Hundreds of irate protesters packed a Dearborn School Board meeting, angry about explicitly sexual books in school libraries and about comment restrictions imposed by the board.
Although this has been a familiar scene across the country over the past few years, what made this demonstration newsworthy was that large numbers from the Arab and Muslim communities were involved – and LGBT books were being challenged.
Corporate media outlets often portray both groups as “oppressed minorities.” Because of the conflict between two such groups, many outlets simply ignored the event. It didn’t fit their narrative of white Christians attacking a poor, beleaguered minority group.
Columnist Siraj Hashmi noted how the conflict brought Christians and Muslims to protest sexually explicit books in schools. He said it also calls into question “intersectionality,” a dubious concept from critical race theory that teaches that individuals have a variety of identities based on things like race, religion, ethnicity, language, sex, “gender identity,” and sexual attractions and behaviors.
Individuals and groups are subjectively ranked as more or less oppressed, based on different factors in their lives. But here, two “intersectional identities” collided.
Dearborn is next to Detroit, home to the largest Muslim population in the United States per capita, as well as the largest mosque in the country. Over 300,000 Muslims live in Southeast Michigan—which makes the protest all the more interesting: These aren’t Republicans. Dearborn is in Wayne County, which hasn’t voted for a Republican president in 94 years—since Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928.
The protests were spurred on by Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, from the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights. Dearborn.
Qazwini, like Monday’s protest, scrambled the intersectional mindset that rules the woke Left, in which minorities like Arab and Muslim Americans are due special deference due to the marginalization they suffer at the hands of a white supremacist state.
But what happens when a minority community—one that is solidly Democratic—feels aggrieved by another identity group of the intersectional Left? That’s what we’re seeing play out in Dearborn.
Here’s how the diversity dustup in Dearborn developed.
Earlier this year, Stephanie Butler, whose daughter is a student in the district, brought six sexually-explicit LGBT books to the district’s attention, “some available in person and others through the school’s Sora app.”
Butler was concerned because several of the books taught how to perform different sexual acts and told students how to meet people who wanted to engage in those sexual activities.
The board responded in September by temporarily pulling seven books and was establishing a policy for “evaluating books to ensure they are age appropriate and if the content is being presented in an appropriate context.”
The board also temporarily blocked student access to Sora, a reading app which gave students access to hundreds of thousands of e-books and audio books.
According to CBS Detroit,
Board member Mary Petlichkoff, noted the 1982 Supreme Court decision Island Trees School District v. Pico in which the court held “that the First Amendment limits the power of junior high and high school officials to remove books from school libraries because of their content.”
Other members expressed concerns of possible lawsuits stemming from limiting access to content and asked that the city attorney be consulted moving forward.
But that wasn’t enough for parents, who attended the very crowded October 10 board meeting, where the board introduced its new process for challenging and reviewing books.
After more than an hour of a mostly peaceful meeting, parents who had signed up to speak were told they would have three minutes each to comment. Then, a fire marshall asked some of the crowd to wait outside (about 1:39), as the room was so full the meeting was breaking the fire code.
He said some would have to watch the proceedings online, until it was their turn to come in and speak.
But the parents were having none of it. Even though the marshall said, “You guys know whose side I’m on.”
Many demonstrators had brought signs, in English and Arabic. One said, “If Democracy matters, we are the majority.” Another read, “Keep your porno books to yourself, in your house not in our kids hands. Keep your sin in your house.”
Other huge posters vividly displayed the content of some of the books – right where board members had been sitting (about 1:24).
When the parents would not leave or be silent, the board shut down the meeting and rescheduled it for Thursday, October 13, at a different venue. Protestors moved outside, frustrated because they were not heard and shouting, “Vote them out.”
The Dearborn School Board also banned signs and posters at all upcoming meetings.
We’re certain there will be plenty of fireworks as the meeting resumes. And we’re also certain the conflicts between these “intersectional” minorities will continue to cause headaches for leftist idealogues.
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Our free resource, Back To School For Parents, helps parents – and other concerned citizens – discover what’s happening in schools, explains children’s and parent’s rights and offers suggestions about how to respectfully advocate on behalf of children.
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Photo from Twitter.