Alaska school board pulls 'Great Gatsby' from curriculum, calls it “controversial”

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My question is… I had trouble reading it but, what’s “controversial” about the great gatsby?

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It’s a satire of the 1%.

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But “The Bible as History and Literature” is in the school curricula

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… “A Christmas Carol” could be interpreted as advocating for socialism…

Huh?

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Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” --Tom Buchanan

but I’m not sure the censors believe this to be the controversial passage

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The book implies there might be something problematic about living in a gilded age where rich hedonists continue to accumulate wealth by flouting the law and practice conspicuous consumption while the populace at large suffers through economic depression and an ever-growing wealth gap.

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Having taught this book to juniors, my guess is the extramarital affairs. I once had a parent of an AP student object to The Awakening. ETA: I’d like to think it’s the 1%, but it’s the sex.

Parents can be a fucking pain in the educational systems’ collected ass.

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“Caged Bird” was derided for “anti-white’ messaging,” “Gatsby” and “Things” are loaded with “sexual references,” “Invisible Man” has bad language and “Catch-22” includes violence, according to the school district.

So, a book about war is violent (so’s the Bible) and several of the others have sexual references (the Bible provides lots of great examples on how rape is the normal thing to do), and a book about dealing with racism is ‘anti-white’ (the way they’ve fixed that issue in the Bible is to pretend that brown Jesus wasn’t fighting for the rights of the downtrodden, because he himself was perfectly white).

To me, the amazing thing is how they think they’re fooling everyone with their excuses.

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"Caged Bird" was derided for "anti-white’ messaging," “Gatsby” and “Things” are loaded with “sexual references,” “Invisible Man” has bad language and “Catch-22” includes violence, according to the school district.

“The Jungle” and “A Christmas Carol” could be interpreted as advocating for socialism, while “A Street in Bronzeville” was called into question for showing too much “realism” in describing racism against African Americans, according to a district memo.

I think the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has a fascism problem at the highest levels

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“Caged Bird” was derided for “anti-white’ messaging,” “Gatsby” and “Things” are loaded with “sexual references,” “Invisible Man” has bad language and “Catch-22” includes violence, according to the school district.

But of course, the underlying issue that the school board really has with all of these works is that they challenge the authority of the wealthy and powerful in American society.

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My state is so backwards. We joke that other than the politics, rampant homelessness, substance abuse issues, reliance on fossil fuels and a commitment to destroying pristine natural habitats… Alaska is pretty nice!

News about this broke last week and the thing that chaps my ass is that it was all done without public comment (read: they didn’t even bother pretending that they cared about hearing both sides of the issue and went into this session determined to ‘sanitize’ the curriculum even more than it already is).

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I’m assuming that the reason for banning the books is that they are judged to be too challenging, as opposed to banning them for ideologically reasons, which is clearly fascist.

That being said, it’s still condescending and irresponsible to ban (allegedly) challenging books.

Teenagers/Young Adults are at the ideal age to be challenged and it’s the job of educators do so. It promotes analytical thinking, the ability to navigate uncertainty, Media Literacy and various other life skills that are important to have as an adult and as a citizen. Given how the next couple of decades are likely to unfold, young people should be undergoing as much stress inoculation as possible and to do otherwise is failing them.

Also, the sexual references and violence in Catch-22 are positively quaint by modern TV standards. The only reason to ban it is because its core message about questioning the validity of authority.

Only someone with questionable authority would try to ban it. That’s some catch that Catch-22.

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If only there were a book that students could study to jump start an in-depth discussion of the irony.

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One of my HS English teachers, Virginia Rogers, used to wear one of those Virginia is for Lovers buttons to work.

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