Anti-White Hate Propaganda Dominates A Small Maine Library... And Every Other Library In America
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Earlier: The NYT’s ”Banned Books” List: Grossly Misleading As A Measure Of American Close-Mindedness

I spend most of my time in France after having worked there for 17 years, but I have access through an app called Cloud Library to e-books from the public library in my little town in Maine. 

The selections are quite limited in all categories, except pulpy romance novels. Still, if you search for books on “race” or “racism,” the offerings provide food for reflection.

To its credit, the library has the famous classics by Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. It has several books by Zora Neale Hurston. It has three by Richard Wright and six by James Baldwin.

Further to the Left, you will find the Marxist point of view represented in Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, by Angela Davis, and The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fanon.

But otherwise its selections are largely in the “anti-racist” mold. The most popular proselytizers, Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, are present with three and four books respectively. As you are probably aware, they preach a severe gospel wherein the absence of sin (racist acts or thoughts) is no guarantee of salvation. In Kendi’s oft-quoted admonition, “[T]here is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘antiracist.’”

Supplementing them, the library offers titles including:

  • How to Argue With a Racist, by Adam Rutherford. (“Structural racism is everyday—and rooted in the everyday. It is rooted in indifference to the lived experience of the recipients of racism.”)
  • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. (“It may be helpful, in attempting to understand the basic nature of the new caste system, to think of the criminal justice system—the entire collection of institutions and practices that comprise it—not as an independent system but rather as a gateway into a much larger system of racial stigmatization and permanent marginalization.”)
  • Out of the Fire: Healing Black Trauma Caused by Systemic Racism Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, by Jennifer Shepard Payne. (“Sadly, so many of us are in the midst of the fire. The fire of fearing for our lives and the lives of our sons, daughters, and loved ones. The fire of police brutality and a system that rewards Black and brown lives’ extermination or oppression.”) 
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla Said. (“I have socioeconomic, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, neuro-typical, and educational privileges. I have not experienced and cannot speak to the depth of pain that Black people who are descendants of enslaved people across the diaspora experience through racism. Living in the Middle East, I am not exposed to the more direct experience of institutional racism that my younger brothers and my niece and nephew are exposed to living in the United Kingdom. However, the childhood that I had growing up as a Black Muslim girl in a primarily white, Christian society influenced my self-development and self-concept in negative ways. And as an adult, on the worldwide internet, where more than 50 percent of the world’s population spends their time and where I do my work, I am exposed to white supremacy every day.” 
  • You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism, by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar. (“So I’ve forgotten, more or less, the constant flow of racism one must endure to live in the Midwest and be the only Black person at work. It is an unchecked tsunami of dumb questions and comments.”) 
  • Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on Health in America, by Linda Villarosa. (“The something that is making Black Americans sicker is not race per se, or the lack of money, education, information, and access to health services that can be tied to being Black in America. It is also not genes or something inherently wrong or inferior about the Black body. The something is racism.”)
  • Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit. by Mary-Frances Winters. (“I define ‘Black fatigue’ as repeated variations of stress that result in extreme exhaustion and cause mental, physical, and spiritual maladies that are passed down from generation to generation. It is a deeply embedded fatigue that takes inordinate amounts of energy to overcome—herculean efforts to sustain an optimistic outlook and enormous amounts of faith to continue to believe ‘we shall overcome someday.’ Repeatedly, I hear a resounding chorus from Black people I work with as I go from company to company consulting on DEIJ. ‘We are exhausted.’” 
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, by Tim Wise. (“The way in which we place rogues like Andrew Jackson on a pedestal, while telling people of color to ‘get over it’ (meaning the past) whenever slavery or Indian genocide is brought up, has always struck me as the most precious of ironies. We want folks of color to move past the past, even as we very much seek to dwell in that place a while. We dwell there every July 4, every Columbus Day, every time a child is given a book like Meet Andrew Jackson to read. We love the past so long as it venerates us.”
  • Color-Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World, by Ellis Cose. (“In this land of opportunity, we are promised riches, a degree of respect, and respectability, but we know we are still barred from the highest corridors of power. It’s a crippling message. How can you expect someone to dedicate his entire life to training for the Olympics if all he can hope for is a silver medal?”)
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge. (“I can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience. You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It’s like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It’s like they can no longer hear us.”)
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (“Americans believe in the reality of ‘race’ as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism—the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them—inevitably follows from this inalterable condition.”)
  • We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (“To be black in America was to be plundered. To be white was to benefit from, and at times directly execute, this plunder.”)
  • And for the youngest readers, there is even a 40-page picture book, Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, by Carole Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper, about the deadly riots and destruction of what was called by Booker T. Washington the Negro Wall Street of America.

It is normal for a library to select works that have sold well, and these books are hardly all alike, but what is striking is the white-blaming unanimity of these books, many of which seem to have been written not to stimulate thought but to keep it in check. 

And as remarkable as what the library offers is what it doesn’t.

You will not find An American Dilemma by Gunnar Myrdal or Beyond the Melting Pot by Nathan Glazer or The Bell Curve or Facing Reality by Charles Murray

Absent is Christopher Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement as well as David Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here and Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance.

Needless to say, there are no books by Jared Taylor, no Alien Nation by Peter Brimelow nor anything by Patrick Buchanan. But wait! Let the record show, there is one audiobook by Ann Coulter: Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama.

The library does not even offer books on racism by moderate or conservative black writers. The only book by the economist Thomas Sowell is The Housing Boom and Bust; his many books on race are absent. There is nothing by William Julius Wilson. Nor is there anything by Shelby Steele. Nor by Stanley Crouch. There are no books by Jason L. Riley of the Wall Street Journal, Glenn Loury of the Manhattan Institute, Wilfred Reilly of National Review or even John McWhorter of the New York Times. Stephen L. Carter’s novel about Lincoln’s impeachment is there, but not his Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby.

Seeing all this, I can’t help laughing when I hear people whining about conservatives’ attempt to “ban books” in public libraries. Whatever conservatives may be up to, if I might judge by my little Maine library, their political opponents are way, way ahead of them.

But a little reflection cuts my laughing short. My library’s offerings and non-offerings reveal a good deal about white Americans’ attitude toward racial justice, because it is a safe assumption that it is white people, not black people, who choose the books there, just as it is white people who borrow and read them. 

Why should people living in one of the whitest corners of the country choose a collection of books so disparaging of themselves and their ancestors? Why, even if they generally agree with the books offered, would they have so few that are less polemical? And why are there so few contemporary books that suggest that black people’s problems might be, if not their own fault, then at least their own responsibility?

And—dare one ask—why are there no books that examine what white people might really want for themselves?

Whatever the answers might be, there is something portentous in the offerings of this library and of others like it across the country. Whatever truths these books may convey, whatever necessary perspectives they may present, young people who go to them for instruction will learn almost nothing that challenges the ongoing indictment of white people and of the United States itself; instead, they will find evidence real or imagined supporting the case for resentment and “reparations” of all sorts.

There is something in the temperamental and cultural makeup of many white people that refuses to take these signs seriously. Facing squarely the anti-white propaganda that emanates from America’s main news media and from its universities seems somehow impolite.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to be shielded from criticism, nor do I think Americans generally should be. If everything I’ve ever thought true about America is false then I want to know about it.

But the incessant barrage of criticism and accusation of white people that comes from our main sources of news and commentary is so unidirectional, so untempered by opposing opinion, that it seems less designed to inform than to intimidate and demoralize. I may be persuadable, but am determined not to be bullied into conformity. 

White Americans of a certain age may be inclined to take this assault as merely another trend that will pass away in its turn. Many of them have certainly come to view it as a corrective phase more or less justified by the less honorable aspects of the country’s history. 

Perhaps they are right. But they should consider that their ability to withstand this onslaught is largely due to their having been raised in an atmosphere, altogether different from today’s, in which the achievements of Europeans and their far-flung offspring were routinely praised. 

The younger generations hear almost nothing but the opposite.

As the white population shrinks in relation to the overall population, the chorus of complaints against “white privilege” and “systemic racism” grows ever stronger. As my library’s offerings reveal, level-headed non-compliant voices are not easy to find, nor are dispassionate histories of slavery in the United States that consider it in light of slavery and other abhorrent customs elsewhere in the world. A polite unwillingness to get one’s hands dirty in resisting this chorus doesn’t seem to be attenuating the crescendo. 

Proposals for “reparations” strike a large number of white people as too radical to take seriously. But if you were raised to regard the settlement of the New World as a tale of plunder and genocide, if you were taught to regard the founding date of America as 1619, if you were taught that the Constitution is a White-Supremacist manifesto, if you were taught that but for a brief period after the Civil War white Americans have been unceasing in their efforts to hobble black people’s success, if you were taught that virtually every unfortunate aspect of black people’s lives today is the fault of white people, then “reparations” might strike you as a perfectly natural idea.

People raised in just this way are, year by year, becoming a greater part of the American population.

Even if they’re skeptical of what they’re taught, they are unlikely to find dissenting voices at their local library.

Lawrence G. Proulx (email him) lives on the coast of Brittany. His work has appeared in The Unz Review

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