Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Effigy of Obama Set on Fire

There’s not much to say about this unfortunate incident in West Allis, Wisconsin.

In the grainy video, patrons of Yesteryears Bar set up an effigy of President Obama and light it, country music playing in the background. Thank goodness someone had the good sense to tape it and post it for the world to see. When the image of Obama finally catches fire, the patrons can be heard whooping it up.

How many steps until we’ve got a mob? And is this simple stupidity, or outward (not so subtle) displays of racism?

Advertisements

Filed under: hate, obama, , , , ,

Burning Books in Wisconsin?

This story fired me up at first, then saddened me: West Bend, Wisconsin, is a community threatening to burn young adult books dealing with sexuality and other themes deemed “inappropriate” at the public library. Burning books? Come on. It’s 2009.

Not only is this a gay rights issue and a censorship issue, but one that imposes the religious values of a few on the books for an entire community. The book that started it all? The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which chronicles the awkward, heart-breaking adolescence of a freshman in high school.

According to a CNN report, this is an ongoing challenge for public libraries:

Book challenges aren’t new. More than 500 were reported in the United States in 2008, mostly in schools and public libraries, Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the American Library Association said.

But this one was attracting extra attention. Caldwell-Stone, who monitored the dispute, said moving any young-adult book to the adult section would have been a form of censorship, even if teens were free to check them out.

“The whole intent was shelving books not on the basis of age or reading ability, but because they disapprove of the content with the intent of restricting access. That’s a burden on First Amendment rights,” Caldwell-Stone said.

Let’s hope that some of the opposition to banning books in this community, including Maria Hanrahan, a blogger who opposes banned books in her West Bend community, garners the support they need:

“I’m against any other party telling me what’s appropriate for my child and what isn’t,” said Hanrahan, 40, who also created a West Bend Parents for Free Speech group. “We don’t mean to say these are appropriate for everyone, but we don’t feel they should be set apart from other materials or restricted from the young-adult section.”

It takes a whole lot of effort–and a whole lot of hate–to be so moved as to stir up controversy about a few library books. Is information that threatening to parents?

Filed under: censorship, , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Twitter

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.

Visitor Map

Locations of Site Visitors

RSS Recent Posts from Towleroad

  • New Drug Research Opens Door to ‘Functional Cure’ for HIV
    MIAMI — A new therapy for HIV that does not require a lifelong regimen of daily drug cocktails may be on the horizon if early indications from studies on mice prove effective in people, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida announce… Read The post New Drug Research Opens Door to ‘Functional Cure’ for HIV appeared first on Towleroad.
  • Jeff Sessions Grilled Before Senate Judiciary Committee in Oversight Hearing: WATCH LIVE
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in an oversight hearing. CNN reports: The oversight hearing comes after a tumultuous summer for Sessions, during which he was publicly derided by the President over hi… Read The post Jeff Sessions Grilled Before Senate Judiciary Committee in Oversight Hearing: WATCH LIVE appea […]
  • The ‘Red Hot’ British Boys are Ready to Fire You Up in 2018
    Earlier this year, we posted that a new Kickstarter campaign ahead of the launch of the 5th calendar from the international “Red Hot” photo series dedicated to fiery gingers was looking for a few British men to join the 2018 edition. Well… Read The post The ‘Red Hot’ British Boys are Ready to Fire You Up in 2018 appeared first on Towleroad.
  • Flyers Encouraging LGBT Kids to Commit Suicide Posted at Cleveland State University On Day it Opens LGBT Center
    Fliers were distributed around the Cleveland State University (CSU) on Monday urging LGBT students to commit suicide. Reading “Follow you fellow faggots,” the fliers appeared on the same day the school’s LGBT center opened. It included statistics of… Read The post Flyers Encouraging LGBT Kids to Commit Suicide Posted at Cleveland State University On Day it O […]
  • Demi Lovato Reveals Sexual Orientation in ‘Simply Complicated’ Documentary: WATCH
    Demi Lovato, who has told fans to “watch her documentary” for news about her sexual orientation, released that documentary in full on YouTube last night. Lovato had suggested she would like to come out on her own time, rather than have it… Read The post Demi Lovato Reveals Sexual Orientation in ‘Simply Complicated’ Documentary: WATCH appeared first on Towler […]

Polls

RSS Breaking News from The Daily Beast

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Pics from Africa 2010

About Me

https://rsiasoco.wordpress.com/about/

About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

Categories