Georgia school board finds a children’s book on acceptance unacceptable

Originally published at: Georgia school board finds a children's book on acceptance unacceptable | Boing Boing


To you and me, nothing.

For racist fucks, it makes them feel powerful.


Conservatives are no doubt adamantly opposed to children being introduced to the notion of acceptance because they know that it is a gateway idea that can lead to the much harder thought habits of tolerance and respect…


Cobb county… unsurprising… the rump white supremacists there are working hard to turn back the clock…


Here is the super dangerous book the teacher read to her students

My Shadow Is Purple


Well, that’s fucking bullshit.

And in my experience, my elementary gifted teachers were the ones who I felt “got me”.


Same author – My Shadow is Pink.


As everyone on this Georgia school board knows, school is not a place to learn things like accepting others! It’s a place to memorize just the facts that are going to be on the standardized test (as long as those facts are approved by the Ministry of Truth.) And to beat other schools in various sports. Can’t forget the most important part of school, after all.

[I wish this was /s but there are too damn many people who would honestly agree with those statements.]


The Book Fair is my PTA volunteer gig (and managing the garden and maple tapping with Mrs Peas). I always loved it when I was little, but when I was in HS I picked up Maus, which was possibly the most affecting book I’d read up to that point. I’ve always really admired Scholastic for the boundaries they’re willing to push. They may not be crossing any lines a reasonable person would find offensive, but I’m always amazed at how subversive some of the material is.


Maus is subversive?


What it supposedly got challenged for (in TN, I think it was) was the scene where his mother was in a bathtub, and is nude, but we all know why it really got challenged.

But yeah, not much subversive about his father’s story about surviving the holocaust and how that impacted Spiegelman’s life. An incredibly human story that more people need to read. The fact that it’s a graphic novel makes it pretty perfect for a MS/HS age group, I’d argue. These are critical themes that young people need to learn about, especially since the survivors are dying out, as are all the WW2 generation.


Understanding how awful the Nazis were is not subversive, however. It is history. Maus could be assigned reading.


Exactly… I’m reminded that when teaching history, sometimes, parts of the past become more important and relevant to teach. Right now, what happened in Germany in the 30s and 40s seems critical to learn about, even in a US history class. And I’ve been highlighting queer history. I think I’ve mentioned at least 2 or 3 times this semester how the nazis targeted the queer community in my class (which is US history)… I did a section on the pansy craze during the 30s, and once again mentioned how the nazis targeted the queer community in Berlin…

And yeah, Maus is a perfect tool. Another great work that is sadly not a graphic novel is Primo Levi’s essays, The Drowned and the Saved… He gets to the heart of the thing better than almost anyone, in a way that illustrates that it could happen anywhere else, too. Far too often this history is taught in a way that’s bound to the whole “sonderweg” notion - that the holocaust could have only happened there because of “special circumstances”… But we all know that genocides were not unique to that time and place, but are peppered throughout the 20th century.

@docosc my fave quote by good old Nikita!



When your most ardent supporters are out there waving swastikas, suppressing things that point out what that actually means becomes critical.


In an interview at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event, Helfenbein said, “This is an evangelistic movement on the left. And that’s what’s happening. It’s indoctrination. They are proselytizing to the next generation. What we’re discovering as parents and conservatives is, ‘Wait a second! Education really is evangelism.’ So if you don’t control education, you cannot control the future. And Stalin knew that. Mao knew that, right? Hitler knew that. We have to get that back for conservative values.


I mean, absolutely! In addition to the underground comix themes @Mindysan33 mentions, it deals with the Holocaust in a deeply personal way that humanizes the horrors of it in the same way that Night or Diary of Anne Frank did. It also takes a frank assessment of survivors and their own prejudices and blind spots and how their trauma created generational pain.

But I wasn’t necessarily referring to Maus when I said that; Scholastic has always been a little aggressive in exposing kids to diverse stories. The Book Fair is packed with content that you and I may not find subversive, but people like my parents sure did. Having that little 2-4 page order form given directly to me meant that I didn’t have to ask my parents for permission or find a ride to a book store or comics shop hours away. It may be lost on folks who didn’t grow up in an extremely regressive part of America, but even our tiny little school library was a window into an utterly different world than the hateful, paranoid one I knew.

I still go over every page with the Littlest Pea and feel the same thrill.


IMO, Maus and Maus 2 should be assigned reading. It’s an amazing record of the holocaust, but also the interpersonal relationship between Art and his father and him coming to grips with it. It’s something where you could revisit it 3 or 4 years after the first reading and find even more take-aways than the first time.

The fact some people want it banned is infuriating.


Yes, Maus is indeed very subversive. For me, and to put it more simply, it subverts the claims that history doesn’t matter, and that history doesn’t continue affecting the present. It also pokes great fun at the absurdity of racial and ethnic stereotypes.


Same here! I would save coins all year so I could splurge on those books. Such a treat.
But…probably some sort of Freudian slip, when I read that first line I read “Stochastic book fair.”
Woe is us.


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