Downers Grove Village Council Ousts Only Conservative Library Board Member in Service of Inclusion
 
Downers Grove Village Council Ousts Only Conservative Library Board Member in Service of Inclusion
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   09.07.17

Can you hear the harmonious choir of diverse voices echoing from the Downers Grove Public Library Board of Trustees? You can’t? Oh, that’s right, Tuesday night in the service of diversity and inclusion, the Downers Grove Village Council expelled the one conservative member from the library board.

The controversy began when a “monitor” from the League of Women Voters attended a recent library board meeting at which board member Arthur Jaros expressed concerns over these three items that had been unexpectedly added by a yet-unnamed staff member (or members) to a proposed long-range strategic plan:

  1. Provide regular training for all staff in equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  2. Incorporate inclusive practices into library services.
  3. Create a diversity strategy for hiring.

The “monitor,” Susan D. Farley, claims that Jaros “proceeded to continue to express his personal view on how we should… reject any… people different from white straight people.” This claim—which Jaros vigorously denies—clearly suggests that Jaros seeks to reject persons and that he holds racist views.

Jaros objected to #2 because he believed the term “inclusive” was too ambiguous. He’s of course right. Only sociopaths would think all phenomena or all perspectives on all phenomena should be included in libraries, particular in the children’s section. The library board agreed and struck item #2 from the list.

Jaros objected to #3 because such language usually refers to hiring quotas based on identity politics, and he believes that hiring should be based on merit. He’s right again. I would go further to say that the term “diversity”—like “inclusive”—is too ambiguous. Diversity is neither intrinsically good nor bad. It simply refers to differences. In the service of diversity, does the board want to hire KKK members, infantilists, and Antifa anarchists who have no respect for authority, rules, policies, or social conventions?

Most Americans by now know that “diversity” is code for race, class, sex, homosexuality, and “transgenderism.” The staff member (or members) who surreptitiously added these action items likely meant that the library should hire based on membership in these categories. What this phantom staff member (or members) surely did not mean is that library hiring decisions should ensure ideological diversity among staff members. The board voted to change the word “hiring” to “recruiting.” Meh.

And now we come to the part that twisted up the knickers of monitor Farley. Jaros opposed any requirement that all staff members be “trained” in “diversity” and “inclusion.”

“Diversity” and “inclusion” are terms exploited by the Left to justify purchasing picture books that celebrate two phenomena integral to Leftist sexuality dogma: homosexuality and biological-sex rejection (aka “transgenderism”). Leftists’ commitments to diversity and inclusion are, shall we say, inconsistently applied. Sometimes that is a good thing.

You don’t (yet) see librarians bleating about the dearth of picture books positively portraying polyamory. If love is love, why no picture books about consensually non-monogamous love for the kiddies? Nor do you see those bigoted speciesist librarians begging for picture books that celebrate zoophilia.

Could they be imposing their own prejudiced, provincial, hateful moral beliefs on all of society?

In order to do just that—that is, impose their subjective moral beliefs on all of society—social regressives continue to compare skin color to homosexuality and now to the science-denying “trans” ideology. But subjective erotic/romantic feelings or internal subjective desires to be the opposite sex have no points of correspondence to skin color—an inconvenient fact that Leftists ignore so they can virtue-signal and call people hateful bigots. Just don’t go calling them “hateful bigots” for their moral views. That would be bullying and make them feel unsafe.

Downers Grove Public Library presumably embraces the Library Bill of Rights that it includes in its library board policies:

  • Materials should not be excluded because of theviews of those contributing to their creation.
  • Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current… issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship…. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  • A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of… views.

Apparently diversity of views matters when it comes to resources but not when it comes to the composition of the board. Instead of banning books, the Village Council of Downers Grove bans people.

“Progressives” are nothing if not hypocrites. While they claim to oppose “book banning,” they engage in de facto “book banning” by simply neither purchasing nor requesting books that offend their sexuality sensibilities. While claiming to value diversity, they seek nothing less than a complete ideological monopoly when it comes to their doctrinaire sexuality ideology.  While claiming to value tolerance and inclusivity, they kick board members who don’t toe the ideological line off library boards. In their foolishness, presumptuousness, and self-righteousness, regressives violate their own principles, stooping to coercive and oppressive tactics to eradicate diversity and dissent.

“Progressives” claim to value diversity and inclusion even as they fight like pit bulls to quash both. The idea-police rationalize their censorship, people-banning, and assault on the First Amendment by arguing that some ideas may hurt the feelings of some people. So, are we as a society willing to apply that principle consistently? Are we willing to say that any idea that may hurt the feelings of people must be banned from public expression and that anyone who expresses those ideas must be prohibited from working or serving on diverse boards in America?

In prior rational times, safety entailed the absence of physical harm—not the absence of ideas we don’t like to hear. The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak freely and that includes the right of people whom Leftists hate to express moral propositions Leftists hate.

You know what’s as least as scary as book-banning? A society that can no longer distinguish right from wrong is at least as scary. A society that prevents people from working because of their moral beliefs about sexual behavior is at least as scary. And a society that places sexual desires above children’s needs, religious liberty, and speech rights is at least as scary.

In the packed room of 200 people on Tuesday night, 21 people spoke: 16 in favor of the village council’s decision to oust Jaros, 5 opposed. In a town of 49, 500, are there not 20—or 200—conservatives with the spine to come alongside Jaros?

Fortunately, Jaros is an attorney. He’s suing monitor Farley, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, and village councilman Greg Hosé for defamation.

Remember James Damore, the Google software engineer who in a measured and smart internal memo made a persuasive case that Google was an “ideological echo chamber” and was promptly fired? Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully and his Gang of Six just “googled” Arthur Jaros.

Listen to this article read by Laurie:


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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty years, and they have four grown children and five grandchildren....
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