Skip to comments.The American Library Association Purges its Racist Feminist Founder
Posted on 07/05/2019 7:53:42 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell
The American Library Association Purges its Racist Feminist Founder
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
The Dewey Decimal System is the foundation of the modern library. Hundreds of thousands of libraries have laid out their collections around the work of the founder of the American Library Association.
Now Melvil Dewey has been purged by the American Library Association.
The ALA's resolution declares that its founder "does not represent the stated fundamental values of ALA in equity, diversity, and inclusion" and thus will rename the Melvil Dewey Medal to something else.
Renaming an award, without renaming the Dewey Decimal System seems odd, but stripping Deweys name from a meaningless award is easy, transforming library catalogs is a lot more difficult.
Virtue signaling is easiest when it takes very little work.
The purge was inevitable. The ALA is a leftist organization and Dewey had been due for the worst kind of revival. His name had begun showing up in the posts that millennial progressives who dont know any history write to denounce the political incorrectness of some overlooked figure from the past.
Deweys sins from 1906 are only new to lefty millennials with no knowledge of history beyond last week.
The denunciation of Melvil Dewey rests on two sins that were not only very well known in his own time, but had already been dealt with a century ago, his sexual harassment of female librarians, and his racism and anti-Semitism. Not only was his misconduct well known, but over a hundred years ago he was forced out of the ALA over sexual harassment and out of the New York State Library over anti-Semitism.
Why did the ALA create an award named after a man it once shunned as a creep with wandering hands?
Melvil Dewey made the American Library Association what it is and his failings and faults are writ large across the entire spectrum of liberal intellectual life. The millennial friendly hot takes on Deweys life reduce him to another racist, sexist white man from a bygone era. And that ignores the actual reality.
Dewey was in a position to sexually harass numerous women because he was a feminist.
As a key figure in the Mens League for Woman Suffrage, Dewey had appeared at suffrage events and marched alongside suffragettes to call for votes for women. He got women into Columbia by hijacking a classroom, creating the first library school, the School of Library Economy at Columbia, and admitting a mostly female class to a college that did not allow women over the protests of the trustees.
That class went on to become leaders in a new field that would be dominated by women.
Along with his wife, Dewey championed birth control, votes for women, and the League of Nations. He was a progressive hero, before he was disgraced, was resurrected as a hero, before being purged again.
The intersection between male feminists and sexual predators dates back well over a century. The stories eager to lay out all the complaints of sexual harassment against Dewey for decades neglect the role his progressive social views played in his actions. Did Dewey advocate for womens rights because it gave him more opportunities to prey on women? Or did his social views cause his abuses?
Dewey had been a member of the American Social Hygiene Association which promoted sexual education and birth control. At the Conference on Race Betterment, a eugenics group, he argued for a ban on tobacco. Margaret Sanger, who combined eugenics and birth control, listed him as an endorser.
At least one article has linked Dewey to the Oneida Community, a communal sexual cult whose founder coined the term, free love. An early joke about Dewey from his chums has him heading to that "Paradisi of bliss, that Oneida Community where all men are free and equal, and all women ditto."
Instead, Dewey turned library science into his own commune, surrounded by women he groped and harassed, even as he championed their equality and boosted their professional careers.
Its an old story. And it created the American Library Association.
Some viewed the Lake Placid Club, which generated the accusations of anti-Semitism over its exclusion of Jews, to attempts to create another progressive utopian community, married to Deweys obsession with the metric system. (All the guests had to turn out the lights and go to sleep by 10 PM.)
Rules barring Jews from clubs werent unusual. But Deweys rules took a progressive eugenic tone.
A members Christian wife was banned because her blood was one-quarter Jewish. American anti-Semitism was social. Deweys racial anti-Semitism would later find its eugenic echo in Nazi Germany.
The specific ban, of which Jews ran afoul, extended also to consumptives, or other invalids.
Dewey was a member of the Eugenics Committee of the United States.
The Lake Placid Club had been set up for the educators and thinkers who were Melvils friends and allies. It was not the country club of a reactionary set, but the society of a progressive elite.
The anti-Semitism at the Lake Placid Club was not old. It was a New Anti-Semitism of the Left.
Melvil Dewey and his wife Annie were obsessed with improving the race. Jews had no place in their vision of a progressive nation run by a master race using eugenics to improve the species.
Just as Deweys sexual harassment stemmed from his progressive views, so did his anti-Semitism.
Those facts are absent from the stories about his name being removed from ALA award. None of them address the reality that Deweys lechery and bigotry defined progressivism and leftist politics today.
Dewey suffered from the typical progressive obsession with modernity and efficiency. The end result was dehumanizing and disastrous. The founding genius of the library system was almost impossible to listen to as a teacher, intolerable as a colleague and an obsessive-compulsive mess as a friend.
Melvil Dewey was an obsessive progressive. The first clue is in his first name. A fierce advocate of spelling reform, Dewey changed the spelling of his name from Melville to Melvil and from Dewey to Dui.
Skolars agree, he ranted in a sample of what his spelling reform would have done to the language, that we hav the most unsyentif ik, unskolarli, illojical & wasteful spelling ani languaj ever ataind.
Deweys obsession with reforming everything made him the toast of progressives. He championed transforming the language and imposing the metric system. He wanted to see everything modernized. The progressive reformer envisioned a world of rigid conformity and unstoppable change. He resolved the paradox, as all lefty reformers do, with a totalitarian answer of tyrants imposing new world orders.
And, like all radicals, he lived long enough to run afoul of the new world he had brought into being.
While the ALA can take Deweys name off its medal, the unified duality of his feminism and sexual harassment, his progressive values and bigotry, his obsession with the new and destruction of the old, characterize the movement that is purging him. Lefties can get rid of Dewey, but not the Dewey within.
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The ALA only supports faggots, pedophiles, trannys, and feminists. There’s your “diversity and inclusion”.
When is PP going to get to Margaret Sanger?
One of US history’s checkered figures.
When the good Lord gets to one of His high irony points.
They say you should NEVER meet you heros. Melvil dewey is a prime example for librarians .
The ALA had a Biden medal?
A hero is often a checkered soul in this mortal world. He carries a great burden. Dewey did do a lot for general library cataloguing. His system isn’t as good for specialty libraries. It stinks that he was a womanizer, but this is the kind of card that reality deals us.
A fierce advocate of spelling reform, Dewey changed the spelling of his name from Melville to Melvil and from Dewey to Dui. Skolars agree, he ranted in a sample of what his spelling reform would have done to the language, that we hav the most unsyentif ik, unskolarli, illojical & wasteful spelling ani languaj ever ataind.
He'd be torn to shreds if he were on the web today.
He was just a rake, trying to get laid. This same association supports drag queen reading hour.
Eugenics, in turn, were a common folly of his time, as was unreasoned hate towards Jews. The problems towards Jews were in turn the result of uneducated Christians — who didn’t understand their own Savior and bible. One can catalogue a whole library and yet understand little of what’s in it.
According to the article she and Dewey were fellow believers in eugenics. If he were only a white female he would be getting a pass like baby killer and black hater Sanger!
English spelling reform attempts are nothing new. But English has carried on with its quirky spellings which bear testimony to its capability to absorb words from every other tongue and keep on going. What Dewey could do for the invented world of library cataloguing numbers, English has stoutly resisted.
Or, to quote the Soviet ambassador from Dr. Strangelove: "The Premier is a man of the people, but he is also a man, if you follow my meaning."
Funny how the liberal elitists are coming for MLK based on the FBI tapes. I wonder when they will come for Bill Clinton?
I’m also curious about a broader history. Did this keep up for all of Dewey’s life? One feature of the modern “liberal” viewpoint on people is that they are static, one-dimensional entities.
When they become thoroughly incapable of embracing the kind of nuance found in, for example, the story of David in the bible.
By ditching God they end up becoming their own “damn each other to hell” committee.
Dewey Decimal system -- we were shown this metric monstrsity by my second grade teacher, who I'm pretty sure dated Dewey at one time, when both were in their 20s. :^) The Library of Congress Classification System is used in most public libraries today. I seem to recall that Isaac Asimov was proud of having at least one of his own titles in each DD number.
Hey, it was a big thing in school libraries. I remember engineering school libraries that were absurdly concentrated in one little Dewey decimal area, when that system wasn’t appropriate for it. But it did tie the books into the greater classification system.
Asimov, the atheist, inadvertently made some pretty good cases for Christianity, if only sometimes as cautionary tale.
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