What's the background?
Lisa Desmond, supervisor of the Endicott branch of Dedham's libraries, said in a Facebook post earlier this month, "I found out today that my beautiful library will not have [its] Christmas tree this year. Zero explanation. When I asked I was told 'people' were made uncomfortable last year looking at it. I’m sorry WHAT?"
Desmond said in the comments section of her post that the Dedham public library director made the decision.
Desmond added that in her 28 years at the library, she's "never heard a negative comment. We have celebrated and included everyone in our community. In fact, I was asked to emcee Juneteenth this year. What an honor. Those who know me and my family know we celebrate Christmas Hanukkah. My Muslim friends and Western Indian friends invite me to their celebrations. What an amazing gift. ... Those who know me know I lead with positive intentions. I’m not feeling very positive today. Please bring Christmas back to my beautiful library. And always lead with love in your heart."
Hundreds of comments under several related posts on Desmond's Facebook page are squarely against banning Christmas trees in the town's public libraries.
'For a motherf***ing Christmas tree'
Desmond also added a post with screenshots of a profanity-laced rant on a local Facebook page against Desmond and her issues with the Christmas tree cancellation. The poster — whom Desmond said works for a local human rights commission — said Desmond is a "selfish, f***ing bitch who does not care about anyone else but herself. For a tree? A motherf***ing TREE? You have put people's lives in a lot of danger. A lot of danger. For a motherf***ing Christmas tree."
The post also reads, "I hope that you — who claim to believe in Christ or whatever happy horses**t you're trying to hide behind — are the least gracious, most hateful, most disgusting trash in the world. Is this what you think your magic sky daddy wants?"
Desmond noted that "police have been notified" in regard to words in the aforementioned post.
'Christmas trees will be put up'
Library Director Amber Moroney said in a statement Monday that "Christmas trees will be put up" at both of Dedham's public libraries, WBTS reported.
"What has played out on social media is unfortunate," Moroney said, according tot the station, adding that "it has negatively impacted our staff and the community, and frankly, transpired before we had even started our seasonal decorating. As we finish decorating for this holiday season, Christmas trees will be put up at both locations." She added, "To be clear, there is no ban on Christmas at the Dedham library."
A statement from Dedham officials Friday said "town staff" were "targeted by recent online threats and bullying" over the controversy and that "what could have been something of legitimate discourse turned neighbor against neighbor, and has threatened the safety and well-being of community members and staff."
Here's a video report about the controversy when it was first brewing last week:
Library controversially leaves Christmas trees out of holiday decorationsyoutu.be