A Toledo, Ohio, family is looking for answers after officials at the
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library rejected their book donation for being “too political.”
Dean and Melanie Witt, regular library patrons, submitted the book in question, “Killer Angel,” George Grant’s critical biography of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, after they discovered that none of the nearly two dozen books on Sanger held by the library mentioned her controversial views on race or her association with high-ranking Nazi eugenics officials.
Melanie Witt told WorldNetDaily that she had donated the books (two copies) to help promote an academic balance to the library’s weighted collection on the topic.
“We purchased the books ourselves and didn’t ask them to remove anything from the library. We just thought that they at least ought to be providing another perspective,” she said.
Officials at the library’s Holland branch initially accepted Grant’s biography, but central office staff intervened and rejected the book donation. Anthony Schafer, manager of the library’s history, travel and biography travel section, said in a letter to the Witts that “the author’s political and social agenda, which is strongly espoused throughout the book, is not appropriate.”
The Witts have sent several letters to library officials asking for clarification of the library’s selection criteria, but have yet to receive a response. WorldNetDaily’s calls to Clyde Scoles, director of the Toledo library, for comment on this story were not returned.
George Grant, who has co-authored books with Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and presidential candidate Alan Keyes and has more than 70 books in publication, rejects the notion that the Sanger biography is too political.
“I find it odd that when it comes down to my research or other biographies that fawn over Sanger and neglect her racist ideology, I’m the one painted as driving a political agenda,” he told WorldNetDaily.
American Library Association, which co-sponsors the annual “Banned Books Week” in defense of prohibited literature, has stepped into the debate — throwing its support behind the library’s decision to ban Grant’s book. Judith Krug, director of the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, told WorldNetDaily that libraries should be able to deny book gifts and librarians given wide discretion in determining what materials are included in the library’s collection.
“They clearly know best,” said Klug. “I don’t know of a librarian that hasn’t gone out into the community to determine what materials are useful for their community.”
When asked whether that view conflicted with the ALA’s stand against book banning, Krug replied that the organization’s policy only applies to books that have passed librarian muster.
“Our concern regarding the removal of materials regards items that have already been acquired according to the policies and procedures set forth by the library. Once material has been selected, then it shouldn’t be removed if it is ever challenged,” she said.
When told of the ALA’s stand on the controversy, Grant responded, “Their position is simply Orwellian. In the name of intellectual freedom, they man the barricades anytime someone suggests the removal of child pornography from a library, but if anything conflicts with their political agenda, then censorship imposed by the library hierarchy is completely acceptable. They’re encouraging libraries to set up their own Politburo to test books for political correctness.”
WorldNetDaily has learned that the Toledo library may be violating its own policies in rejecting Grant’s book. The library’s material selection statement (adopted in 1972) states, “the Library collection shall include representative materials of all races and nationalities, and all political, religious, economic and social views.” While Grant said that his work is permissible under that criterion, he isn’t surprised at the Toledo library’s reaction to his book.
“Margaret Sanger is one of the patron saints of liberalism,” said Grant, “and any discussion regarding her racist intentions in founding Planned Parenthood have to be quickly put down.”
Grant’s book states that prior to World War II, Sanger was fairly outspoken about her views on other races. The book cites a 1939 proposal for Sanger’s “Negro Project,” a plan developed at the behest of public health officials in southern states, where she writes, “the most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the Minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” The book also documents her plans to set up birth-control clinics in poor New York City neighborhoods to target “Blacks, Hispanics, Slavs, Amerinds, Fundamentalists, Jews and Catholics.”
Also noted in the book is Sanger’s close association with Ernst Rudin, who served as Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization. An April 1933 article by Rudin, entitled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” for Sanger’s monthly magazine, “The Birth Control Review,” detailed the establishment of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene and advocated its replication in the United States. A subsequent article by Leon Whitney published the following June by Sanger, entitled “Selective Sterilization,” praises and defends the Third Reich’s pre-holocaust “race purification” program. After the war had concluded and Nazi atrocities came to light, Sanger quickly changed the name of her organization from the Birth Control League to Planned Parenthood — to distance herself from her earlier Nazi associations.
Grant says that he doesn’t expect his book will be the last to be censored by librarians motivated by political agendas.
“We can expect more of this behavior, because the left is struggling desperately to stay above water,” he said. “Their views are becoming so unpopular that they are having to turn to outright totalitarian tactics and coercive taxpayer funding to plug the holes in the ship to keep their agenda afloat.”
In an odd twist, another of Grant’s books, “Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood,” now in its fourth edition, is the single best-selling book, either pro or con, on the organization.
Melanie Witt’s fight with the library has left her distrustful of the library’s objectivity.
“We are forced to pay for this library through our property and sales taxes,” she said. “It is unconscionable that taxpayers have to foot the bill for them to exercise their brand of censorship. It’s a breach of the public trust.”