Intellectual Freedom Stories From A Shifting Landscape, edited by Valerie Nye
One of the most useful ways of understanding this book is to realize that it is the product of the hypocritical contemporary left. To understand the truth behind the rhetoric of a leftist, it is important to remember a few basic hermeneutical principles. For example, any time a leftist accuses someone else of something, that leftist is engaged in the same behavior themselves–projection rather than insight is the name of the game. So when this book discusses censorship as if it is something to be blamed, we can be sure that the people responsible are engaged in censorship, and that is exactly what we find in the book’s call for libraries to be safe spaces for leftists, including extremist ones, but safe spaces from those whose views are antithetical to the contemporary left, who cannot be dealt with peacefully in the eyes of this book’s deluded and hypocritical contributor, as well as for the censorship of books that offend privileged minority groups like native tribes, but for free speech that offends the biblical moral ethic. Additionally, any time we see a leftist seeking to defend something, we can be sure that they are either knowingly or unwittingly seeking to undermine that which they claim to support–and that is as true of intellectual freedom in this book as it is of affordable care or anything else. The only thing shifting about this book’s landscape is the hypocritical position of the left in not being able to provide a consistent standard that applies in a just fashion to friend and foe.
This book is a bit less than 200 pages and is divided into six parts and numerous smaller essays written by people whose views are frequently mutually contradictory when taken as a whole. The first part of the book examines those who are protected by policies (I) that deal with library cards (1), the threats of Christian morals to indecent art (2), and adventures in book court (3). After this there are essays on public events (II), including freedom given to privileged leftist groups like BLM (4) and drag queen storytime (5), while shrinking at providing a forum for right-wing thinkers (6). After that comes some “difficult conversations (III)” about #metoo (7) and the promotion of intellectual freedom through a leftist groupthink social book group (8). After this comes institutional decisions (IV) relating to storage of sensitive materials (9), prison libraries (10), school libraries (11), and foreign language material (12). After this comes whining about patrons challenging material (V), including transgender books (13), coalition building (14), islamophobia (15), as well as rural libraries (16). After that comes a discussion of cultural sensitivity (not shown to Christians) (VI), looking at tribal sensitivities (17) as well as views on censorship (18), after which the book ends with a conclusion, information about the contributors, and an index.
Ultimately, this book is refuse and garbage. It is a book from the point of view of the contemporary left, so it could hardly be otherwise given the defective worldview from which it springs. That said, a combative reader who wants to understand and critique and problematize the rhetoric of this book can use this book as a handy guide on how it is to expose the self-serving double standards that are present in the book’s arguments. Since the authors lack self-awareness about how it is that their pandering to the fragility and sensitivity of some groups of people and their absolute and steadfast refusal to respect the honorable and decent moral scruples of other groups of people represent a firm denial of any attempts of “neutrality” on the sides of libraries and the often corrupt people in those institutions who make decisions about what books and what events to promote and what views to celebrate and tolerate. This is not a book that deserves to be banned or burned as much as it is to be read and to be subjected to the sort of withering criticism that demonstrates the hypocrisy and moral vacuity at the basis of the contemporary left, as seen through the leftists responsible for this book’s writing. When people whose worldviews are corrupt and foolish are unguarded enough to expose their fundamental injustice and illogic to public view, one might as well take advantage of it.