To the Editor:
Please allow me to clarify and illuminate several “misrepresentations” concerning the “See You at The Library” event held on Saturday, August 5th at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library:
-Disturbingly, several residents reported that they felt threatened attending the event after they received messages from “friends” warning them of plans to ostracize them, boycott their businesses, and impact their family members lives. Several businesses were “negatively” approached to remove our posters. I loved the protester’s sign claiming their support of free speech. It’s only support of their speech.
-The Mattapoisett GOP never met on this topic. Members of the Event team misunderstood the library’s instructions and thought that only an “authorized Mattapoisett organization” could request and receive approval. (They later discovered that any Mattapoisett citizen can request space for events.) They had asked me if the GOP would lend them their name, and I was happy to help with that. This was explained to library officials as soon as this misunderstanding was discovered.
-The group was never deceptive by implying that this was a “library-sponsored” event. The poster and social media flyer never stated that the library was sponsoring it.
-The claim that the book “As You Grow” is prejudicial to people of color is just preposterous. Dark colors have always been used to set the tone for evil. Using this logic, I should not be viewing Star Wars since Darth Vader is armored in Black and using the “dark side of the Force.” Or would I read of the adventures of Harry Potter overcoming the “Dark powers.” I can go on and cite many more examples. C’mon.
-We received many emails from people who praised our efforts. We never received any negative correspondence.
-Did any protesters ask the kids what they thought? We did. Guess what? They loved the books and applauded spontaneously after each was finished. They had fun. We asked the parents, too. Same response. Both children and parents had fun, enjoyed the song, pledge, prayer, books, and activities. Some remained to complete their coloring while we were resetting the room. And, of course, they loved the Hoodsie ice cream cups.
We plan to do this again. When we hold our next event, we hope you will volunteer to join us and bring the children. We will bring plenty of Hoodsie cups.
Please watch the event’s recording that we requested on ORR CCTV, and you may also wonder as a member of the media stated, “What were they protesting about?”
Paul Criscuolo, Mattapoisett
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