Letter to Editor

To the Editor:

The LGBTQ community has tried to paint concern over child porn in the Dixon Public Library as some sort of prejudice against them. This is a misrepresentation of the reality. Cartoons showing anyone having sex would be offensive pornography. Such material has no place in a public library, regardless of who is portrayed.

But what makes this instance particularly egregious is that children are pictured. The fact that the cartoons show two boys having oral sex is something the LGBTQ community has grasped upon. Promoting their agenda apparently means nothing is off limits, not even kiddie porn.  They have twisted the narrative to be about them, when it is really about pornographic comic books being fed to children.

The real issue is this: First, this is pornography, secondly, this is illegal child pornography, and third, these are cartoons designed to target children. If the oral sex portrayed was between a boy and a girl, it would still be an outrage, and not only that, but illegal according to federal law, which states, and I quote:

Any person who…knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct…or depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in…oral-genital contact…whether between persons of the same or opposite sex…or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 2252A.”   (Section 1466A of Title 18, United States Code)

Please note that depictions of same-sex activity do not make the material exempt from the law, for it specifically states, “the same or opposite sex.” The fact that it is a cartoon does not exempt it either, for “cartoon” is specifically mentioned in the statute. And finally, the phrase “appears to be” prevents ambiguous images from being defended.

City council members have attempted to represent the controversy as a politicized issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Decency, common sense, and the rule of law should not be colored as a political issue. It is a matter of right and wrong, something which transcends partisan politics.

People (including the library director himself) have tried to portray the objections of concerned parents as efforts by “bigots” at “censorship” and “book burning.” Such inflammatory accusations are absurd and insulting. Historically, public vulgarity and/or pornography have always been controlled, both in print and on the air waves. This is nothing new. What is new is the attempt to sexualize children with comics books filled with illegal child porn. Until recently, such lewdness has never before been attempted in America.

Although people allegedly representing the LGBTQ community have been loud defenders of this obscenity, they do not represent the majority of voters in Dixon. The vast majority of the citizens of Dixon do not want illegal child pornography in their library. Inflaming the passions of young teenagers with sexually explicit material can lead to irresponsible behavior that can have lifelong consequences.

These materials send a message to kids. It says to them: “This is what kids are doing. This is perfectly safe, give it a try.” The result will be inflamed passions, sexually transmitted diseases, premarital sex, unwanted pregnancies, and young marriages based on lust rather than love, which leads to broken homes and resultant juvenile delinquency and crime. Is this what is wanted for Dixon?

Common sense dictates that comic books for children showing sex acts are something to be found in adult book stores or in the library of pedophiles, not in a public library. I urge the library board to consider carefully and choose on the side of decency. If they do not, the city council members who appointed those in charge of the library will be called to account on election day.

Mark Swarbrick


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