This article has been corrected and a reference to Kate Ross has been removed. Ross says she was not present at or around the time of the event.
Protesters failed to prevent or disrupt a Christian story hour in a Washington, D.C., public library on Wednesday.
The story hour at the library in the Cleveland Park neighborhood was part of a 15-library Brave Books tour, which began on Feb. 9. The readings featured five Brave Books authors—Christian actor Kirk Cameron, Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Turning Point USA contributor Jack Posobiec, and Brave Books founder Trent Talbot.
The library prepared for the event by displaying 36 LGBT-themed books in a shelf topped with the message “Cleveland Park Public Library Celebrates All Races, All Religions, All Genders, All Sexual Orientations, All Countries of Origin, All Classes.” A library worker told The Daily Signal the library put up the display just one day before the reading.
Protesters, including the far-left group ShutDownDC, threatened to crash the reading, though few showed up.
Two protesters yelled at Raichik before the reading, calling her a “fascist,” until police escorted the Libs of TikTok creator into the library. One woman stood outside the library with a megaphone, accusing the Brave Books authors of being “insurrectionists” and “Nazis.”
“They’re upset because they want us to basically just go along with their whole agenda,” Raichik told The Daily Signal as the protester repeatedly chanted “insurrectionist loser.”
“They don’t want us here. They don’t want us to oppose porn in schools. We have to go along with everything they say, and if we don’t, then this is what’s going to happen,” she said.
Books displayed by the library include “Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You,” a guide for transgender and “nonbinary” teens; “My Princess Boy,” the story of a boy who wears dresses; “They, He, She, Me: Free To Be,” a book about pronouns and so-called gender fluidity; “Here and Queer,” which offers advice and support to young queer-identifying girls; and “I’m Not A Girl: A Transgender Story” about a biological female named Hannah who considers herself to be a boy.
Pride flags also adorned one of the library’s windows and covered a desk.
Talbot, Brave Books’ co-CEO, told The Daily Signal that though Washington, D.C., is only about 6% conservative, there is still “a hunger for wholesome content” presented by his company.
“Our movement’s all about American traditional values. We teach those to kids, not something that any reasonable people would disagree with,” Talbot said. “To go after that shows a lot about what these people are about, and it’s very unfortunate.”
At the previous stop on the Brave Books tour on March 17, drag queens clad in nuns’ garb and ghoulish white face paint interrupted Cameron’s reading of his children’s book on the fruits of the Spirit, “As You Grow.” Two days later, Brave Books had to cancel Raichik’s children’s book reading in New York City after receiving credible threats of violence.
Spicer said nothing in any Brave Book should be considered objectionable by either political party.
“The problem is that the Left finds anything that isn’t part of their woke agenda threatening,” he told The Daily Signal.
ShutDownDC posted on Instagram on Monday that the Brave Books authors were coming to the nation’s capital “to promote hate – unless we can shut them down.” The post urged people to call the library’s executive director to “shut down these bigots,” claiming the event breaks library rules by presenting a security risk to LGBT people.
The account claims that Raichik’s work is “focused on terrorizing the LGBTQIA+ community.” It claims Raichik has “destroyed countless lives,” and “led to bomb threats at children’s hospitals,” and calls her a dangerous “stochastic terrorist.”
ShutDownDC is known for leading hundreds of people in protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts after the overturning last June of Roe v. Wade. The group’s climate protests have disrupted traffic on major highways in the D.C. area.
A Reddit account for D.C. residents said the Brave Books reading would feature “white supremacist Jack Posobiec [and] the woman behind the Libs of TikTok anti-LGBT campaign.” The post links to a Southern Poverty Law Center page, which calls Posobiec an “extremist” with an ideology of “general hate.” The SPLC is a left-leaning advocacy group known for labeling mainstream conservative and Christian organizations as far-right “hate groups.”
The next Brave Books story hour is scheduled for Friday in New York City. No public library in the city allowed Brave Books to reserve a room, but Talbot said they are exploring other options, because a lot of people in New York want to attend a reading.
A mother who brought her three children to the D.C. reading told The Daily Signal she hopes her children learn Christian and American values by reading Brave Books.
“It’s great to have literature that reinforces our values at home,” she said, “and these are written in very creative ways that are engaging.”
After the reading, Cameron thanked parents for their bravery in bringing their children to the library. A return to patriotism and family values is coming, the actor said.
“Continue to raise your children,” he implored parents. “Don’t let others do it for you.”
Cameron said the families at the reading are leading their children by example by showing them how to live out what they believe.
“These parents are their culture shapers,” Cameron told The Daily Signal. “Many people sit back, and they complain about the world that others are creating for their children, and these are parents are saying, ‘No, God gave our children to us. We’re going to shape the culture for our kids by standing for the good getting off the defense, getting on the offense, and advancing the light.’”
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