There was an interesting post and ensuing conversation on Will Manley’s blog, asking why librarians hate conservatives. It’s a good read, and the comments are very interesting. I must admit that I didn’t read all of the discussion, as it made me uncomfortable, and a little depressed.
You see, I am a conservative librarian. And there’s part of me that feels I shouldn’t even say that, for fear of being reviled by colleagues.
I agree with Will: in a profession that holds intellectual freedom up as one of its highest standards, espousing an opinion other than that of the majority is considered unacceptable.
I’ve attended meeting after meeting where speakers assume that the entire audience is liberal, and quips about how idiotic the various and sundry political conservatives are. And the audience laughs and applauds……and never considers how it would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. How would you feel, liberal bretheren, if you were talked about as if you were an ignorant rube at virtually every conference?
I tend not to speak up about these things, because, well, it’s not tolerated. And it’s even worse, since I’m an academic librarian. Academics are as intolerant as librarians about these things…..and both groups hold themselves up to be the defenders of freedom of speech, academic freedom, intellectual freedom…..as long as you agree with us. Interestingly, colleague after colleague has come to my office, shut the door, and “come out of the closet” as a conservative. In academia, too, you need to hide.
I’m writing this in part to stand up with Will in saying that we don’t all espouse liberal politics. And I, for one, am tired of feeling bullied.
I have to tell you, my stomach is churning at just putting this out there. And that’s just wrong. No one should be made to feel afraid to state their beliefs.
OK….have at it, folks.