A Black Lives Matter activist working at a library was fired for burning books by conservatives like Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, but he’s claiming the dismissal is discrimination over politics.
Cameron ‘C-Grimey’ Williams, a rapper, was working at a Chattanooga, Tennessee library and was tasked with looking for books that were outdated, damaged, or full of misinformation, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Williams claimed employees were told they could bring books home that were selected to be removed from the library. A December Instagram video, which was quickly taken down, allegedly showed him burning ‘How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)’ by pundit Ann Coulter and ‘Crippled America’ by former President Donald Trump. While he burned the books in an outside fire, the protest song ‘FDT’ by YG and Nipsey Hussle was playing. ‘FDT’ stands for ‘F**k Donald Trump.’
Williams was put on paid administrative leave over the video and then subsequently fired this month, but he’s claiming it all boils down to discrimination and has nothing to do with a library employee burning books.
“Time after time, we’ve used old books for art projects. Time after time, employees have been encouraged to take books. This is a BS rule that doesn’t exist. They’re just using it to persecute me. … This is not the precedent on how this stuff is handled. To be frank, it’s because I’m a community member that’s been speaking for the betterment of black people for several years,” he said, adding that he was treated as a “token black man.”
“I was treated as a token black man, but as soon as I speak forcefully for black people, they essentially tried to assassinate my character,” he said.
Williams’ activism includes being arrested in July of last year for allegedly blocking an emergency vehicle trying to get to a crash site with injuries, as well as taking a sheriff’s flag and burning it.
A spokesperson for the Chattanooga library stated that Williams was fired for “improperly removing items from the Library’s collections.”
The books Williams burned, according to the library, were also not “flagged” for removal.
“We have a very rigorous and thorough standard practice for collection management. And it’s part of the American Library Association, so it’s something all libraries follow,” they said.
Corinne Hill, the Chattanooga Public Library’s executive director, confirmed Williams did not follow proper procedure he had been trained on for removing books.
“The City of Chattanooga has policies in place to protect the public’s interest, and we follow those directives,” she told The Post.
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