My wife almost died from her allergy to cats and dogs, so I can see why some people might work up a dander over Browser the Library Cat. Council members in White Settlement, Texas, in fact, voted 2-1 to evict him from the public library there with 30 days’ notice. But now we learn Browser will keep his mascot job in the wake of a local petition drive and 1,000 Internet messages. Read the details from NPR. Browser is photogenic, lovable, and a skilled rodent catcher.
Still, regardless of Browser’s talents and skillset, Carly and I are of mixed minds. Remember, libraries are about access for all, people’s allergies notwithstanding, and from what I can tell, White Settlement has only one library location. That said, Carly and I worship cats just as ardently as TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows does, a passion evident in his post on Browser. Assuming that citizens can visit other libraries near by, I can see the case for Browser staying gainfully employed as the library’s mascot. If nothing else, keep in mind that cat dander doesn’t travel over the Net, and White Settlement residents can check out ebooks from OverDrive—hardly a substitute for a full library but still better than nothing at all.
What I’m curious about is how many people would be affected. I find it telling that a keep-Browser petition got started, but nothing from the “anti” camp as far as I know. I wonder how many citizens of this particular town are allergic to animals. And where do you draw the line? 20 people? 50? Or just one?
The seven reviewers of the library on Google show a pro-cat, pro-library sentiment. The Google rating is 4.5 out of five stars. Kudos to the librarians there for the library’s positives. Judging from the July event calendar there, the White Settlement librarians are keen on such basics as story-telling hours. Good! Not so terrific is that the story-telling hours don’t happen on weekends when young families could probably most benefit from them. Can’t the White Settlement library have both a cat and a schedule friendlier to working parents? Hello, City Council? Can you help the library expand summer hours? Over at Yelp, the library rating is a little lower, 3.5 out of five, but that’s with an even smaller number of reviews, just two.
Now, on to the next issue, given that White Settlement is in the news. The cat and the nice little library notwithstanding, what a horrible name for a town in an American riven by racial divides!
Ugly history lurks in White Settlement’s background. Two settlements once existed in the area—one for native Americans and the other for white people. White Settlement was incorporated in 1941. Sixty-four years later the city voted 2,388 to 219 against a proposal to change the name to West Settlement. According to the 2010 Census, just 140 native Americans and 497 mixed-race people resided then among the 16,116 inhabitants. 12,949 were pure white. Purity doesn’t necessarily mean affluence. Estimated median family income in 2013 was a mere $38,272, well below the $51,704 for Texas.
Simply put, I think White Settlement has more to worry about than dander from a library cat, and if Browser can draw more people to library to upgrade their skills and maybe learn more tolerance along the way, than more power to him.
At least there is some hope on the diversity front. The percentage of people in White Settlement who are of Hispanic or Latino origin—any race—rose from 14 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2010. I’d love to know how the name vote would go in 2016. Meanwhile, from afar, I’ll love Brower the Cat but hate the name of his town, so remindful of Confederate Flags.
Closer to home: My hometown of Alexandria, VA, still has a Confederate soldier statue in the middle of Washington Street. We’re thoroughly multiracial. Just when will local and state politicians wise up? Some legalities at the state level are one barrier, but could another reason for inaction so far be tourist dollars? No, don’t grind up the soldier. Put him where he belongs—in a slave museum.
David, pick up a copy of this book, which has been in print for half a century:
That’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right by Linda Gordon:
It’s a history of the birth control movement, of Margaret Sanger, and of the American Birth Control League, which is today’s Planned Parenthood.
Her history, supplemented by numerous others over the years, presents a clear message. In the very early twentieth century, feminists faced a problem. Very few of them were having children. In progressive circles where eugenics was a basic belief, that was regarded as bad and a fuss over Race Suicide resulted.
Led by Margaret Sanger, feminists, virtually without exception, agreed that the differential birthrate between the so-called fit and unfit could only be solved by negatives eugenics, mean forcing down the birthrates of the unfit, with no resort to positive eugenics, meaning forcing these ‘superior’ women to have more children. The latter is why today’s feminists refer to “forced motherhood.”
If you want original source documents of that shift, I’ve collected them in this book. Notice that you can pick up a used copy for under $2.
Read what the said for themselves. Sanger’s book title, The Pivot of Civilization, is based on the concept that civilization ‘pivots’ on keeping down the birthrate of inferiors. And note all the fury that American liberals direct at white, church-going plumbers or their European counterparts at the out-of-work machinists who voted for Brexit. Now, imagine that fury, consider what they really think about a crime-riddled, drug-addled black underclass. It isn’t pretty.
Nazi eugenics drove the American variety underground, resurfacing as population controllers in the 1950s with Sanger’s branch now calling themselves family planners. It was the same people funded from the same sources, typically wealthy foundations. In the 1950s, in the midst of a baby boom in white suburbia, they remained silent. The fit, they believed, were outmuliplying the unfit.
But in the early 1960s, the birth control pill came out, sending white middle and upper class birthrates plumeting. It would drop below the replacement level in 1972. Black birthrates remained high though, so eugenists, who’d been alarmed a generation early about the high birthrates of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, became very worried.
Their response was a well-funded lie on a massive scale, so absurd that of course the news media fell for it. We were in the midst of a population explosion, they said, that would lead to worldwide famine by the late 1970s. Yeah, I know, that didn’t happen, but there’s no easier group to befuddle than journalists. They never learn either. One of those population bomb hysterics recently warned of massive species extinction due to global warming. The media swallowed that one too.
During the late 1960s, the leading voice for abortion legalization was Dr. Alan Guttmacher, president of Planned Parenthood-World Population. Not surprisingly, he was also a fomer vice-president of the American Eugenics Association. See the connection. Journalists never did or, to be more accurate, carefully ignored it.
Roe v. Wade recognized the connection, noting in its first paragraph that the the decision had “eugenic” and “racial overtones.”
Now look around and note some interesting facts.
1. Liberals quote almost every stastical difference between whites and blacks as evidence of racial intent. They never refer to abortion rates over twice that of whites. Suspicious to say the least.
2. Liberals display a great zeal for bringing abortion to the poor, particularly the black and Hispanic minorities. That’s choice, they claim. Odd, when they same child, left unaborted, is but a few years older, they’re hostile toward that same mother having any choice as to her child’s education. No matter how dismal the public schools, she can’t turn to charter or private schools, something liberals do as a matter of course. And the reason isn’t just the Democratic party’s obsesiance to teachers unions.
Now a mental exercise for you. Imagine the black community as consisting of two groups much like every other. One crooked and corrupt, either as politicians or as criminals in poor neighborhoods. The other as honest, law-abiding, decent people.
Look at virtually every policy and practice of liberals. Cities such as Detroit at commonly corrupt, hell holes because they’re run by crooked black politicians and officials. Noticed any effort by white liberals to root them out. I haven’t either.
Or how about criminals. In recent years crime, particularly the murder rates, in poor big city communities has gone down. The reason? Strict enforcement of drug laws. You can’t successfully prosecute a black drug dealer who kills another black drug dealer, but you can catch him dealing drugs and give him the maximum. It’s just like getting Mafia kingpins for tax evasion when you can’t get them for murder. And yet what are liberals busily doing now? They want those criminals released early and police enforcement in poorer communities. Make the black poor more miserable and the abortion rate goes up. Eugenists have been doing that sort of thing for over a century.
You might have noticed the seeming appearance of a debate over the Ferguson Effect, meaning whether poor miniorities benefit from stern law enforcement. There’s no debate. That enforcement works. It saves lives and allows law-abiding blacks to live in more safety.
No, the real reason for releasing those murderers who couldn’t be convicted of murder but were for drug dealing is to make black communities such hell holes, the black abortion rate is maintained as high as possible.
You can go on and on. Liberal policies from welfare to crime to tax-funded abortions have as their goal preventing as many black babies from being born as possible. Except for the welfare, it’s precisely the policy the Nazi implemented against the Slavs of Eastern Europe and precisely what the Genocide Treaty bans as ‘methods to prevent births.’
Given what’s happening, I think its insanely silly to fuss over little things like names of towns, flags, statues. That doesn’t make any difference. Indeed, that silliness distracts from what really matters.
I once met a liberal English professor who was attending a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. When he exhausted the usual arguments for legalized abortion, he turned to what was, for him as a liberal, the ultimate one. He pointed to a young black man nearby and whispered, conspiratorially, “That’s why we need legalized abortion.”
And indeed he is right and I do believe that’s one hell of a lot more important than silliness about flags, names and words. But then again, all this fuss over symbols distracts discussion away from the real evil doesn’t it? Yes, and that’s why it keeps getting thrown out there.
@Michael: Everything matters—words, symbols, and actions. If you were African-American, just how tempted would you be to move into the community called White Settlement, especially one that as recently as 2005 voted not to change its name?