Sunday, August 18, 2013
When Libraries are Evicted and Books are Thrown in a Dumpster
It is not accidental that those who display contempt for teachers show equal contempt for books, and for history. Yesterday's demolition of a "people's library" created by community residents adjacent to a Chicago public school in the dead of night by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel bears a startling resemblance to what happened to the 5,000 plus books accumulated by Occupy Wall Street when OWS was evicted, also in the dead of night, by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In each instance, the collection of books lovingly collected and used by thousands of people ended up in a dumpster. In the neo-liberal city, history is an inconvenience, teachers are disposable, and a book is an inanimate object infused with no more significance than a table or a chair. I fear for the future of our children, and for the entire democratic project, if this world view should prevail. It is our responsibility, as custodians of teaching, learning and the democratic tradition, to contest it fiercely.