Opinion: Keep our children innocent

Sep 26, 2023

To the editor:

In response to Ms. Baptiste’s letter to the editor dated September 21, 2023.

In Ms. Baptiste’s letter, I could hear true emotion in the causes she feels are important to her, mainly her sense of lost community of her childhood and the community in which her son is growing. I, too, feel that loss. The world has changed, sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the not so good. I feel sadness when I feel my grandchildren have to live and grow in a world so divisive and filled with hate toward all that is dear to them. Four of my grandchildren, too, are of color and their issues are not something I lived with. I get it. But when asking them, and their mother, she was the one who experienced prejudice in her time growing up, not my grandchildren. They live in a pretty diverse community where all are equal without “embarrassment” as Ms. Baptiste states. Their community sees through one lens, even though they have different backgrounds, diversity, and ideologies. Rochester is still the same as when I moved here 45 years ago, filled with pride, compassion, and a sense of belonging no matter who you are or what your beliefs. All need open minds and not demean opposing viewpoints. “All seemingly good people who are happy to just come together for their neighbors” still exist in this town.

All perspectives changed when people decided they were being victimized. Basically, people surrounded themselves in the shroud of “anti-racism” to shield themselves from all criticism and opposition. “Anti-racism” has become a social contagion. Ms. Baptiste states “she feels bad for the Queer kids and families”. I feel bad for all children who find themselves on the bench during tryouts because they are weird, too fat, too puny, or unpopular. Families can help these kids with attaining books and having discussions that ease the experiences they are feeling. However, the issue of responsible parents in the tri-town area, or anywhere else for that matter, is quite clear. Adults in authoritative public positions do not possess the right, outside of the parental authority, to promote any sexual materials to minors, not now or ever.

According to APA (American Psychological Association) maturation level for a young adult is age 20-35. “But even though many 17-year-olds think they are adults; their brains still have not yet fully developed.” Free Diverse Libraries are accessible to minors with inappropriate sexual material I have found on two occasions. Not only that, Ms. Baptiste has promoted the use of these books (reading one with a display of others) on her Facebook page on October 23, 2022, using the guise of TTAR, “thanking Uncle Jon’s for providing a comfy safe space to enjoy coffee and a good read” in one comment she stated “enjoying some good porn” mocking your neighbors concerns for their children’s education is not kind nor compassionate and most certainly does not bring the community together. It is the opinion of many community members that these books are not appropriate for children and are most definitely not appropriate material to be available to students in our public-school libraries. You are free to make the decision as a parent to bring them into your home, for your child to read, not display them or make a mockery with your intent.

If finding books are difficult to find in your “slim choices at the Plumb library” you should have gone online to find eight of the ten books on the SAIL network through the Plumb library. According to TTAR’s site, “Little Free Libraries” recommended reads for LGBTQ + and Read by Color by Megan Hanson, plus the Anti-racism category, the SAIL network would afford you the books you seek for your diverse family. The misinformation that “people in this community believe discrimination and racism are problems in this town or community”, is not accurate. You can access all the books you want from SAIL and not make it a community problem. Perception is everything, and do not speak as if you are a victim. Your goal is exclude and silence the opposition and those who think differently. The TTAR Facebook post dated September 16 tells the community what Anti-Racism demands – this ideology demands compliance and constant education – Will Ms. Baptiste and TTAR ever be satisfied or happy with our community’s humble efforts to be better people? We believe we already know the answer to that question.

It is your responsibility as a parent to provide your child, or your group’s children with what they need, do not make it the responsibility of the community and its tax payers. Don’t rely on “racism”, that is not the issue - it is the pornographic material you demand to be available and think is so appropriate for ALL children – that is the issue. Bravo for auditing your diverse library after I found those books. They shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Yes, the library trustees have a difficult decision to make, no stomping your feet or my feet will change their decision for our town. But ultimately it is their decision without pressure or tirades like I witnessed at the 14th meeting during community speaks from one member of TTAR.

Sandra Bock, Rochester