Trouble in Paradise? (Part 20): The Blount County Public Library’s Questionable Community “Partners”

As the expression goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Thanks to Tennessee Conservative News (here)!

I have been sounding the alarm for some time about the Blount County Public Library’s controversial role as rent-free host for a non-profit organization servicing the homeless—in effect turning the BCPL into a homeless shelter—and acolyte of the radical American Library Association. Not only has no improvement been made, at either the BCPL or the appointed Board of Trustees (BOT) supposedly overseeing it, things have gotten even worse. BCPL Trustee Dawn Reagan, who is also a middle school teacher and a member of the Blount County Commission, was re-appointed to another three-year term on the BOT after swatting down a local pastor’s objection to the pornographic comic book, Gender Queer, calling the most-objected-to book in America “a great resource for children.”

Dawn Reagan

Now, as reported in the local paper (the Daily Times) and confirmed by BCPL Director Manny Leite, the BCPL is planning to provide free meeting room space, staff support, and use of BCPL equipment, to several community organizations to conduct evening English proficiency classes: “The [Adult Education Foundation of Blount County] also is partnering with other organizations, in addition to the library, which will provide space, computers for the classes to use and staff to assist with tasks such as signing up for library cards.” Free meeting room space, computer use, and staff, all on your nickel.

Manny Leite

As the Daily Times reports, “The evening classes, hosted at the Blount County Public Library, will be offered from September through March, with possibility for an extension….Welcoming Immigrant Neighbors of Blount County, Blount County Good Neighbors, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, DefineAmerican and Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors will assist with recruitment and outreach to the immigrant and refugee community through churches, schools and ELA classes taught to children, in an effort to recruit their parents for classes.” (Emphasis added.)

I suspect that some or all of the non-English speaking adult “immigrants and refugees” attending these classes, in your public library, with taxpayer-funded assistance, will be illegal aliens. I have nothing against promoting adult literacy and adult education, in general, but taxpayer resources should not be used to provide services to groups likely to include illegal aliens. The groups mentioned as “partners” in the Daily Times news report raise red flags in this regard. Welcoming Immigrant Neighbors of Blount County (WIN) advocates on behalf of the “undocumented.” WIN also works with “partner organizations” such as the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, that advocate for granting amnesty for illegal aliens, promoting the resettlement of refugees in Tennessee, allowing illegal aliens to attend state-funded colleges and universities with in-state tuition, and other issues that most Blount Countians do not support.

If you build it, they will come….

Some of the other “partners” in BCPL’s ESL training, such as Allies of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors (AKIN), are not even based in Blount County. In addition to being based in Knoxville, AKIN engages in political activism on behalf of illegal aliens, and touts its affinity with the radical Southern Poverty Law Center and the Highlander Research & Education Center, which the state of Tennessee closed down in 1961 due to its Communist affiliations. All of these “partners” have a left-of-center ideological agenda.

Highlander describes its mission as “building the leadership of youth, LGBTQ+, and Black and Brown organizers; advancing solidarity economies to dismantle capitalism and extractive industries in our region; creating capacity for movement organizations through fiscal sponsorships and hands-on network support to groups like the Movement for Black Lives and the Southern Movement Assembly; shifting resources to build power within our region; and making sure Southern freedom fighters not only have a seat at decision-making tables, but are leading national and global efforts to shift systems and structures that all too often have incubated oppression and exploitation in our home communities.” This is far-left rhetoric.

Not one cent of Blount County tax money should be spent in support of any of these groups, directly or indirectly. Illegal aliens should be deported, not showered with taxpayer-funded benefits. Do you agree with your library being used—free of charge—to provide services to illegal aliens? If not, let the Board of Trustees of the library know by sending them an email at Even better, let your County Commissioners know how you feel. The County Commissioners provide the bulk of the BCPL’s funding and appoint a majority of the Board of Trustees’ members. 

“A great resource for children”?
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