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Guess what the librarian is teaching your kids on 'social justice'

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Photo - American Library Association members are actively pushing a social justice program known as "The Celebration of Dia" that critics contend is actually propaganda for liberal political activism. (AP Photo)
American Library Association members are actively pushing a social justice program known as "The Celebration of Dia" that critics contend is actually propaganda for liberal political activism. (AP Photo)
Education,Op-Eds,Gabriella Morrongiello,Analysis

Librarians are stereotypically seen as bespectacled killjoys shushing patrons to be quiet, but that's from the "Leave It To Beaver" era.

Not so nowadays, because librarians - judging by the program for the 2013 American Library Association's Chicago conference held two weekends ago - are all about feeding children a steady diet of politically correct pablum under the "social justice" rubric.

The phrase social justice is a euphemism in liberalism's public-policy vernacular for Big Government. What social justice is really about is advocacy for higher taxes, unsecured borders, a single-payer healthcare system, more government regulation, intolerance of dissenters like the Tea Party and evangelical Christians, and protecting abortion factories at all costs.

Thus, ALA conference attendees gathered for a poster session regarding a new program to educate children flocking to libraries - aka as "resource centers" - across the nation.

The program is called "Occupy D?a: Engaging Children to Social Justice Issues," and is envisioned to take place annually on April 30. That day is to be known as D?a de los Ni?os/D?a de los Libros (children's day/book day) - when libraries, schools, museums and community centers supposedly celebrate their year-round commitment to children and books.

"The celebration of D?a emphasizes the importance of imparting literacy to children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds," noted one of the session materials. "What better day to advocate for a just and equitable society, considering D?a clearly represents the advocacy of social justice?"

Occupy D?a is to educate children on social justice issues in order to challenge and "encourage them to feel empathy and learn how to work well with others."

Among the tools librarians will use to that end are bilingual and Spanish-language picture books. A story hour and post-story discussions will be held in order to illustrate social justice issues like immigration, gender roles, racism and social inequality to the children. In communist countries, such sessions are usually found in "re-education camps" --- aka gulags.

One of the proposed books is nearly synonymous with President Obama's 2008 campaign message. Titled, "ÁS?, se puede! Yes, we can: Janitor strike in L.A.," this children's book is based on the Justice for Janitors strike in Los Angeles, Calif. in 2000 when thousands of Service Employees International union members opposed privatization and encouraged other progressive unions to do the same.

Other D?a books include: "La Calle es libre" [the streets are free] which will be used to educate children on social protest and nonviolent resistance, and "Mi mam? es preciosa" [my mother is beautiful], which focuses on discrimination.

The ALA program even developed a kid-friendly definition of social justice and its key features, some of which include: oppose discrimination on account of gender, sexuality, socio-economic and immigration status; support worker's rights, environmental issues and health rights.

Ryan Messmore, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, noted that, while definitions like the aforementioned are often genuinely intended to promote charity, the more closely they are examined, the more likely are their underlying conflicting rationalizations to surface.

"Advocates promote social justice in the name of helping people. Yet they often designate strategies that are distant and impersonal," Messmore wrote in a 2010 commentary.

"The adjective "social" implies that justice involves the numerous bonds, relationships and institutions of an entire society, yet its approach often seems myopic, viewing government as the sole source of effective change," he said.

It is the greatest of ironies that with the ALA's enthusiastic endeavor to push a social-justice agenda upon children, the historical truth of America's greatest public library philanthropist has been ignored. Andrew Carnegie, the founder of America's public libraries, was an icon of individual liberty and entrepreneurial enterprise.

What would he think of librarians using their position as beneficiaries of taxpayer funds to preach a liberal political agenda disguised behind a vague concept like social justice?

Perhaps ALA members would benefit from reading some of the books on American history to be found gathering dust among the shelves.

Gabriella  Morrongiello is an intern with the Analysis staff of the Washington Examiner.

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Gabriella Morrongiello

Commentary Staff Intern
The Washington Examiner