In Lafourche Parish, LA, Council Chair Lindel Toups, in an Onion-ready story, has decided to fight for a measure that will benefit his community! Toups, who is surprisingly a Democrat (though southern Democrats can be just as horrid as Republicans), has decided that his community doesn’t need a properly funded library — not when it’s lacking a brand spanking new $25 million, 540-bed jail.
He also doesn’t like Mexicans. Think that’s irrelevant? Oh, you just wait!
Toups feels that the library — which recently went under budget on the construction of seven new branches, and plans to make numerous staffing and technological improvements to better serve area residents — just has too much darn money. The library has a $12 million surplus, but according to its leadership, it’s been using quickly dwindling reserve funds to make the improvements needed to serve the 53% of residents who have a library card.
The supposedly overfunded Lafourche Parish Public Library’s 186 computers provide free internet access to the roughly 43% of Parish households that are not currently hooked up to the internet, according to a factsheet released by the library. The library also points out that seven years ago, it voluntarily decreased its tax rate by $2 million, double the amount that Toups wishes to additionally drain away from this community institution.
It’s not just the massive amount of money the library is sucking away from more worthwhile causes (like incarceration), though! The library has been doing some incredibly shady things, according to Toups. In fact, that dastardly organization has been teaching Mexicans to speak English! Referencing Biblioteca Hispana, a Spanish language section of one of the nine library branches, Toups outlined the horrible things going on at Satan’s Book Den:
They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English. Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico. There’s just so many things they’re doing that I don’t agree with.
“Mexicans” having the audacity to do as so often suggested and learn English aren’t the only ones abusing the library, though, according to Toups! It’s everyone else, too!
Them junkies and hippies and food stamps and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps. I see them do it.
Horrible xenophobia aside, his concern with drugs was understandable: both Toups’ son and grandson were incarcerated in 2007 — in fact, it stemmed from the same incident. Dillon, his grandson, was busted in a drug transaction outside a closed bar, and was charged with possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia.
Dillon’s father, Lindel Jr, went to meet with the boy. Noticing Dillon being questioned, Lindel Jr. made an illegal U-Turn and fled, leading police on a chase that ended when he collided with a spike strip that disabled his vehicle.
Of the incident, the elder Councilman Lindel Toups said that the police were in the wrong.
This isn’t the first time Toups family problems have inspired legislation. Toups passed a ban on baggy pants because he didn’t like his grandson’s wardrobe choices in 2007.
With his son and grandson’s imprisonment looming, and a jail that faces overcrowding, it’s only natural that Toups would want to improve the conditions under which they will be living.
If it passes, the measure will suck $800,000 per year for 30 years from the library system’s funds just to pay for what could be Lindel’s son and grandson’s next apartment complex’s $25 million cost to taxpayers.
Louisiana currently ranks 49th in education. If Mr. Toups’ commitment to destroying the only available educational tools is in any way indicative of Louisiana officials’ attitudes, then this xenophobic, uncivilized idiot has just explained a lot about the state.