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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:36 PM

Protecting White Kids From History.



By Guest Contributor T.F. Charlton; originally published at Are Women Human?



So, this is a thing: a white parent has spent 6 months trying to get the Fairfax County,Virginia school system to ban Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved from its schools. Why? She feels its content isn’t suitable for children – where “children” here means older teenagers in an Advanced Placement class intended to provide college-level instruction – and is upset that reading the book gave her then 18 year old son nightmares.

Laura Murphy, the book-banning mom in question, has apparently also tried to get Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Joy Kogawa’s Obasan, a novel about the Canadian government’s internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II, removed from the county curriculum. I have no idea what her objection to Obasan is, but there appears to be a pattern here, and it looks an awful lot like whiteness.

There’s so much one could say about this.
Firstly: Yes, Beloved is a deeply disturbing book, no doubt about that. It’s the story of a mother who would rather kill her children than be forced to have them grow up as slaves. Morrison doesn’t spare feelings or constitutions in her descriptions of all kinds of horrific violence. It’s a bit sad that this needs saying, but many books that are worth reading can be profoundly unsettling and scary, even traumatic to read. And this is in part because many unsettling, scary, traumatic things are part of the human experience.

It’s hard for me to imagine there aren’t several books on Fairfax County’s AP English curriculum that are potentially as disturbing as Beloved or Obasan. Say, for example, Lord of the Flies, which gave me nightmares when I read it in 10th grade. Kids going feral after being stranded on a desert island and hunting and killing each other is pretty nightmarish stuff, no? Or how about Hamlet? Dude pretty much slaughters everyone at the end . Let’s ban, that, too.

For complete article go to http://www.racialicious.com/2013/02/19/protecting-white-kids-from-history/

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Protecting White Kids From History. (Original post)
HoosierRadical Feb 2013 OP
elleng Feb 2013 #1
HoosierRadical Feb 2013 #4
elleng Feb 2013 #5
knitter4democracy Feb 2013 #2
HoosierRadical Feb 2013 #3
knitter4democracy Feb 2013 #6

Response to HoosierRadical (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:45 PM

1. Her problem is HISTORY.

Its too REAL!

I apologize for posting this for those with tender stomachs, but here's something about lynne cheney's view of history:

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0525-08.htm

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:20 PM

4. What are people so afraid of?

I believe many of our nation's problems stem from the citizenry and its elected officials ignorance of our collective history.

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Response to HoosierRadical (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:25 PM

5. Same old Same old,

We weren't saints, we made mistakes, our 'forefathers' did awful things to native Americans AND then there was slavery, and fools don't realize that real history MUST be told, and if it were, we ALL could learn from it.

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Response to HoosierRadical (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:20 PM

2. I've run into this as a teacher.

Last year when I was a long-term sub, I had a mom do her darndest with the school to get Their Eyes Were Watching God banned. I had several calls from her, dealt with her student more than once, and found out that she'd called the principal. Years ago, I had parents get the principal to drop Morrison's Song of Solomon because it supposedly was racist against white people. Seriously.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:18 PM

3. Unbelievable.

Thanks for your reply, I didn't realize how widespread this is...I'm speechless.

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Response to HoosierRadical (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:34 PM

6. It is in my experience.

The last one was in a fairly rural, almost all white district here in Michigan, but the first time I ran into it was in Cleveland in a fairly well-balanced Catholic school.

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