Letter from Philly to Moms for Liberty
To: Moms for Liberty
Dear Moms for Liberty,
The mayoral primary is over. I’m relaxing in my dumpster pool with my rainbow shades, lunchmeat sandwich, and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Then my ears-to-the-ground Gen Z assistant tells me about your plans to make trouble in Philly on my birthday weekend with your national summit.
Are you serious right now?
Lemme put down my Twisted Tea.
Yesterday I didn’t even know who you were. Now I’m told that your book-banning crusaders, who are creeping into school boards across the country and have a far right-funded strategy aimed at state legislative seats, are coming to MY downtown Marriott and bringing Number One Jitbag Ron DeSantis with you. Not only are you going to strategize how to ban books about Black history and LGBTQ characters, you wanna target my libraries with anti-Pride protests.
Take my librarians’ names out of your FRIGGIN mouth.
Do you know what Philly librarians put up with? I’m not even talking about having to administer Narcan or acting as wraparound social workers on a regular basis. That’s peanuts. I’m talking about the toll it takes on the nervous system to watch a patron start to casually browse after it’s announced that the library will be closing in five minutes and the pressure of taking calls daily asking if Spare is off the waitlist. Do you know what it’s like to have a toothless six-year-old standing at your desk begging for Magic Tree House #12, Polar Bears Past Bedtime, when it’s not available? DO YOU? Then get off my librarians’ crotch!
Librarians are friggin heroes, okay? They provide adult education classes! Toddler storytime! Teen college prep! They get yelled at when Trisha from Somerton shows up forty-five minutes late for adult craft night and is angry the beeswax ran out! They deal with the Sisyphean task of reshelving books after some asshole puts a Ron Chernow in Applied Science. All those Nancy Pearl jokes. And when they offer nice things for Pride – I’m talking lavender sachet making! Glitter! Free water ice! – you wanna harass them? Knock it off.
You know what really chaps my hide, Moms for Liberty? You tell us what to do in our libraries, and you’re not even from here. I ain’t proud of much, but I’m proud of the fact that Philadelphia is the only eastern Pennsylvania county without an active Moms for Liberty chapter. I can smell your stink floating in from the surrounding counties, and we don’t want it here. Pennsylvania is already third in the country for banned books. The only thing I want to be number one at is the amount of people hearing a Taylor Swift concert for free from the parking lot.
I already had a year, Moms for Liberty. You know the physical ramifications of living through three championship losses? I had to sign up for an Advil subscription service. That stuff ain’t cheap.
Then it was on me to decide what time we can drink the goddamn water at, while Jawn Morgan is still smirking down from 95. Now you try to swan in here with your back-assery. I won’t have it!
I don’t know if you know this, Moms for Liberty, but I like to read. I got six paperbacks in my Marlboro duffle bag for this weekend in Wildwood. And I don’t hide my choices behind a municipal finance report, either. You can pry my copy of And Tango Makes Three out of my cold dead hands.
Look, I don’t love every book out there. Roughly one out of three books pisses me off. For example, Ben Franklin’s autobiography didn’t mention anything about Gritty. Bridgerton #1, The Duke and I, left out some of the details from the show. I also think The Odyssey has way too shady of a main character. That was three out of three, but you get the idea.
I don’t want them banned, though. If anything, I want more people to read them so they can agree they’re trash! If you don’t like a book, you don’t ban it, Moms for Liberty. You write a post on Goodreads. I can show you. As far as who’s reading what, you worry about your household, and I’ll worry about mine. Book bans are the antithesis of democracy and I’m the birthplace of democracy, which you’ll realize once you twist an ankle on my cobblestones!
Not for nothin, but I was gonna go down the shore for my birthday. Now I gotta stick around to tell history-erasing Head-Dickhead-in-Charge DeSantis that he ain’t welcome here. And make sure everybody knows that your talk of joyful warriors and parental rights is Wet n Wild lipstick on pork roll.
I see you, Moms for Liberty. Youse are dirt! Come into my house, and I’ll come to play.
Jesus Hashtag Christ. My trunks are dripping wet. I’m gonna go put on my socks and Crocs. My librarians need me.