Cameron “C-Grimey” Williams says his instructions were clear enough: The 35-year-old library staffer was supposed to comb through the shelves of his branch in Chattanooga, Tenn., looking for books that were damaged, outdated or untruthful.
The branch managers told employees they could bring home any weeded-out titles, he said. But Williams, a rapper who helped organize demonstrations against police brutality last year, reportedly had other plans for the books he picked out.
In a video posted on Instagram, Williams burned Ann Coulter’s “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)” and Trump’s “Crippled America.” Last week, the library fired Williams for “improperly removing items from the Library’s collections,” although management told the library staff they could remove damaged, outdated, or untruthful and even take them home.
“The City of Chattanooga has policies in place to protect the public’s interest, and we follow those directives,” Corinne Hill, the Chattanooga Public Library’s executive director, said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Williams believes that library management came down especially hard on him for his “prominent role leading racial justice protests in Chattanooga.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Williams stated:
“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.”