As information communities, as librarians, and educators, information literacy principles and first amendment freedoms are at the core to motivating students in college. Confronting self-censorship, academic development, and the ability to practice intellectual freedom is what Xicana/Latina students encounter in higher education.
According to Twitter’s Rules, “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.” The policy has already been enforced against several high-profile accounts, including the leaders of the far-right Britain First party.
The events in Charlottesville have heightened public awareness of white supremacist organizations and their music, merchandise and online presence. There has also been a renewed interest in leading technology company platforms and the ways in which they host and profit from the activities of groups that identify with white supremacy.
Politics in the classroom isn’t new, but it does feel different this year. The violence in Charlottesville coincided with the back to school rush, and our nation’s violent partisan reality looms as a silent force in many teachers’ and students’ minds.
Long after we won the Cold War, communism is still a fighting word for many in the United States. And materials for children and young adults are the source of most challenges to books and intellectual freedom, so this combination was a combustible one.