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Furries help push fundraising for Mississippi library after a mayor withheld funding in blackmail attempt to censor books

Edited by GreenReaper as of 14:51
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Gene McGee, the mayor of Ridgeland, a northern suburb of the capital city of Jackson, withheld $110,000 from the Madison County Library System. According to the Mississippi Free Press, the executive indicated he would not release the allocated dollars until the library agreed to purge any “homosexual materials”.

The release of this news had set one particular furry into activist mode. Soatok Dhole, a non-fiction furry writer who covers issues around the fandom, social media, and technology, started a thread on his Twitter account pushing for help from the furry fandom to help bridge the gap in the library’s funding. In it he linked to the library’s fundraiser whose goal was initially a modest $2,500, but has since extended multiple times due to reaching that threshold and beyond.

The library is gathering contributions until February 11th and currently sits at $68,500 at the time of publication. The success of this drive in opposition to the Mayor’s actions was published by Vice. In the article they note that the conflict between the mayor and Soatok became quite personal on social media, with the political leader blocking the furry on Twitter. After the continued backlash from other users, McGee later ended up locking his entire account soon after the release of Vice’s article.

In this fight though, furries do not stand alone. When Soatok emailed the library about helping out directly, they responded that they were grateful for the public interest in helping them bridge the funding gap indicating there was already engagement for help before the inquiry. In addition, one of the non-fur persons who contributed a hundred dollars to this campaign donated under the name Ray Mabus, who served as state governor from 1988 - 1992. Along with the donation he had a simple message: “Don’t give into bigots”.


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It's a good story at first and comes when talk of censoring books is going around but this isn't really a principled campaign dedicated to free speech and to oppose censorship, it's still very partisan. As you mention, a lot of it is personal and many of the people praising these actions are perfectly happy to censor views with which they disagree and would probably support the mayor if he were trying to purge books they disagreed with.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I think being gay shouldn't be a partisan issue, and that many in marginalized communities would really love it if their mere existence wasn't political. However given the artificial construct that is partisan politics leads to people tribalizing you get unnatural abominations of thought corralling where all of a sudden your economic theory somehow dictates how you feel about sexuality.

People tend to fight against the censorship they care about. I doubt Joe Rogan will put in any input on this censorship, but will gladly flout the boycott of Spotify as a grave threat to liberty because, well, his livelihood is on the line. Just as a gay person is going to be more adamant in this situation because they see 'book-burning' as the first step towards abnormalizing their existence, and then a move to 'remove' them from existence.

So in essence, what you are indicating is a 'bug' of freedom of protest against what one feels is important without going to bat for all other instances outside their social circles may actually be how the feature works in reality.

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For the most part, I agree with all that. My point is not whether it is good or bad but how the situation is framed. Your headline implies that what people are fighting against is the "attempt to censor books." But it's not that books are being censored that is the problem, it's that books of a specific nature are being censored. The real issue is a concern over "homosexual materials" (Which is a really absurd term). If someone is against censoring books then they would be equally against (though not necessarily equally as vocal) the library removing books that are pro homosexuality as they are about removing books that are anti homosexuality. I think it's unlikely that that is the case.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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The issue right now is that the mayor is not holding back funds because he wants non-gay books removed, the term "homosexual materials" in the quotes are the mayor's own words to the library.

Are there mayors that have asked other books to be banned from libraries in history? Yes. And perhaps the success of this will lead to more people speaking up when it occurs, even if next time it isn't about going after *just* "homosexual materials".

When you're in a fight you fight the fight in front of you. You don't become saddened because the censorship the mayor attempted wasn't 'fair and balanced'.

And going "well you didn't show up at the fight I cared about" is not an excuse to not care about the fight currently happening. That bitterness in "you didn't care about what I cared about so I'm going to go after what you care about or turn the other way unless you fight harder for what I care about" is probably what started us down the road of dual partisan politic to begin with.

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I feel like you're completely missing my point here because I'm in agreement with what you said and I'm not even close to suggesting that people shouldn't care about this. My point is simply that if one is against censorship of views that they agree with but in favour of censorship of views they disagree with, then they are not fighting against censorship, they are fighting for a particular view.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Unfortunately you didn't offer any evidence that the people opposing this instance of censorship are in favour of censorship in certain circumstances - just a casual assertion that many are. You may well be right, but without proof, it comes across as cantankerous ax-grinding.

You could've said something like "I suspect they're really just doing it to support the gay stuff, but hopefully the library can use the funding to resist all forms of library censorship", and it would've gotten your point across effectively, without seeming churlish about Sonious not writing a fourth line to the title to clarify that a specific topic was being censored.

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Once again, but ...





So, just to be clear, these comments make you look homophobic. Also, inconsistent, but it's the first one that is worrying.

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Seriously, dude, there is literally an article about Maus being banned like three articles below this with a grand total of 0 Rakuen Growlithe comments.

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Come on Crossie, if we allow the libraries to put a copy of Mein Kampf on the shelf for every gay book, everything will balance itself out... The ones reading the former will just leave the latter alone because the library is carrying both of their books and everything will seem fair in the world.


EDIT: Well, I mean that's how thinks currently were, the Library in question has that book

Guess the mayor had no problem keeping that one on the shelves... huh...

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And they have it categorized as Juvenile as the target audience?


Say what now...?

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the catalog entries look to be provided automatically, not entered by the library

mein kampf is public domain, so the publisher may not matter so much... it can come from anyone

the publisher "free thought books" has a very generic name, but searching this ISBN brings up a other titles they publish that may indicate a dedicated white supremacist source for that printing

ergo, the library is shelving the public domain hitler book probably for the same historical reason they all do, using automatic categorizing... but it happens to include a propaganda outlet sneaking onto shelves by calling themselves "free thought"

... which perfectly illustrates the problem with Rakuen's hypocrisy of pretending to "both sides" an issue that has no corresponding calls to censor Mein Kampf, including by would-be censors of gay literature (...priorities)

It's the strawman for what stupid people think is a smart person's debate

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In addition rakuen fails (or intentionally omits) mention of that important library concept, notability

Nothing would ever be discarded and the place would overflow if they acquired filler like anti gay propaganda, outdated psych manuals treating same sex attraction as mental illness, etc. And there are probably plenty examples of fiction with dated attitudes on the shelf, further neutralizing the whinge.

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There are specialist places archiving old hate literature and so forth. They are not being burned. Maintaining a public library against bigoted defunding is not even the same issue.

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Huh, turns out spam-blocked-for-anon term 'cialis' is also in 'specialist'. The more you know!

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Do you check every auto-filtered comment?

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Yes, because most of the time it means I need to block an IP [range] so we don't get any more, some of which might get through. Usually there's only a handful, though, thanks to the existing blocks - we have over 2000, last I checked. Admins see such moderated comments in-place, in red, and there's a separate block for them on the front page sidebar.

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Also, sometimes I fatfinger the wrong button and delete the wrong comment.

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The catalog entries look to be provided automatically, not entered by the library

This does not appear to be correct as I just looked through the Nevada library system and found that all of this book were listed as Adult or "Not Catagorized":

The one result that is listed as Juvenile/ adolescent is a biography of Hitler and not his book itself (the book contains the title of his book within)

Another furry I asked also found it in the adult section of their local library database.

So far this one seems to be the outlier. Let me just hope my search history doesn't give me some really bad ads...

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Check which system the library is using or ask them

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The wierd book summary you posted matched verbatim to the top search result, same printing at an australian library

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The "adolescent" book Sonious found is part of a series (Wicked History) of biographies of various historical figures, mostly heads of state, who have gone down as figures of infamy. I saw Idi Amin, Vlad Dracula, the founder of the Spanish Inquisition and the Russian czaress who was fucked to death by a horse (allegedly).

So not intentionally pro-Nazi, in case anyone was wondering what was going on there, but didn't feel the need to curse their browser history.

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I'm not complaining about people fighting against this censorship. My concern has been on framing it as if it's about censorship when I think the majority of people that are involved here are less concerned about censorship in general as opposed to censorship of a specific viewpoint.

And while I have not posted about Maus here, that's because I have nothing more to add about it. I've already posted shared the view that we should not ban it (or any books) and retweeting encouragement for people to read the books that others want banned

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Rakuen, that isn't a thing worth arguing about when the circumstances don't make you look like you're siding with homophobic Nazis

"These people have an agenda for being anti-censorship!"


So what?

I have an agenda for calling you an idiot right now, but it but it doesn't mean you're not being an idiot right now. Agendas are like opinions are like assholes are like aphorisms; we all got'em. Playing ideology Purity Control doesn't actually help your cause, even when it doesn't involve you incidentally endorsing homophobia.

Furthermore, don't fucking do this "I'm not complaining!" Once again, who fucking cares? It's the fucking Internet, Rakuen. Complaing about shit is what we do! Just own that shit.

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How is my being against the mayor's plan to remove books favourable of homosexuality somehow endorsing homophobia? It's fine to argue but at least have some idea of what my position on an issue is before accusing me of something. I've never said anything even remotely supportive of his proposal.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Rakuen, you know I'm not shouting at you for that!

The problem isn't that you are against the banning, the problem is that you barely mentioned it before launching into a sustained attack against the people who were fighting against the banning. You may be against the banning, but the majority of your original comment was a passive aggressive attack on the furries fighting the banning. You attacked the people attacking the censors; you may not be on the censor's side, technically, but you are helping them out! At the very least, this is no way to run a campaign!

Furthermore, this kind of passive-aggressive "tee hee, I never said that" argument is the go to strategy of every right wing troll to ever visit these comments (with the exception of Ike the Dragon, who was in hindsight refreshingly honest about his politics). Whether it was Mike Retriever objecting to stories about furries of color by saying "I don't think that has anything to do with furry" rather than just flat out stating "I don't like furries of color", or more recently, Anonymous Inari saying "I think an apolitical con is a good thing" rather than "I think a politically right wing con that calls itself apolitical (in another example!) is a good thing", it happens again and again. Hell, it even works on you; you supported Mike in his dumbass arguments.

In case it's not really fucking obvious, here, I remember and keep track of these petty little slapfights. So, furthermore, furthermore, you do have a history of supporting these right wing bigots, even if only "coincidentally." If you'll forgive me for another aphorism, Mr. Growlithe, they have a saying in Chicago; once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it's enemy action.

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Yet you have brought it up twice. And it's something that rankles me because it makes no sense and I would expect you to know better. But reading your message here just raises so many things that annoy me and that I think are major problems with the American political landscape and a lot of online commentary.

I didn't mention the banning because that wasn't what I was talking about. I had a different but related issue of interest. Just because I disagree with one person does not mean that I can not criticise those that are against. Nor does criticism of one person imply support for the other person in an argument. My original comment wasn't even attacking the people fighting the ban but complaining about the way the story was covered.

If I didn't say something, I didn't say it. I don't know what else you would expect from me if I have been misinterpreted. That could be misused but one can not claim that because some people misuse something then it is always misused. Unless I have a particularly good reason not to, I will follow the principle of charity and interpret someone's words in the best possible way according to what they have written. If you are going to ignore what someone writes because you think they mean something else then there is no possible productive dialogue because whatever they say you think there is another meaning.

I have no interest in left or right labels or siding with someone because of their other positions. I don't think the right is evil and the left is good. Nor do I think the opposite. I will make my decision on each topic as it comes up. Sometimes I support the right wing position, sometimes I support the left wing position and sometimes I don't support either. I am not interested in joining or supporting some sort of team. I am an individual and whether I agree with a particular position depends on the arguments for that position and how it relates to my own values, not what "team" the person is on.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Rakuen, if you expect me to read your comments without looking for hidden agendas, maybe you shouldn't make comments complaining about people's hidden agendas.

You expect your comments to be read at face value, even after you pointedly went out of your way to interpret the story in the most unflattering light. Setting aside who benefits from this, that's just hypocritical and downright rude.

At risk of saying something remarkably un-self aware myself, you are remarkably un-self aware. You realize you're unpopular for a reason (in case the perma-folded status of this subthread doesn't make it clear; to be fair we totally deserve it this time, guys!), and, yes, part of that is your awkward opinions on free speech (not to mention certain other things), but it's also partly this. I don't blame American politics for my rudeness, and yes it may be hypocritical of me of all people to lecture on rudeness, but I own that shit. I am aware it earns me lots of extra one-stars and folding, but I'm commenting at you right now and you're obviously reading me, so who fucking cares, right?

The thing that rankles me about your comments is not that they're typical of some ideology or system of thought or what the fuck ever, they annoy me because they are so typical of you.

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Sorry, guys, I'm going on. It's been a while, I'm pent up!

Anyway, Rakuen, you do keep saying you're non-partisan, and I honestly believe you honestly believe that, but, you know, un-self aware. I'm sorry, but, we've gone over this, but I do pay attention to you, and your views are pretty consistent. In fact, ironically, it's more consistent than your defense of free speech; okay, Ike the Dragon was a right wing troll (which may not help my main argument), but you did kind of throw him under the bus, and didn't ever really do a good job of explaining why. You've got your excuses to yourself in your head, but I never bought'em.

Setting aside that the whole "free speech forever!" thing being more or less a right wing fetish to begin with, there's your whole "cancel culture is only a left wing problem" assertions. I mean, setting aside if "cancel culture" is even a thing, and what that thing is if it is a thing, it wasn't a wholly left wing thing when you were asserting this. I mean, you've apparently never heard of the what happened to the Dixie Chicks or "Old Town Road" being taken off American country and western stations for no real reason other than the singer was black and gay, but, you know what, honestly, I would just feign ignorance of American country and western music. It's not that good. But there's no excuse for not being aware of the James Gunn thing. That was covered on Flayrah.

And now that right wingers are "cancelling" Maus and the things in this article and books written by black authors because they're "critical race theory" and it's very clear that "cancelling" was, like you think you are, never partisan to begin with, you've kinda been quiet on the subject. I mean, maybe that's what this whole thing is about. You've been beating the "cancel culture is leftist" drum so long, it's hard not to be a bit bitter about it now that you have to eat crow.

You also have made multiple Tweets and comments saying that cultural misappropriation is not a thing. Very right wing of you. You're assertation is that it helps everyone, both the appropriators and appropriated, equally. Perhaps, all things being equal, appropriation would be an unadulterated good. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and things aren't equal, and you have situations of dubious consent (if even that much) between entities of unequal levels of power.

To be fair to you, you seem to have major issues understanding concerns about dubious consent between entities of unequal levels of power in other scenarios, so I guess that is fairly consistent.

But, you know what, that's beside the point. Whether I'm correct, and cultural misappropriation is bad, or you're correct, and it's good, you have taken the right wing position. That's the takeaway, here.

Similarly, there's your views on pushes for diversity. Once again, you seem to think this is unnecessary, i.e. the right wing take. I'll try not to argue this one, because we'll get bogged down in that shit when the point is, once again, consistency in your viewpoints, not whether or not you're right or wrong. (You're wrong, though.)

I could point out your rather evangelical take on atheism and "science" is consistent with the rather evangelical takes on atheism of known right wing opinion makers. Even your belief that being "non-partisan" is a "good thing" is, in and of itself, both "partisan" and, according to some arguments, right-wing! One possible way to explain (and, admittedly, oversimplify) the difference between "liberalism" and "conservatism" is that liberalism wants to change the way things are while "conservatism" wants things to return to a former state. Centrism, then, argues for the status quo, i.e. the enemy of change, or "liberalism".

Just because you wish labels of "right" and "left" don't apply to you does not mean they don't. And, in fact, your desire to be seen as not taking a side has, in my opinion, obscured your ability to accurately assess which side has most affected your worldview.

At this point, I'm less concerned with the fact that you may be "conservative" and more concerned with the fact that you may be "conservative" ... and not know it. Once again, dude, just own it!

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To be fair to you, you seem to have major issues understanding concerns about dubious consent between entities of unequal levels of power in other scenarios, so I guess that is fairly consistent.


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I'm sorry, I am unfamiliar with this abbreviation.

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Someone is not a cat owner.

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Okay, now I'm angry, and so is Blair.

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Equivamp was just keysmashing to portray laughing at your joke. Like when you laugh at something so hard it comes out as a jumble of sounds/letters. A cat walking on a keyboard has the same effect.

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Suppose I might as well reply again. As I stated in my article on free speech, the limitations I am in favour of apply in cases where there what is happening does not further discussion. Trolling is not a good-faith attempt to further discussion and does not result in the exchange of ideas, so I have no interest in protecting it.

I have not claimed that cancelling is purely a left-wing problem; it happens to both sides. (I've previously said that both left and right are becoming nearly indistinguishable in their actions.) Do I have more of a focus on left-wing cancelling? Yes. While I do not identify with a side, I think the balance of my positions are left wing and until several years ago, I probably would've identified as left. So it's generally the side I have a closer affinity with and so the one I am more interested in. The left has also historically been the side that protects and champions free speech, so it seems more important to stop that decline than worry about some people doing what they have always been doing. Lastly, the majority of the furry fandom has a left-wing bias, so complaining about right-wing cancelling is just preaching to the choir. Why spend time trying to convince people of what they are already in agreement with?

I disagree with your framing of cultural appropriation. I think the liberal view is in favour of multi-culturalism and viewing humanity as one whole. The idea that certain languages, foods, manner of dress or whatever should be limited to a specific race or ethnic group and that we should exist separately is the right-wing and racist view. I have no interest in furthering exclusion of people based on the colour of their skin or where they were born.

You also misrepresent my views on diversity. I agree with the need for increased diversity and am happy to encourage it. But that should be done by addressing the root causes of lack of diversity, not necessarily by just parading different people. It's a complex issue. I've already seen what happens when people get or are denied positions just because of their race. My country is the best example of that; both discrimination with bad and good intentions.

Right and left are too broad a category to capture anything. There are things that need to change and things that don't need to change. I will take them one at a time. My views on free speech used to qualify as left-wing, now maybe they are seen as right-wing. They still haven't changed. Perhaps my views on gun control are further right than left but that comes from a strain of (social) libertarianism which also supports drug legalisation which is more left-wing than right-wing. Since my overall political ideal would be to move as close as practical to an anarchist collectivist system of government, I doubt you would find many conservatives that would consider me one of them.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Define trolling 🤣

Whatever hurts your feefees?

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And I think I should add that I did agree Sonious' coverage of certain topics was not great, and did admittedly allow, for example, Mike Retriever to attack it without completely showing his hand.

This is so not the case here. This is remarkably free of editorializing. It's concise, contains useful information, even uses the inverted pyramid well. Headline's a touch long, but it's kind of replacing the summary lede, so whatever.

Also, credit to Green Reaper, who I suspect did help, here.

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I find your lack of faith in my ability to pull back the soap box disturbing.

It helps when it's covered by outside media because then all I need to do is link those items together and let their longer form pieces do most of the leg-work.

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Just gotta be careful which ones you link.

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Well yeah, there is no leg-work in those ones.

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"You realize you're unpopular for a reason"
You seem to rely on the fallacy that if a bunch of people hate someone, then that magically means the person who's hated is automatically wrong. I've seen some good evidence based arguments had backlashes in favor of baseless emotional arguments, especially on certain sensitive topics, and knowing that emotion based arguments usually has no value, it's fair to say that some hated arguments still is interesting.

Also assuming a person is for something without technical evidence of such is dangerous, and you need to realize there might be specific consequences for that. Not everything you believe in is correct.

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I would argue if anything they are unpopular for the reason that they are a contrarian. Which, I would place at the opposite end of the spectrum of a populist. He usually doesn't speak up unless he doesn't like something, and that something is when something is popular or seen as something that has generally been accepted by a large group of individuals.

If a story or concept is too popular he will state why it shouldn't be.

Contrarians can annoy some folks, which is why the phrase "It's okay to like things" has become a common statement.

If the crowd is wrong about something it's good to have contrarianism. But when the crowd is right or agrees with them they'll start to question their own beliefs and even speak against them, and at that point such a philosophy can be obstructive.

On the opposite end, a populist will always speak with where they feel the crowd is. That can be great in those cases where the crowd is moving in the right direction, however it can be detrimental should the crowd start to push into harmful behaviors such as anti-vax and being hostile toward scientists and people just minding their business in masks.

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Apologies if I'm assuming this wrong, as I don't fully understand the situation I think, it mainly sounds like the Rakuen Growlithe was questioning some thing that might be popular too, and was trying to expose something that might be hypocritical. So I feel that adopting an "You're unpopular" attitude just feels unnecessary and also sounded like a fallacy in general at first when I read, which was what I was thinking instead I think, but still. However, what's his name probably didn't mean that and if not then I apoligize for assuming. Though this person has made some very delusional arguments in the past if I remembered right.

For the last part you said, that's an interesting point. Though the fallacy I mentioned is more like an auto-argument because of argumentative ad populism nature, which on itself is a fallacy I think. If a popular opinion is justified, it's justified because of a reason having nothing to do with the sake of popular opinion. The same logic goes for the unpopular thing too.

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as opposed to censorship of a specific viewpoint

Which viewpoint?

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I guess now they'll have to rename it to "Furiends of the Library".

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