A Mississippi Mayoral Mishap Lesson Learned: You Can’t Censor Books


Deuce Ward

“Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me” is one book that Ridgeland, Mississippi Mayor Gene McGee wants to extract from the Madison Public Library.

Deuce Ward, Staff Writer

On January 27, Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee created quite the storm. According to an article published by PBS NewsHour, the Madison County Library had over one hundred thousand dollars withheld from them because of “homosexual material” found throughout the the library.

Mayor McGee stated that because of these books, he will be holding the funds until all of them are removed and will not release the money until his demand is met. He also stated that “as a Christian, he could not support that,” according to Tonja Johnson, executive director of the Madison County Library System. 

Unfortunately, views such as Mayor McGee’s relating to the LGBTQ+ are not uncommon in today’s society. However, that does not make them any less revolting. Not only is the mayor withholding funds a matter of personal bias on his part, it is not something that should be placed into the community as the people in the community likely are not concerned. The “homosexual material” in question has likely been in the library for months, if not years, by this time. So, why is it only becoming a problem now? 

Here’s a simple answer:  it should not be. Public libraries reserve the right to display any book with whatever genre of content they would like to, regardless of the opinions of officials. Now, do not misunderstand me, I am aware of the argument of not wanting to expose young children to homosexuality early in their lives. Parents simply want to protect their kids from subjects seen as “taboo” and keep them away from things they may not yet understand. However, I also think that society should have this choice because doing so will prevent less confusion and allow adolescents to ask questions without coming off as disrespectful. 

Do I agree with Mayor Mcgee’s actions? Absolutely not. We should not limit children to information that could help them better understand the world around them.

It will only delay the inevitable truth that children and adolescents will find information sooner or later. Simply shielding their access to said information is only slowing the progress.

Mayor McGee’s actions are deplorable and should not be continued. Personal belief has no place in affairs dictated by the opinions of the community and should be left in the personal life of the individual.