Isn't it sweet when the High Moralists start getting all hot and bothered?
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Livingston Daily Press and Argus
The office of U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy has forwarded a complaint about inappropriate books assigned to Howell High School students to the FBI, a spokeswoman for Murphy said. Gina Bilaya said that while the referral is routine, it also indicates that Murphy is taking the complaint seriously.
Vicki Fyke of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education made the complaint, alleging that assignments of books by Richard Wright, Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut violate laws against distribution of pornography to minors because they contain depictions of sex and rape, and obscene language. "The Freedom Writers Diary" by Erin Gruwell is also named by Fyke.
Fyke's complaint also went to county prosecutor David Morse and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Morse said he is finishing reading the books and hopes to have a decision by Monday.
Morse said one of the main issues is whether or not the books meet the legal definition of pornography, which includes books that only appeal to readers' prurient interest in sex, and have no literary or educational value. He said the books must be considered as a whole to make that determination, which is why he wants to finish reading them first.
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OK, on the one hand, one is tempted to say, well, at least he's reading them. But "taking the complain seriously"? Richard Wright? Kurt Vonnegut? Toni Morrison?
Are we on Candid Camera?
These are not pornographic authors -end of discussion. Or it should be. You may disagree with their politics, but there is not any question of their legitimacy as serious authors, under the letter of the law, which is where the U.S. Attorney should be operating. But instead the U.S. Attorney turned the case over to the FBI, as if the FBI has nothing at all better to do than try and figure out if Toni Morrison is a serious author. But that's not all- U.S. Attorney Murphy, who apparently thinks the FBI's time is best spent deciding whether Richard Wright writes "smut" or not, has been nominated by the President for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
That will make me sleep better tonight.