In a rare reversal of cancel culture, library officials in Tennessee checked out a liberal employee burning books by conservatives and fired him.
In Chattanooga Cameron Williams – or “C-Grimey” as his rap fans know him – was reportedly directed to purge the political science shelves of books.
Among those he chose were Ann Coulter’s “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)” and Donald Trump’s “Crippled America,” written in 2004 and 2015, respectively.
Williams maintains he was told to get rid of books that “contained misinformation or where views, attitudes, or information had changed,” according to The Washington Post. He could also yank volumes at least 10 years old.
Williams, who is black and a Black Lives Matter activist who had helped lead demonstrations in his city last summer, told the Post the books fit the criteria he was given.
Coulter’s was too old, he said, and Trump’s, as the Post put it, “potentially raised flags following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.”
Williams’ problem emerged, however, after what came next.
The rapping librarian in December had “posted an Instagram video showing him spraying the Coulter and Trump books with lighter fluid while blasting ‘FDT,’ the anti-Trump anthem by YG and Nipsey Hussle,” the Post reported.
The library’s leaders saw the video and placed Williams on paid leave. And while it’s not quite clear why it took so long, the library fired him on Feb. 10.
A library spokeswoman explained to the Post neither book had been set for removal and that “personal feelings” should not factor into deciding what books stay or go.
“It’s our job to ensure that all walks of life have access to information without judgment or prejudice,” she said. “Whether these materials were actually destroyed in a fire or even if they were just removed, that does go against our policy. Because at the end of the day, we believe that censorship has no place in a library.”
Williams maintains he was following a practice that allowed employees to take aging books home.
“To be frank, it’s because I’m a community member that’s been speaking for the betterment of Black people for several years,” he told the Post in asserting he was canned because of racial discrimination.
“I was treated as a token Black man,” he said, “but as soon as I speak forcefully for Black people, they essentially tried to assassinate my character.”
In a separate interview with local media, Williams noted, “I really believe that this was political. It’s definitely a perpetuation of white supremacy. None of this would have ever, ever, ever been a problem if someone who doesn’t believe in me speaking for equality for black people wouldn’t have reported it.”