EDITORIAL: Libraries become targets for HATE assaults

We will never manage, reduce or eliminate hate and hate-related crime in our society. Now some libraries have become targets of HATE assaults because some of their work has been viewed through the lenses of HATE.

In June, PRIDE MONTH, some municipal libraries in Ontario incorporated presentations and family-friendly drag events, sometimes using performers from the LGBTQ community. In response, many of the events have been met with a deluge of hateful comments and threats from the general community.

Some libraries have held “Drag Story Hour” events featuring performers in drag reading children’s books about inclusion. The events have sparked ‘flashpoints of anger,’ threatening responses from conservative movements in Canada likely influenced by rhetoric and policies in the U.S.

Libraries were accused of assisting pedophiles and even threatened with lawsuits. Libraries in Pembroke, Pickering, Orillia, and Whitby as well as in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver received many hateful and threatening comments.

Police in numerous cities have been monitoring the hateful threats, which have gone as far as demanding “torches be lit” and that performers be burned alive.

The public library in Pickering, Ont., said it received a wave of homophobic and transphobic comments, both via phone and online, following an article and video report by True North, a right-wing media outlet founded by Candice Malcolm.

Libraries in Whitby and Scugog were the subject of a petition posted on CitizenGO, an international conservative advocacy group. Staff at Whitby said many of the complaints they received came from outside the community. 

Hate in all forms, unacceptable
It is disappointing and very saddening to see this type of narrow view grow deep roots in our society. Society comprises all sorts of people, the operative word is ‘people’ and these people deserve recognition as being active and real members of our society. We may not agree with or abide by their views, philosophies, or their lifestyles. But who are we to rule over them, judging them as deserving of eradication from our society.

Sad commentary on our society
It is a very sad commentary on our society when we tolerate, accept and support groups who advance or encourage violence against anyone. Unless a crime has been committed, there can be no justification for such actions. And even in the case of crime, let justice and the legal system prevail. Isn’t that what our society is about?

Pickering library I support you in your endeavours, even if or when I may not agree with all that you do.

Read the full CBC article at HATE

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