disdains the public "challenges," it lobbies on the books’ behalf. In 2006, the two-penguin-daddy "And Tango Makes Three" was honored as an ALA Notable Children's Book. The librarians’ group isn’t simply for "freedom." It’s for sexual liberation, promoting the "non-traditional," and it takes offense at the idea that parents might not want their children discussing homosexuality in kindergarten. Simon & Schuster, the publishers of "Tango," Simon & Schuster offer discussion questions about the book on their web site. One says: "Tango has two fathers instead of the traditional mother and father. Do you have a nontraditional family, or do you know someone who does?"

Already we can predict how the ALA next year will complain about any objection to a book called "Uncle Bobby’s Wedding," the story of a young guinea pig named Chloe who worries that her Uncle Bobby won’t play with her any more after he "marries" his boyfriend Jamie. The book ends at the "wedding," with Chloe as the enthusiastic flower girl.


In other words, the ALA doesn’t favor open discussion and debate with parents – which is what the "challenges" represent. Its idea of "freedom" is emboldening librarians to be brave enough to indoctrinate children with what they really need to know, whether their parents object or even know about it. If public debate follows, it’s viewed as a distasteful and unfortunate bump on the road to enlightenment.

In fact, this year the ALA has created a "Rainbow List" of books, a bibliography of current books for children “from birth through age 18 dealing with the myriad of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning issues."

The librarians of the ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table have expressed frustration in not finding enough "rainbow" books on the shelves meeting the "vital need" for "quality books...that validate same-gender lifestyles." And then, in their lobbying crusade, the anti-censorship folks display their own censorious stripes:

"The search for these books was eye-opening, revealing a lack of accessibility through missing subject headings and the promotion of inappropriate titles insulting to the GLBTQ population including such books as ‘A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.’"

They only want to allow titles such as "Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia.” Intellectual freedom is certainly not an ALA priority if the lobbying librarians themselves worry out loud about "the promotion of inappropriate titles."

ALA and its gay roundtable of political correctness promote a document calling for the exclusion of negative stereotypes: "In our homophobic society any work dealing with a gay theme is prone to include cliches and preconceptions of ‘gay character.’ It would be excellent to have a reviewer who is proudly self-identified as gay examine relevant books to point out negative stereotypic attitudes when they occur and to make suggestions as to how the librarian can best counteract such stereotypes."

Doesn’t this sound like librarians want to appoint a guardian to screen out and counteract "negative stereotypic attitudes"? In other words, an official censor?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis