Things “Critical Librarianship” Proponents Have Said or Written to Me in the Last 22 Years

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

“The 1950s are over. ‘Censorship’ is really only a concern for powerful people who don’t want to be told to shut up.”

When discussing Primary Colors: “Anonymous works of literature are always suspicious; the meaning of every word in a book is tied to the author’s race, gender and other intersectional aspects of their identity. The same story can be either oppressive or liberating just based on what the person who wrote it looks like.”

“Only homophobes think it’s possible to research the history of the AIDS epidemic objectively.”

“White men ruin every conference; they should be muzzled.”

“‘The search for truth’ is such white supremacist Enlightenment bullshit, and a predictable fall-back argument for white males in these conversations. If a ‘factually accurate’ statement makes someone from a marginalized community feel unsafe, then, I’m sorry, yes, the truth is oppressive.”

“University education is more than just knowing and understanding the world; it’s also about comforting people.”

“Democracy [can also] mean…admitting you’re wrong when you see a majority of intelligent people disagree with you.”

Constitutionality means nothing to me. Even if all of the people who wrote the [F]irst [A]mendment didn’t own slaves themselves, they allowed Thomas Jefferson to live to old age. What does that say about them and their so-called ‘amendments’?”

“The benefits of Capitalism to the working class are transient, minimal and accidental. It’s historical fraud to even say it’s possible. Real Marxists don’t give Capital the benefit of the doubt, ever. Building a few tanks to help International Capitalism defeat the Nazis doesn’t give General Motors a…pass.”

“Intellectual freedom should not mean the freedom to deny scientific fact and librarians shouldn’t be empowering science-deniers.”

“‘Demanding evidence’ is just a way of discounting people’s pain and experience of oppression. A microaggression can just be the look in someone’s eyes or the flick of an eyebrow.

“The ALA’s codes of ethics are just the opinions of a bunch of influential white librarians, and most of them are dead now. Intellectual freedom is a good thing, but it has to be selective.”

“By being neutral, libraries are tacitly giving the privileged power to speak and allowing marginalized individuals to be silenced.”

“School conduct codes that punish children for swearing are rooted in Puritanism and racism.”

“Even off-duty cops in [a] library make…people unsafe. Libraries should note who cops are in their library records and keep an eye on them.”

1 thought on “Things “Critical Librarianship” Proponents Have Said or Written to Me in the Last 22 Years

  1. The paradoxical thing about such people and their hatred of stuff like the Enlightenment is that without openness to criticism of our current social mores (a notion rooted in the Enlightenment), a different “Establishment” in control (like so many in even today’s world) would probably result in their hanging from trees.

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