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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CCLU files lawsuit against WB Library, Mayor


The Milwaukee branch of the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) has filed a legal claim that says a book that is available in the West Bend Community Memorial Library is offensive.

Robert C. Braun of West Allis, Joseph Kogelmann of Milwaukee, Robert Brough of West Bend and the Rev. Cleveland Eden of Milwaukee, representing the Milwaukeebased group, filed the claim with the city of West Bend clerk's office. Named in the claim are the city of West Bend, Mayor Kristine Deiss, the West Bend Library Board and Library Director Michael Tyree. The group is seeking $30,000 per plaintiff, Deiss’ resignation and a racist book be removed and publicly burned or destroyed as a deterrent to repeating the offensive conduct, the claim states.

Pursuant to section 893.80 of the Wisconsin state statutes, the claim says the Library is engaged in having books on display that the plaintiffs consider to be obscene or racial in content and promote violence. The plaintiffs question why a taxpayer funded library makes literature available that has damaged the plaintiffs, the claim states.

The book in question is “Baby Be-Bop,” by Francesca Lia Block, and should be removed from the Library, which is in the vicinity of a school, the claim states. It describes the book as being “explicitly vulgar, racial (sic) and anti-Christian.”


The claim states that specific words used in the book are derogatory and slanderous to all males, and dangerously offensive and disrespectful to all people. The claim says the words can permeate violence, and puts one's life in possible jeopardy, adults and children alike.


mark said...

So, you're burning books now? Sounds like a good plan, and in no way brings back images of Nazi party anti-German book burnings of the 1930s. Great idea!

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

I am? Let me read that article again....

Um, nope. Didn't think so.

jmsetzer said...

Okay, so you're not for this suit? You do not want this book banned from the library and publicy destroyed? You will then speak out that this is going too far and only serves to hurt your original agenda, which I think was worthy of consideration, but this, burning books, it goes way too far. Right?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Speaking on behalf of WBCFSL:

We do not align ourselves with this group. We do not know these people nor have any connection with them in any way.

jmsetzer said...

Ok, but does the WBCFSL still say they are not for banning, let alone burning, books? All you want is a reclassification of some books, correct? Or is this something that the WBCSFL might pursue down the road (banning books from the library altogether)? I want to know, does the WBCFSL support banning and burning books from the library?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Speaking on behalf of WBCFSL:

We are not asking for a ban on books. We are not asking to burn any books. Our petition states our requests clearly.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

First, for the record, you have asked for books to be banned in part of this action you're taking. See your own blog post, where you state "We also told him that we are requesting a "ban" on the The Perks of a Wallflower book." (your emphasis, not mine).

Now, looking at the CCLU's claim, this is utterly ridiculous. Only one of the plaintiffs is from West Bend, yet they want taxpayer money be spent for a grand jury, not to mention $120K. More of my reaction is here.

jmsetzer said...

Right. The reason I am asking is because the fear of many people in the community was that your initial petition was just "a first step." Next, you'd be asking to outright ban books. This outside group now coming in to attempt just that puts you group in a position where I think a definitive statement against banning and burning books, and specifically against this action, will go a long way toward ssuring people of the group's intentions. I for one think both sides have made mistakes, and as for stance on the appopriatness of some books for unsupervised availability to 10-12 year olds, I thought it was certainly worthy of debate. I simply think that a definitive statement that you are against this action would go a long way to helping you with the middle ground in the community. Simply saying you don't align yourselves with this group doesn't tell us if you'd go that route in the future.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Yes, you are correct, and an unfortunate choice of words, indeed. We have since been more careful with our statements (remember, we are averages citizens, just like you), and our petition, in fact, does not ask for the removal of ANY books whatsoever. NO BANS. NO BURNING.

beesbess said...

I have asked this before and you refuse to answer it. I am truly asking for a response. Why do you want to tell my kids what they can/cannot read? I am really capable of handling it. Given that you couldn't pick my kid off a street corner if he was standing alone, why do think you have the right to tell me how to parent? I am not asking you to let me parent your children. Please dont ask to parent mine.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

I do not have that right. Only you do. I do not want to parent your children. Please do not parent mine by forcing them to endure sexually explicit materials in their faces. Leave them were they are = all children have to have it shoved down their throats. Safely place them in another area = only those who want to look at it/check it out will certainly be able to have at it. Quit trying to force all kids to look at sex books. That,in my opinion, is viewpoint discrimination, and a violation of first amendment rights.

beesbess said...

But surely you can look at the book before your children take it out and decide if it is right for them. So can I. Why is there not common ground that can be met? You parent your kids, I'll parent mine. I am not asking your kids to read," sex books" as you define them,(I don't) please don't tell my kids what they can have access too. Thank you for answering my question.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

"forcing them to endure sexually explicit materials in their faces"How is having a book on a shelf "forcing" someone to "endure" it??

"Leave them were they are = all children have to have it shoved down their throats."How is having a book on a shelf equal to it being "shoved down their throats"??

"Quit trying to force all kids to look at sex books"Please provide one single shred of evidence that someone is "forcing all kits to look at sex books".

Surely, Ginny, you've raised your kids to be discriminatory in what books they look at while in the library. They don't just walk in and suddenly have the text of every book on the shelf shoved down their throat. So why would you make such a silly claim for these books?

Amanda said...

It doesn't sound like any of you have read the book in question. "Baby Be-Bop" is hardly derogatory or slanderous to "all males"; in fact, its protagonist is male, and he's portrayed in a very positive light (as are most of the men in the book). And how on earth is it racist? And how does it promote violence? The ENTIRE book is about CONDEMNING violence - particularly violence aimed at minority groups. The premise is that a young gay man is beaten because of his sexual orientation, and as he's lying in the hospital, his family and friends tell him their stories about learning to love who you are. How would that incite violence?

Y'all need to do some reading.

(Additionally, I don't think that this person knows what "permeate" means. Words can "permeate" violence? Yikes.)

Mike said...

As always Ginny doesn't think through her ideas and a whole slew of unintended consequences show up. this is just one more time that Ginny will cause the taxpayers of West Bend money and then she will go on to bitch about taxes and lawyer fees when it is all over. Thanks Ginny you really are an asset to this community.

djustus said...

Ginny may I remind you that originally you did request removal of the books. It was not until you came up against a brick wall you have amended your claims.
By the way, the group that filed the lawsuit is the group ligned with your boy from vcy vick something. You have been on his show and surely you keep him updaed. It would not suprise me if you are getting some fnding from the group that filed. A full page ad in the paper not cheap.
It's all good though. we have the la on our side. Not saying anymore but it's all good.
Maybe I should file a complaint and lawsuit against the library that I want every single book on Christianity, Islam, all books that have anything to do with God removed from the YA section. Oh and whilee were at it, I want all the books that teach kids how to build bombs at home not moved but removed and banned.
You forget your early statements. i guess thats understandable considering how many times you have changed your list of wants.
I'm tired of hearing you say that people don't get it. You only say that about peeps that don't agree with you. As you would say "interesting"