Library Research Notes #35
Library Research Notes is a product of hippiegrrl media. At hippiegrrl media we believe that Black Lives Matter, Climate Change is real, Treaties need to be honored, Women have autonomy, Love is love, No human is illegal, Science=Truth, Unions are essential, the United States needs gun reform immediately, and the time for Trans Liberation is now! We value your readership. If you enjoy the Library Research Notes newsletter, please share it with a friend.
Hello and welcome back. Happy Pride month! Much like Earth day, I feel like pride should be EVERY day, but it’s cool to celebrate extra in June as well.
Also - if you didn’t see the Tony Awards last night, be sure to check out the opening number (Ariana DeBose rocks, of course - viva la vie Broadway!) and this amazing performance from the cast of Paradise Square and Tony Winner (!) Joaquina Kalukango. A Strange Loop, Six, and a reunion of the original cast from Spring Awakening. Broadway is back! I cannot wait to get back to the city, hopefully soon.
You would think that the three-week stretch, due to the additional Sunday in May, would mean I was able to get a lot of ‘extra’ research done for this issue, but, alas, I have been working on settling into my new home and am just getting back into the swing of reading and writing. For this issue, I’m going to share links to other pieces that I think are important right now. There is so much going on in the world that it can be difficult to keep up, but it is imperative that we all stay informed and continue fighting back against disinformation and the general reframing of incidents to suit specific agendas.
Before we get to the links though, I do want to talk a little bit about current events.
In the past 3 weeks, there have been 72 individuals killed by people with guns in the United States (source: gunviolencearchive.org). Among those killed were 20 children and 2 teachers at a grade school in Texas. I realize that those of you reading this already know about this awful tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, Texas, but I wanted to mention it here because this just keeps happening without reform of our gun laws. It seems that the people we elected to keep us safe are not going to do anything to honor our votes. They aren’t going to do anything to protect us and those we love from being killed by people with guns. They won’t even do as much as enforce a waiting period for those who want to purchase said guns. It is vile.
This week the family members of those who died in the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings traveled to D.C. to testify in front of Congress on these very points (source: npr.org). To beg and plead for change. To fight for all of our safety. To talk some sense into elected officials who seem to have none. To speak to people like the Senator from my State of residency, Marsha Blackburn, along with Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Ron Johnston, and the rest of their ilk, who consistently skirt the issue of gun control by stating that “Democrats and the media” are politicizing a tragedy (source: rollingstone.com). Always pointing their finger at the other side of the aisle, while the other 3 fingers point right back at them. See, the only people playing politics here, truly, are the Republicans. They think that if they stay the course. and follow the lead of the NRA, they will continue to be elected.
In the meantime, these Republican legislators will continue to offer thoughts and prayers after each mass shooting, but never a solution to the overarching issue. If support for gun control continues to increase, as recent polling has indicated (source: pbs.org), perhaps we will see a change in leadership over the next 2-5 years. Otherwise, we will continue to see these incidents occur and no amount of thoughts and prayers will bring back those who are slaughtered in the name of money, power, and corruption.
Republican legislators need to refocus all the energy they are spending on books, uteri, and drag shows and channel that energy into fixing the ACTUAL travesty that is white supremacy. They need to start restricting people from purchasing guns in a callous and frantic manner and investigate groups in their states who are actively conspiring to harm people of color. They need to work across the aisle to protect ALL of the residents of their states, not just the people who they align with politically. They need to stop pointing fingers and pass some legislation that is good for everyone, rather than the bullshit legislation they have been floating over the past couple years. Florida Governor Ron Desantis, I’m looking at you.
When disinformation is consistently spewed from people like Desantis, concerning the LGBTQIA+ community, it leads to events like what occurred this past weekend where 31 members of the Patriot Front attempted to riot at a Pride Parade in Idaho and Proud Boys members tried to storm a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Bay Area library. As Republicans continue demonizing people for their identities, those with little discernment and a lot of bigotry will act on these fake calls to “protect the children” in ways that are obnoxious and violent.
The events over the weekend are just two in a long line of attacks on LGBTQIA+ folks over the years, but the added layer of political pressure on white supremacist, fascist groups to perpetrate violence based on disinformation is unforgivable. These Republicans know exactly what they are doing and it is taking the United States down a road that the majority of us are not willing to walk down again. We have been fighting to make this a BETTER country, not rewind time. Sorry (not sorry) to say, but the future isn’t about straight, white, affluent, dude’s comfort. It is about the rest of us banding together and making this country free and safe for everyone. I just hope we can do that before it is truly too late.
And now some good news from the stacks
10-year-old Lafayette girl creates library offering free LGBTQ books (klfy.com)
Drag Queen Story Hour Brings Smiles To Church Square Park (tapinto.net)
How To Create A More Inclusive Environment For LGBTQ+ Employees by Hunter Johnson at forbes.com
The Anti-Abortion Movement Killed People. Now Victims' Families Face A Post-Roe World. by Christopher Mathias at huffpost.com
What the Buffalo Tragedy Has to Do With the Effort to Overturn Roe by Jasmine Aguilera and Abigail Abrams at time.com
How to fight book bans and challenges: an anti-censorship tool kit by Kelly Jensen at bookriot.com
LeVar Burton's Opinion on Book Banning Is the Only One That Matters by Audra Heinrichs at jezebel.com
5 myths about educational gag orders by Jeffrey Sachs, Jeremy C. Young, and Jonathan Friedman at pen.org