In a predictable—but nevertheless horrifying—extension of the ongoing wave of book bans across the country (not to mention the bomb threats to a children’s hospital for providing gender-affirming healthcare), Motherboard has reported that at least a dozen public libraries across the country have received bomb and active shooter threats in the past two weeks, forcing cancellations of programming and closures.
While not all of the threats had stated motives (public libraries in Hawaii were closed over the weekend due to an “unspecified threat”), some were explicitly directed at LGBTQ events: “A library in a Chicago suburb canceled its drag bingo night after receiving threats earlier this month. And last week, a teen drag star was forced to cancel a book reading at a library in the Bronx after a series of homophobic threats.”
Library workers who spoke to Motherboard expressed frustration with their employers’ lack of protocol around these threats, particularly given the rise in threats against public institutions in recent years.
If your side sending literal bomb threats to public libraries doesn’t make you stop and think Are we the baddies?, well… you’re exactly as evil and stupid as I assumed. And hey, a special screw you to all the angry Lit Hub commenters through the years who demanded to know what politics had to do with literature any time we published an essay about the former! The answer is this, right here.