The year 2021 did not start favorably for everyone.
Ron Kelley, a librarian from Arizona, has just got fired after expressing his disagreement with the introduction of the pro-BLM policies in the library he works in.
It all started in July last year when Kelley, along with his colleagues, received an email from the American Library Association (ALA).
In the email, librarians were encouraged to fight for a ‘greater racial and ethnic diversity’ as well as join the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Librarians were further instructed to get educated about the BLM movement’ and ‘critically examine’ library policies in the light of ‘the racial oppression’.
Librarian opposed BLM politicization
Seeing this as an attack on the value of neutrality that has been a landmark of American libraries, Kelley wrote a response in which he openly opposed the instructions.
He emphasized that totalitarian views of the BLM movement should not tarnish the impartiality of library policies and that services should be provided for anyone regardless of their political views.
Kelley added that the fight for diversity in the librarian sector remains narrow-minded as long as it does not account for the fact that 82 percent of librarians are women.
Kelley’s point was that it is hypocritical to strive for racial and ethnic diversity if the lack of gender diversity, which is the most apparent lack of diversity among the librarians.
Named Candace Ovens, Taleeb Starkes, and Jesse Lee Peterson
To make his argument more compelling, Kelley named several black authors that rose their voice against the totalitarian policy of the BLM movement, including Candace Ovens, Taleeb Starkes, and Jesse Lee Peterson.
Kelley also pointed out that he was actually the one who fought for various kinds of diversity by writing articles about different ethnic minorities and making proposals for books and movies about the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
A defense of neutrality earned Kelley nothing but a job loss.
Even though several years ago, he was portrayed by local media as someone who does good things for Navajo people, Kelley received short notice that the recommendation for his removal from office becomes effective immediately.
It was said that the action comes as a result of Kelley’s revolt against pro-BLM policies.
In the aftermath, many of Kelley’s colleagues sent private messages in which they expressed support for what Kelley had enough courage to do.
Yet, the fact that they could experience a fate similar to Kelley’s if they raise their voice is the reason why all of the supportive colleagues remained anonymous.
It is such a pity that the country that once enjoyed the greatest level of liberty in each sphere of its life now faces such an intense amount of pressure from leftist ideologies that do not tolerate anything but their dogma.
And, as Kelley’s example shows, these ideologies are growing so much that they permeate an increasing number of institutions in the U.S.
Kelley’s library is just one of these institutions.