The mayor of Ridgeland declared that the city would be withholding its annual $110k of funding towards the local library because of books. The specific books the mayor Gene McGee found "sexually explicit" were children's books that didn't conform to his ideas of what gender roles or appropriate coupling combinations should be. The job of the library, however, is to have all sorts of books, including those with LBGTQ+ characters or themes and the Library said no:
In a statement published to the library system's website, Jerry Valdez, president of the system's board of trustees, said all libraries under the board's purview remain committed to serving residents from all walks of life.
"The public library is the institution in our society that attempts to provide a diversity of viewpoints on a wide range of topics of interest … no matter how controversial or objectionable those ideas may be to some people," he said. "The libraries will always be guided by a sense of responsibility to both present and future in adding materials that will enrich their collections."
Well known to make magic happen when a cause is good and pure enough to touch their collective heart, a Furry sounded their little anime trumpet and all the Furries ponied up! When I checked, the fundraiser to make up the $110k shortfall due to bigotry had already reached $96k. The fundraiser is open until February 14th!
"I have friends in Mississippi and I know that this act of bigotry doesn't speak for all Mississippi residents," he said. "So instead of dismissing the entire state because of the actions of one bad politician, I decided to explore the possibility of donating to offset the withheld amount."
His search led him to Friends of the Ridgeland Library, a local nonprofit, which had a fundraiser launched by EveryLibrary, a national nonprofit political action committee for libraries, days after the decision gained national attention.
When Soatok made his initial donation of $500 on a $2,500 goal on Jan. 27, there weren't any other backers other than him. Less than 24 hours after posting a screenshot of his donation, the fundraiser had 189 backers and had raised more than $9,000.