Hate Crime Reported at Hamilton Public Library

Just a head’s up – if you come across a sticker that reads “White Lives Matter” inside your library book, the Hamilton Public Library did NOT put it there. If you do happen to find one, please alert a library staff member immediately so that we can document it and perhaps add it to a display of books targeted by area bigots. These stickers may be found on the inside cover or randomly placed in the pages. 

So far this week, library staff have found four such stickers, and while we’re diligently combing through the stacks for more racist propaganda, there’s no telling how many titles have been defaced. And that’s exactly what this is – defacement. This small act of ‘peaceful’ protest, as advertised on the extremely racist, homophobic, antisemetic website that’s listed on these stickers, is intentionally defacing property belonging to a library, the punishment for which is fine or imprisonment, as outlined in New York Education Law §264. 

I want to thank the perpetrator of this destruction of public property for proudly posting images of their work on social media, without which we wouldn’t have been able to identify the titles in question. It’s too bad they chose to remain anonymous so I can’t give them a shoutout in person, but I suppose that’s how things go on alternative social media platforms that celebrate the writings of Nazis. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering which books have been targeted, the subject matter is kind of all over the place: The Book of Pride by Mason Funk, Roots by Alex Haley, The Bridge – The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick, and Goebbels by Ralf Georg Reuth. In addition to reporting this incident to the local police, letting other area libraries know what happened, and writing our own incident report, we’ve registered all four of these titles as “Challenged” as a Hate Crime with the American Library Association.

Thank you for reading and for being kind to each other.

Connect with/complain to Travis Olivera at the Hamilton Public Library by phone at (315) 824-3060 or by email at tolivera@midyork.org, or in person at the library.

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