On the list of things that burn my buns: People trying to mislead the public for a supposed cause.
Some things are not quickly explained, and I get that. If it comes to the government, it’s easy to get mixed up.
But when some person or group has an agenda and goes about making a case based on innuendo and mistruth, and they recruit people who don’t know any better, that just isn’t right.
By tugging at their heartstrings and supposed theology, ordinary people are somehow bamboozled to believe all sorts of nonsense.
Like this: The Citrus County Libraries are a danger to our children. Therefore certain book displays must be banned.
Poppycock. Anyone with sense knows that’s crazy, yet somehow we’ve allowed a small-minded former Miamian and his pals to believe they now hold the moral code of Citrus County.
Some things just need to be said: Do not fall for this lie. Seriously Citrus County, we are much better than this. Much more is at stake than a simple Gay Pride library display.
So let’s talk about it.
I don’t know how much time kids spend in public libraries these days, but as a teenager I was in one a lot. Most nights for sure, researching this or that. I wasn’t a fan. Never a scholar, libraries were utterly boring to me. I could think of no single reason to spend more time in one than necessary.
(Despite that disdain for books, I somehow graduated from high school and college, following that with a career in the writing field. Who woulda thunk?}
As time went on, like with a lot of things, my perspective on libraries evolved, particularly with the Citrus County libraries. Long before anyone thought of the library here as anything other than, you know, the LIBRARY, I spent quiet time there, checking out books. Still do.
I get to enjoy certain writers (Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey come to mind) and will scope out their books on every single visit. I have read and re-read them all.
I’m going to be frank. These authors use very bad words in their fiction. Very, very bad. Some pages, by golly, include sex scenes by people who are not married. Scattered through their books is graphic (but hilarious!) violence.
You ought to see what’s in the library. Sometimes I take a stroll through the shelves just looking at titles. I mean…it’s endless, right? Title after title, author after author. I have much respect for these people — they wrote a book that’s in my public library.
I doubt I have more than 10 favorite authors in the library — a diverse and lively collection of fiction and nonfiction alike — but it’s a comfort knowing they’re there anytime I want.
Look. I know a good meaty issue when I see one. The parkway is a good issue. The turnpike is a good issue. Growth is a good issue. It’ll be warm soon, so yahoos on the river will be a good issue. These are actual, real things that impact actual, real citizens.
This library deal is nothing but some people trying to push their morality on us all by shutting down access to any written word that goes against their way of thinking. That is just plain wrong. You think they’ll stop at this? Be serious.
I know this is harsh but we need to see the bigger picture. The library advisory board, an all-volunteer group, many of whom have served for years, are getting pummeled by these self-righteous know-it-alls who are just looking for trouble.
I mentioned at the top I hate misinformation campaigns. You know what’s worse than that? Bullying. Intimidation. Playing gotcha. Hiding in the shadows. That behavior affects good people personally. Outstanding public servants are reduced to tears over the pushy and rude tactics of the Library Guy Gang.
It’s not right. It’s not fair. I’m frankly tired of it.
And it’s definitely not the moral fiber of Citrus County.
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.