There’s a growing sickness in this nation. One that is dark, dank and toxic as all get out. Going beyond the hoax that Critical Race Theory is being taught in our primary schools, the Central York, Pennsylvania school board has instituted a book ban of any material that primarily features or was written by anyone who is non-white.
Apparently, they’re afraid that material about and by non-whites is a threat to the positive self-image of white people. And clearly, we can’t have white people not being happy about themselves.
Among those books and other media now banned in by the all-white school board of Central York is an autobiography about Malala, the movie Hidden Figures, a children’s book about Rosa Parks, and the CNN Special with Sesame Street about race.
The school board considers these materials to be a threat, one that has to be removed from the classroom and even the school libraries. Teachers now have to worry if they happen to start a class using a James Baldwin quote that they’ll be outed and later attacked for being “divisive.”
Because it might make white kids feel bad about themselves.
Why exactly should the fact that some people who did something wrong influence someone else to repeat their mistake or feel guilty about what those individuals did simply because they happen to have a similar ethnic background? Frankly, that’s the most racist idea I’ve ever heard.
People have free will, people are individuals, they can make their own choices and they should be able to do so using the best, most accurate view of fact and history available. The country was never completely racist, there were those that pushed that agenda for their own benefit but there were others – from Abraham Lincoln to John Brown — who fought against that view. Most people, frankly, sat on the sidelines and took no stance on race relations at all. Learning about race in American history addresses the slave trade, but it also addresses the abolition movement, it addresses the terror of the KKK but it also addresses the Freedom Riders and the efforts by the NAACP — including both black and white members — to combat segregation with Brown v Board. There are many stories to be told.
This problem is not just limited to this district, at least 27 states have passed laws — spawn by the Critical Race Theory nonsense — that limit what can be taught in our schools about race and history.
Censored history is false history. False history leads to a distorted reality.
The author of the book on Rosa Parks found the situation “heartbreaking.”
During the debate over CRT, many argued that the racist policies banned teaching civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and others, but the outrage was so insistent that the censorship laws were passed anyway.
The backlash already began in August when a Black principal was put on leave because he posted a photo of him and his white wife on Facebook. Now the York, Pennsylvania school is banning books depicting other Black leaders under the guise that it violates the ban on CRT.
Children’s book author Brad Meltzer spoke to CNN about his book I Am Rosa Parks, ending up on the ban list. He has penned a series of children-friendly biographical books that describe historic figures and American presidents like Neil Armstrong, Anne Frank, Albert Einstein, Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and more. Thus far the group hasn’t banned the book about Marin Luther King Jr. but the Rosa Parks book ended up on the list.
“You know, all my friends were so angry, but I was heartbroken,” said Meltzer. “I was heartbroken because it means that there are all these students that will never hear the story of Rosa Parks. And that’s exactly why I started writing these books, is so kids can see these amazing members of history. They can learn empathy, and compassion, and kindness. They can call it a freeze, but when kids can’t get these books, it’s a ban. And these kids can’t get the story of Rosa Parks or Malala [Yousafzai] or others, it breaks my heart.”
“Listen,” he continued, “you have an all-white school board who bans a list that is basically almost every person on there, is it a book about someone who’s Black or by a Black author? Do the math on that. And when you hit Rosa Parks, a children’s book about Rosa Parks, the reason I’m talking to you today is that you realize that in all the fighting back and forth and pointing fingers, we’ve lost common sense. It’s Rosa Parks. You messed up if you’re banning Rosa Parks.”
There are things in history that, sadly, make some white people look bad. That’s a fact. That’s the truth. There was also a point in time where the only black people you would see in popular media were “Mammy”, Stepin Fetchit and Amos and Andy. There was a time when people of color were under constant ridicule, where they were repeatedly demeaned and shown to be submissive, slow-witted and borderline criminal. Native Americans were only shown as blood-thirsty savages. “Chinamen” were shown as scheming and untrustworthy. There were plenty of negative stereotypes used against the Irish, the French, the Polish and the Italians.
Racism is a thing that has lived with us for centuries. The school board is not correcting or healing those wounds, they’re only putting a band-aid over it and pretending it never happened.
And they aren’t the only ones.
If you want to be part of the solution, not the problem, join my Facebook Group Army for Truth where we fight back against the swamp of misinformation that is polluting the minds of our neighbors and friends into believing crazed conspiracy theories.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.