Saturday, September 30, 2017

Free Speech Programming for Library Ideas and...

I humbly submit some programming ideas for my friends who work in libraries.

Bookshelf with text that says, "Beyond Books."
Do something different!

  • Constitutional rights workshops
  • Civics workshops
  • How to avoid ICE
  • DACA rights workshops
  • Cannabis Consumer Workshops (In states where it is legal)
  • Medical Cannabis patient workshops
  • How to decolonize Education
  • Activism Workshops
  • Anti-Doxxing Workshops
  • FreeSpeech versus HateSpeech Community Discussions
  • Black History Programming
  • How to monitor the police
  • Patron electronic privacy workshops
  • Marginalized people in Children's literature
  • How to share electronic information anonymously 
  • Ethnic Studies Workshops for local communities
  • Archiving local neighborhood history
  • How to build community
  • How to get involved with local  public cable broadcasting
  • How to publish a book
  • How to blog
  • How to be a neighborhood reporter
  • How to start a news program
  • How to write news articles
  • How to be a public speaker
  • How to listen
  • How to argue
  • How to self-reflect
  • How to be a DJ
  • How to break dance
  • How to skateboard
  • What is Punk Rock?
  • What is Body Modification?
  • Truths versus myths about recreational drugs
  • What is empathy?
  • What is Whiteness?
  • What is BLM?
  • Marginalized groups in comics
  • What is Philosophy?
  • What is Hip-hop?
  • Where to get Mental Health assistance

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Mottoes of our Libraries Should be #LoveNOTHate #ListenWithYourHeartAndFeel

One of the symptoms of being unconsciously inculcated by #Whiteness is the inability to see the experiences of POC as they are lived by POC.

When I was teaching my children to be empathetic, I always told them that,

When someone asks you to stop something--particularly when they say you are hurting them--you stop what you are doing immediately.  You don't come up with excuses (reasons) why you should be able to continue to hurt them.  You don't continue hurting them.

The inability to see other's pain and to listen to them when they tell you about this pain--particularly if you are causing it--indicates a fundamental loss of humanity.  It also indicates a deeply narcissistic quality that seems to border on sociopathy.

This is an indication of unsound mental health.

A large part of our culture is sick like this.

Our nation is unhealthy in this aspect.

We should not repress this.

We should talk about it, and begin to heal this.

Libraries can help with this.

We can help with empathy programming.

Holding reconciliation talks.

Hold listening sessions for all sides.

But when someone begins to spout racist, threatening language--they NEED to leave the library.

Librarians hold information sacred, and we should continue to do so.  If racists, threatening people want to have a library--they should be able to have one--their own--private libraries.

We can talk about how they want to murder and 'get rid' of us all they want.  OUR public dollars should NEVER go toward supporting organizations that threaten other AMERICANS and other PEOPLE in general.  

#Love, the love of education, the love of knowledge, the love of teaching, the love of collecting and sharing great concepts and ideas is at the heart of what we do.  We can't let hate destroy that!

The mottoes of our libraries should be #LoveNOTHate #ListenWithYourHeartAndFeel

We can work together to help our nation get healthy.

Lets not, as librarians and people, enable our nation to be of unsound mental health.

We need to talk about this kind of stuff in relation to the library bill of rights, the ethics of librarianship and the mission of libraries.

The mottoes of our libraries should be #LoveNOTHate #ListenWithYourHeartAndFeel.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

When Someone Claims The Right to Terrorize their Fellow Citizens

There is a split in libraries.  The split is on the question if Nazis and other racists  can use their rights to terrorize their fellow citizens and still be welcome in our libraries.

Racist 'free speech' is a tradition that has been used to create an atmosphere of hate a violence against POC in the US.

Of course this is not how this discussion is framed, nor how it is approached in the library community--which is immersed in a culture of Whiteness.

It is described as a matter of "Free Speech."  I would agree, but I would clarify this by stating it is a matter of White people's right to terrorize their fellow citizens by using speech which creates an environment of terror for POC in the US.

"Jews will NOT replace us!"  is terrifying enough for me to hear, but then I think of the utter terror and alarm it must be raising in my Jewish friends--I share their terror.

"All lives matter!" Yelled at my Black friends who are holding a sign that says, "Black Lives Matter!"
HKCL Central Library

These might just be words, but given the context--they are not just words of expression.  They are expressing something--the desire to intimidate a segment of our citizenry (The Jew statement), and the desire to mitigate the murder of black people almost daily, by stating "All lives matter!"  in response to the plea for help to end this violence against Black people.

POC encounter micro and macro-aggressions daily.  I often wonder if it is a battle worth fighting.  Daily, I begin to ponder the virtues of separatism.  My kind of separatism would be the kind where people of all walks of life could live together in good human relations.  The other 'people' could live somewhere else--those other people would be the racists.  I know this is an overly simplified idea, but I can't see how it isn't more valid than what POC have today.

POC in the US today:
  • Are imprisoned a greater rates than White people.
  • Are murdered by law enforcement and vigilantes.
  • Have to worry about sending their kids out of the house because of racist violence.
  • Will be persecuted as criminal in preschools.
  • Will be put into a pipeline to prison program by virtue of their skin color.
  • Live under a state of siege.
EVERY time I go to the store, or go to work, or anyplace for that matter-- I worry about if I will get pulled over and what will happen.

This is NOT simply a matter of "Free-Speech!"

This is about how POC are allowed to live under such terror daily.

Who allows it?

You, me, anyone who is not fighting against this terrorism.... If you are neutral--then you are supporting this terrorism.  It is NOT something one can be neutral about.

I get it--the US is a society that is built upon unrepentant genocide, land-theft and slavery.  It is something we all grew up knowing.

And WE cannot continue to be okay with that.

This is part of the history that some people want covered up.

We can't cover this up.  We can't repress this.

Just like a drug addict, or someone who is mentally ill and in denial--repression will create pathologies.  Maybe like people shooting one another for no real reason on a regular basis...

Librarians have a place in this fight.

We have a place because we work in an industry that is a purveyor of Whiteness--Whiteness is the notion that White people and White Culture are more important than ANYTHING or ANYONE else--AND we can do something about it.

We can balance out our collections so that don't just have books by rapists  who are forefathers of freedom, but from people who are genuinely concerned with freedom and liberty.  Not just the liberty to kill and steal from those who are weaker than us, but the true liberty of good human relations without violence.

Maybe you don't see this discussion from my point of view, or maybe you can't.

Maybe I'm too crude a writer to get the message across--so I will try to put it simply.

Please empathize with POC in the US.  Empathize with our pain, with the terror we are forced to live within daily, with the fear of incarceration and becoming a political prisoner or a prisoner/worker slave or of getting murdered by the police.  Empathize with the fear we have when we have send our kids out into a world that fundamentally rejects them.

Please try to understand we don't want to hurt you or kick you out of our lands.

But we do want you to leave if you are a racists.

Librarians can offer antifa programming, cultural awareness, truth and reconciliation talks (after proper development), anti-Whiteness programming and other such events.  Our collections can be enhanced with Anti-Racist and Anti-Whiteness purchases.  Our hiring can be more diverse and inclusive of different pathways to librarianship.

Please don't let people come into our library space--sometimes one of the only sanctuaries from this terror--and ruin it by making racist statements, having hate meetings and requesting the library purchase material that espouses a philosophy that I be 'gotten rid or....'

Stop AAPI Hate!