DCC4D second coming of UDC

The tax-exempt group calling itself Daviess County Citizens for Decency is trying — with some success, apparently — to intimidate and bully the city and county school systems into removing from elementary and secondary school libraries selected books on a crowdsourced; non-professional; anonymously reviewed and rated; Moms for Liberty-approved hit list. This is history repeating itself.

From the late 1890s until the early 1960s, local and state chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised money to put up hundreds of Confederate monuments around the country — including the one that stood on the Daviess County Courthouse lawn from 1900 until 2022.

But, another key pillar of the UDC strategy was focused on public school libraries. UDC used strong-arm tactics to ensure that the U.S. history sections of these libraries prioritized books that promoted UDC's Lost Cause mythology — including glorifying Lee; denigrating Grant and Lincoln; glossing the horrors of slavery; and valorizing the Ku Klux Klan. Further, UDC tried to get school libraries to physically label history books that did not push their agenda as being biased and untrustworthy.

News coverage of DCC4D's library crusade has highlighted the group's bogus claim that public and school libraries are peddling "pornography" to children. But, the group also has targeted many books that engage issues of Black inequality and Black empowerment.

In many ways, DCC4D is the new UDC of Daviess County. I hope that individuals and institutions in my hometown will do what is necessary to put these self-appointed puritanical censors in their place.

John Lumea (Owensboro native)

Boston, Massachusetts