I found this article quite disturbing.
Article in the NY Times:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/education/racial-lens-used-to-cull-curriculum-in-arizona.html?_r=1
How to get your book banned in Arizona? The first answer is to write about people who aren’t white. This book has been banned in schools in Arizona. Does it contain pornography? Does it have foul and unacceptable language? Does it have drug use as appropriate?
THE ANSWER TO ALL IS NO. IT IS SIMPLY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WHITE.
OK. I can’t let this go. We have the shooting of an innocent teenage black youth in Florida and now books banned because they are stories about non-white people. So we don’t need to become more tolerant, more understanding. Children should not learn about other cultures and lifestyles. REALLY? Why can’t we celebrate diversity?
NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!
It is first about the first amendment. This is just censorship, denying artistic license and free speech. Should we consider how to improve racism in America? Is it not positive to enhance education through critical thinking skills and learning about others who may be different from you? Isn’t that what education is? Learning about something you don’t know?
Literature can teach us so much about life. It is not exactly like experiencing things, but remember all of the great stories you have read in the past, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Grapes of Wrath and on and on. You get my point. Whatever your favorite stories are, how would you feel if someone had denied you this? Moby Dick? A Tale of Two Cities? What we learned from these stories! Literature is multicultural. It’s past time to bring it on.
One final thought since the focus is on critical thinking in education. Even if the story were a bad story in which a boy used bad judgment and as a result, there were consequences. Wouldn’t this be a good exercise for critical thought? For applying what you have learned to real life circumstance? Art is not always beautiful and actually life is not always beautiful. To appreciate the good we must experience what is not so good.
Not only do you take away free speech but also you deprive our children of the chance to live. This craziness, which seems rampant in many parts of our world right now, has to stop. What exactly are you afraid of?