US library associations say they’re not interested in hosting the “toxic” book club that President Donald Trump created to celebrate white nationalism.
In a letter to the president, the association’s board of directors said they were “disappointed” by the book club, and asked him to cancel it.
“As members of our community, we have strong opinions on the importance of preserving and celebrating our heritage and history, but do not support the creation of a book club in the United States, as it would promote intolerance, division, and hate,” the letter said.
“In our opinion, a book group that would celebrate white supremacy is not a place that we should promote, and is not in our community’s best interest.”
In response, Trump tweeted a photo of himself at the Newseum, which has become a hot spot for anti-immigrant, white nationalist rallies.
“It’s not okay to have a book and not read it,” he said.
The Newseums library in Washington DC, which Trump is using to promote his book club.
Read more The American Library Association, the trade association for public libraries in the US, is not alone in calling on Trump to end the club.
Earlier this month, the Association of American Publishers, the group that represents book publishers, called on Trump not to support the event.
“We call on President Trump to refrain from any events that promote, support or encourage any group or person to promote white supremacy, neo-Nazism, or white supremacy,” the group said in a statement.
“Such events are antithetical to the American ideals of liberty, democracy, and freedom that are fundamental to the mission of libraries and their mission to preserve, educate, and inspire American citizens to be citizens of the United State of America.”
The American Civil Liberties Union also criticised the book group’s decision to host the event in Washington.
“The American Civil Rights Union applauds the President for his strong stand against intolerance and hate, and we urge him to end this dangerous and destructive project,” said Omar Jadwat, the ACLU’s deputy legal director.
“This book club is designed to create a platform for white nationalists to celebrate their vision of a white ethno-state.”
“We hope that the President will reject these dangerous plans and move forward with a real dialogue to tackle these issues head-on,” Jadwat said.