Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Palin and book banning

I've been refraining from weighing in on the political drama surrounding Sarah Palin because we're making a concerted effort to focus on books here on the Seal blog. But it's been days now since the rumors have been flying about the supposed list of books that Sarah Palin had banned from her local library, and the librarian she fired. I was forwarded the rumored list this morning, and I was ready to get all worked up about it when Krista, justice-seeker that she is, forwarded me the link to FactCheck.org and their coverage of the myths surrounding Sarah Palin. (Yes, this outs me as not up to speed in my political blog reading since the bogus claims have been out for days.)

Not a Book Burner
"One accusation claims then-Mayor Palin threatened to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. Actually, Palin never asked that books be banned; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication. The librarian was fired, but was told only that Palin felt she didn’t support her. She was re-hired the next day. The librarian never claimed that Palin threatened outright to fire her for refusing to ban books."

It's strange. I'm disappointed and relieved. My mother and I skirt around political conversation. She's the quintessential peacemaker, and I'm quick to get all caught up in the firestorms surrounding the candidates I don't like. So last night when she told me that she felt upset by the coverage of Palin, I thought (in my silent voice), But she is MESSED up! Still, I bit my tongue. Today I'm reminded again that my mother's more balanced approach is a good one. Sarah Palin is not the devil. While I do not support her, and I do not support McCain, it's important to remember, as my mom said last night, "We're talking about human beings here." And isn't that Obama's message, after all? To learn how to disagree without condemning and rushing to judgment. I have a long way to go. But I'm happy to hear that Palin didn't ban books I love from her local library. Along with lots of my peers, I find myself looking for reasons not to like her, but maybe instead I should focus on the reasons why I support Obama and Biden. I'm not even sure that's possible, but it's a worthy personal election-season goal.



Sarah said...

Great post, B. I have been keeping quiet on this one, too, because while I emphatically do NOT support Palin and think that much of what she stands for is upsetting/creepy/backwards, I don't think it's appropriate to demonize her entirely.

In fact, when I have read articles, blogs posts or comments that revile her because she isn't liberal, I end up feeling a little disappointed. We can do better. We should be able to oppose and defeat the McCain/Palin ticket without making shit up or slinging insults.

kholdgrafe said...

My thoughts exactly. I'm going through that while collaborating on this "How To" book I'm writing.

While I want to often say, "This is the right way and that was the wrong way" my collaborator reminds me to keep judgment out of it, and focus on just explaining the benefits of using our methods.

I love when a blogger posts about larger issues such as politics, then relates them to her personal life and inner growth. Well done--I always look forward to your new posts.