I’ve previously made mention of the factually-challenged liberal blogger Amanda Marcotte. She’s the “feminist” blogger who, among other things, claims that polls showing that about half of women are pro-Life are biased because women are too stupid to know what pro-Life means (no, I’m not making that up.)
Last week, she wrote an article about the Tea Party moving to ban books which was forwarded me by about every liberal on the planet, including members of Amazon basin native tribes that have yet to make contact with western civilization. Funny thing, ha ha. Her article actually doesn’t present any evidence that the Tea Party, per se, is banning books, per se. The logic appears to be:
1) Tea Partiers tend to be socially conservative;
2) Some social conservatives want books they consider inappropriate for children removed from school libraries;
3) Therefore the Tea Party wants to ban books.
Jonah Goldberg has now looked deeper into this. And … well, do we really need to ask what he found?
So, in other words since the rise of the Tea Parties the number of “banned books” has actually gone down (not counting, of course, the incidents that the “group never learns about” which are no doubt legion). Neither USA Today story has anything whatsoever to say about the Tea Parties. And the second one titled, “Those challenging books find strength in numbers” is mostly about the apparently new controversy over risque content in advance placement testing.
Also, at least some of these challenges are coming from liberals who object to content they regard as racist and/or sexist.
For the record, my opinion on books, films and TV is that it should be age appropriate. I remember when Schindler’s List debuted, unedited, on television. Spielberg had a little video beforehand advising parents to exercise their judgement; that he wouldn’t let his young kids see it but would insist on his older children watching it.
I have no problem with fencing off controversial books into a section accessible either to older students or those whose parents have signed off. AP classes, by definition, are for mature students who can handle a little controversy but parents should be informed beforehand so they can decide whether or not to let their kids take the class. As long as everyone’s informed, we’re good.
Actually, my preference is to privatize the schools altogether, making this a parental rather than political issue. But even modest efforts in that direction are running into stiff resistance. If we’re going to have public schools, some accommodation for religious and or PC parents is not unreasonable.
In any case, the notion that the Tea Parties are gearing up for a massive book burning is ridiculous. I’ve spoken to — in person or electronically — Tea Partiers ranging from libertarian to moderate conservative to bible-thumping Religious Right. I’ve gotten an earful on every issue from the gold standard to the space program to gay rights. And I have never had anyone bring up books in school.
Nice try, Ms. Marcotte. But we’re a little too busy cleaning up the mess your political allies have left to bother with books right now.