Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Not A Capital C Communist

Who really cares if Berkeley names its library after a Communist? Or whether the rejected namesake really is or isn't a Communist? Berkeley is Berkeley and the move -- which was voted down in the US Congress along party lines -- would do more to warn us to keep our loved ones away from the place than it would to harm America.

Nevertheless, there will be no Maudelle Shirek Library in Berkeley.

Fair enough. At least the story led to a column in the SacBee by Marjie Lundstrom that included this delightful passage:

The un-American stuff, as far as Republicans are concerned, stems from Shirek's support for freeing Mumia Abu-Jamal, a death row inmate convicted of murdering a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. Supporters believe he was railroaded.

As for being a communist, the Republicans point with dismay at her support of the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland. The small, nonprofit library is named for Karl Niebyl, an economics professor who escaped from Nazi Germany and taught at various universities, including San Jose State.

"She's not a communist with a capital 'c'," said library executive director Bob Patenaude, who says her name appears in a long list of prominent sponsors.

"The idea that somehow being associated with a library is being associated with being a communist ... is absurd."

Oh. Well, at least she's not a Trotskyite.