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The Texas Tribune, an ostensibly “nonpartisan” news outlet, has gone out of its way to suggest that white parents aren’t OK with schoolchildren being exposed to blatantly pornographic content, but minority parents are.
To some, this seems like a perfect example of the soft bigotry of low expectations.
In a tweet posted Saturday, the paper claimed, “The coming-of-age memoir ‘Gender Queer’ has become a lightning rod in Texas. But the scrutiny over school library books, which is largely being driven by white parents, is part of a nationwide political phenomenon.”
The tweet linked to a comprehensive article that touted the same talking point:
The coming-of-age memoir “Gender Queer” has become a lightning rod in Texas. But the scrutiny over school library books, which is largely being driven by white parents, is part of a nationwide political phenomenon. https://t.co/Eh7yer4pVB
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) November 13, 2021
The tweet provoked quite a bit of backlash, with critics noting that the liberal paper doesn’t seem to think too highly of black and brown parents.
Look (*Graphic content):
Wait, your saying that minority parents are fine with this crap? I don’t belief that for a minute.
— You people are nuts. (@kellyjsox) November 14, 2021
You’re saying Black and Brown parents don’t care? I believe they do.
— DoubleTrouble (@RickAkin6) November 13, 2021
So what you’re saying is that black parents:
Wouldn’t care if their kids were assigned to read Penthouse.
Don’t care whether their kids learn anything at all.
Democrats really don’t think much of black people, do you.
— Girl Who Wants to be Free (@Pelosigalorea) November 14, 2021
So white people are bad who don’t want books with oral-sex scene in them in school libraries? I think we progressives are getting on the wrong side of this.
— Jackie #FreeAssange (@jackiemccaffrey) November 14, 2021
Wait, are you suggesting people of color are ok with pornography? Or perhaps you are suggesting they care very little for the pornography in the book?
It may be you simply enjoy pushing division with a side of racial animosity
Our better angels do not reside with you
— Jefe de mi vida (@1962Kiser) November 14, 2021
This is trash. So you’re telling me only white parents don’t want books in libraries showing kids getting sucked off and the black, Asian, and Hispanic population are perfectly cool with this. Trash article pic.twitter.com/DVDxZ4a6Fs
— Katy (@katly2710) November 14, 2021
To be clear, whites comprise the majority of the U.S. population, meaning therefore that they also comprise the majority of U.S. parents. And so the demonstrable fact that most dissenting parents are white doesn’t necessarily prove anything.
The book mentioned by the paper, “Gender Queer,” has in fact sparked widespread controversy among parents of various races because it contains pornographic cartoon imagery depicting, among other things, oral sex.
The Tribune admits this, though it also tries to downplay it.
“[Upset parent Kathy] May didn’t read the book, but what she saw — a few pages of explicit illustrations depicting oral sex — was disturbing to her,” the paper reports.
“It took less than a day for May and other parents to get the book removed from the district. May tweeted that same day that after school officials had been notified, the book was removed from a student’s hands.”
The part about the parent, Kathy May, not having “read the book” comes off like the paper accusing her of being ignorant. Interestingly, this argument seems to be rooted in the author’s own interpretation.
“Coming-of-age memoir” is an interesting euphemism for pornography for kids you fucking groomers. pic.twitter.com/LH5EUwP14K
— Person of Surplus (@drmaboutme) November 14, 2021
Author Maia Kobabe told the paper that because of social media, “a person can more quickly flip it open, see one or two images that they disagree with and then decide that the book is not good without actually reading it.”
“To people who are challenging the book, please read the whole book and judge it based on the entire contents, not just a tiny snippet.”
She also defended the pornographic cartoon imagery, saying that it depicts “good, accurate, safe information about these topics.”
“Kobabe, who recommends the book to high school students or older, said there are other novels that have been in high school libraries for years about sexuality, relationships or identity,” according to the Tribune.
Yes, but they have never contained straight-up pornography, nor extremely “graphic descriptions of sex, masturbation and strap-ons,” as reported by the Daily Mail.
I had a hard time with this book as an adult graphic novel reader. I had to skip past those passages. It’s in the public library. Hard to believe it’s offered in public schools.
I’m not saying coming to terms with oneself as nonbinary is bad. I have a problem with the sex scenes.
— ᒪᎥᒪƳ❥ (@lilyswaller) November 14, 2021
The content of the book is so graphic that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched an investigation into it last week.
“Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath directing the agency to investigate any criminal activity in public schools involving the availability of pornographic material that serves no educational purpose,” a press release from his office reads.
“The Governor also directed the agency to report any instance of pornography being provided to minors under the age of 18 for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”
Texas children being exposed to pornographic material in our public schools is appalling.
We will ensure no Texas student is exposed to pornography.@teainfo is investigating & these instances will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. pic.twitter.com/XnS9vOmkXW
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 10, 2021
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