A Tennessee librarian was fired this month after allegedly burning copies of books by former President Donald Trump and conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Cameron Dequintez Williams had been suspended in December by Chattanooga’s public library after posting videos of himself allegedly in his backyard. He was seen pouring lighter fluid over Trump’s “Crippled America” and Coulter’s “How to Talk to A Liberal (If You Must),” per The Guardian on Thursday.
During a local council meeting, it was documented that Williams live-streamed himself in the act. Local reports said the popular anti-Trump anthem “FDT” played in the background.
A Black Lives Matter protester, Williams said he was treated unfairly, and that he simply followed a library instruction to remove any “old, damaged or untruthful books.”
A library spokesperson, however, said the Trump and Coulter books did not meet the criteria for books that should be removed.
“The items in question that were featured in the video were not flagged for removal,” a library spokesperson said in December.
“We have a very rigorous and thorough standard practice for collection management. And it’s part of the American Library Association, so it’s something all libraries follow.”
The spokesperson added, “Cameron has been trained on this.”
Williams was terminated after it was found he improperly removed the items from the building, the library said.
“I was treated as a token Black man,” Williams told the The Washington Post. “But as soon as I speak forcefully for Black people, they essentially tried to assassinate my character.”
The library spokesperson said Williams’ behavior constituted censorship and had no place in such a public facility.
“It’s our job to ensure that all walks of life have access to information without judgment or prejudice,” the spokesperson said, “whether these materials were actually destroyed in a fire or even if they were just removed, that does go against our policy.
“Because at the end of the day, we believe that censorship has no place in a library.”
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