Authors Agatha Christie and Jack London will not be honored by having their names on two new reading rooms at the El Segundo (Calif.) Public Library, thanks to the city council’s rejection of the library’s choices. At a March 15 meeting, council members objected to Agatha Christie because she was British and to native Californian Jack London because he was a socialist at one time.
“I’m a great fan of Agatha Christie. Murder mystery novels is what I read. But she’s a British citizen,” Councilman John Gaines said in the March 18 Los Angeles Times. “And I’m also a great fan of Jack London. I read all his books as a kid. But quite frankly, he was a world-renowned communist.”
The two authors had been proposed for naming two small reading rooms recently constructed with a $321,000 city grant. Library Director Debra Brighton said she was surprised by the council’s rejection, adding that the names were endorsed by library staff, trustees, and Friends who had chosen them from a list of 25 that included Jane Austen, Pearl Buck, and Ernest Hemingway. She noted that London had denounced socialism “in the latter part of his years,” and that Christie’s books have been “only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare.”
Councilman Jim Boulgarides said the city’s objection was “silly” and advised Brighton to run background checks the next time. “My colleagues decided we needed a political and nationality litmus test,” he said in the March 18 Torrance Daily Breeze. “I didn’t think that was necessary.”
The still-to-be-named rooms are scheduled for dedication March 25.
Jesus' General's ever so slightly satirical response:
John Gaines, Mayor Pro Tem
City of El Segundo
Dear Mr. Gaines,
It's not often that the people are blessed with an elected official with the balls to take on foreigners and communists. The citizens of El Segundo are lucky to have you.
Councilpersons in most towns would have granted their library's request to name rooms after internationalist lackies like Agatha Christie and Jack London, but not you. Instead, you told the librarian that in El Segundo, library rooms aren't named after limeys and pinkos.
I trust that you called in the Red Guard of the Glorious Conservative Christian Cultural Revolution after you made your decision. The subversive librarian must be paraded down Main Street in a dunce cap and subjected to criticism. It's the only way to warn other possible liberal-roaders that we will not allow their kind to interfere with the achievement of Our Leader's glorious vision for America. As Our Leader once said, "By making the right choices, we can make the right choice for our future."
Gen. JC Christian, patriot