Intellectual Freedom News 1/27/17

Intellectual Freedom News

January 27, 2017 – Collated by OIF Staff and News Interns

Intellectual Freedom Highlights

  • OIF condemns government agency censorship | Intellectual Freedom Blog; The American Library Association (ALA) has as one of its officially stated goals that it is the leading advocate for the public’s right to a free and open information society. ALA opposes any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of knowledge and information. Indeed, the principle of intellectual freedom – unfettered access to knowledge – is a core belief of our profession, as captured in the Library Bill of Rights.
  • Carla Hayden thinks libraries are a key to freedom | New York Times; ‘If you can absorb information yourself and make your own decisions, that’s a freedom. And for so many times in history, being able to read and access information has been part of it, especially in my case, with African-Americans.’
  • The problem with student privacy, and how to protect it | School Library Journal; Students should have two expectations of privacy, says Helen Adams, author of Protecting Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in Your School Library (ABC-CLIO, 2013). They should be able to come in and use the library’s resources and have no one looking over their shoulder. Whatever information they seek on that topic should remain private.
  • Weenies stories inflame censor’s imagination | The Morning Call; “Lubar certainly appreciated that Kansas librarian’s efforts. He concluded, ‘One thing I hope you’ll touch on is how awesome librarians are.'”


  • State Board of Education rejects proposal to require notifying parents about explicit materials | Richmond Times Dispatch; “The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and a host of free-speech groups have said the term “sexually explicit” is vague and potentially prejudicial. In a letter to the board, the groups wrote that it could be used to describe classic works of literature such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Slaughterhouse Five” and “Brave New World,” and that such “red-flagging” of books could lead to a “regime of labeling that will leave few books unaffected.”
  • Controversial Capitol painting by former St. Louis student taken down; Clay promises appeal | St Louis Post Dispatch; “Clay’s statement, issued by his office in St. Louis, said the removal of the painting has sent a chilling message to young Americans that their voices are not respected, their views are not valued, and their freedom of expression is no longer protected in the U.S. Capitol.

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  • I haven’t given up my rights to free speech just because I get a disability benefit. I won’t allow anyone to take it away from me. Yeah you can take my benefits as a threat to me if I don’t say what you want me to say that is your way of controlling me and just what this is about. Those that want to do that to me should be very ashamed of them selves. I didn’t sign up for that when I signed up for those benefits and they knew I have a Masters degree when they gave them to me, I did my entire case by myself. The judge said they should have given them to me much earlier and would have had I of just been born today, you won’t stop me. I have never given up any of my constitutional rights just because others felt they had some right to try to take them. You can’t do that. Not then not now. I fought hard to get my dignity and some respect back do you think I will just let you take it, oh but some do and some have already. Some day my ass. Freedom of speech. What can be done to people that speak is what makes me the angriest. I am not threatening anyone i am speaking. You do not get to rule the roost forever. There are some issues in censorship that we turn a blind eye to and yet some things are not allowed to be said they are being banned, certain groups of people are being banned, being abused and denied for speaking. It seems like an oxymoron to me. I understand about not damaging others property especially intentionally as with those carvings on the chairs, and then we have so called hate speech which is a lot of times merely censorship. It is not allowing for anyone else to have another point of view or a different side of things. We have words I like and words you like and then we have Trump saying pussy and that is supposed to be over looked and yet up until now it has not been. Some of it is what is socially acceptable in a small group and some of it is what is acceptable in small minds. Of course if the leader does it in either then it becomes acceptable unless they don’t like it any more. Some folks have never been outside of a God community. Would freak out if they only knew what the real world held. That is political speech. Words and images change over time, now we have to walk on eggshells in the disability community. Some that are not labeled retarded do not like that word any more, they have different disabilities and they certainly don’t want to “look like those kinds of people” so let’s change the word to intellectual disability. When that word was in my medical charts and I have a perfect right to use it, but no one has ever said that or implied that about me as an adult, until they found out I got benefits then it changed their attitude about me I wasn’t grown up oh yes I am I had to grow up way too fast way before they did. I think it is the image that you hold of what certain words means and that can be perpetuated for the right crowds. If I am retarded so be it. Maybe I am in some ways, but others might think I was using it in a bad way some how. That is what others have in their minds. If you don’t say that about me then I don’t look this way to you, when I still look exactly the way I am and so do they. If you loved and cared about someone then what word they were called wouldn’t matter, except you might not use it as much only if you had to. You would call them by their name just like you do everyone else. The only thing that has changed is the word usage, and that is because someone made a way to make some words bad and that is censorship. Ugly is a word i do not like, yet I find ways to joke about it. If I am the ugliest person in the world what does that do to you. Maybe if you didn’t know me and you started dogging me with it then i might get offended. There is a difference in hate and hate speech and that is if you really don’t like someone you will show it in more ways than just saying something to them that they don’t like casually, like a little white lie to be socially polite. If you hate them you will use these words in such condemning ways that they will never be allowed to fit in, and you won’t be friends with them in fact you will do things to them maybe even physically hurt them or deny them a chance in this life as much as it is in your capacity to do so, to shut them up and shut them out and shut them down. It is more of a bullying than a jousting or a good roasting among friends like you see actors do to each other on the television at times. Best friends. family members, will tease each other at times say things they don’t mean that is because it is understood between each other they don’t really mean it and it goes both ways most of the time there is no one sided communication, which is a funny thing in itself because there is always room for misunderstandings and such, people can be judgemental very much so. I don’t know what I am really trying to say. Only that if we want freedom of speech and not censorship then we have to give others the same right. Without disregard or punishing them as long as that is as far as it goes, when it goes further and people take actions that are not right then that needs to be stopped, banned and not just forgotten about. Like the carvings in the chair that is public property not their own and they have no right to do that. America is a great country not because we have assertive ways to scapegoat others through the use of language, but because we have had both freedom of thoughts and speech and enough integrity in most of us to allow others their own privacy. Then came the computer and the cell phone and that kind of dried up. Too many people were getting into too many other people’s business instead of minding their own. I am one of the worst if I see something publicly I will respond to it, however I have never monitored anyone nor have I hacked them. Miranda and such other rights that we have had seems to have flown out the door, with no apologies. I always wondered why you would see 5 cop cars at one stop when on the other side of town the bank was being robbed. The robber got away. Maybe I am different in the way I think, that doesn’t mean that I don’t need or want the same things that anyone else expects. That doesn’t mean that my behavior should not be as good as yours and vice versa. And as we know any excuse can be better than nothing. It is a rights issue, but it should not be based on who has the most money or as long as you say what I want you to say then I won’t do any thing bad to you.

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