Feb 10, 2022
So, McMinn County School Board in Tennessee decided to remove Maus - Art Spiegelman's classic graphic novel about the Nazi Holocaust and historical memory - from their syllabus, on the grounds that some simply sketched mouse nudity and a few very mild swears would upset and corrupt their pupils, which is obviously very reasonable and evidence of extremely well balanced priorities. Actually, alongside the epidemic of attempts across the US to remove certain sorts of books from school libraries and curricula, it is evidence that an insidious reactionary agenda is gaining traction.
In this episode we talk about the decision of the school board, and look through the minutes of the meeting. Daniel even gives an impromptu dramatic reading. We talk about where the appalling decision comes from, and what it really means both for the students and in terms of the wider culture. Along the way we consider the lies of slimy propagandist Christopher Rufo and the spluttering fanaticism of the increasingly unhinged James Lindsay.
Content very much warnings.
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Judd Legum tweet about the banning of Maus
MCMINN COUNTY BANS “MAUS”, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING HOLOCAUST BOOK – THE TENNESSEE HOLLER (tnholler.com)
"Continuing the recent spate of conservative book-banning initiatives, The Mcminn County School board just voted to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “MAUS” by Art Spiegelman from all of its schools, citing the inclusion of words like “God Damn” and “naked pictures” (illustrations) of women."
Official Statment from the McMinn County School Board
CNN, "Maus" author reacts to his book being banned
Exposed by CMD, ALEC Inspires Lawmakers to File Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills
James Lindsay at New Discourses, Groomer Schools 2: Queer Futurity and the Sexual Abuse of Your Children
Dyer, Hannah, Queer futurity and childhood innocence: Beyond the injury of development
McMinn TN school board minutes for January 10, 2022
The Advocate, Mississippi Mayor Withholds $110k in Library Funds Over LGBTQ+ Books
Maia Kobabe, The Washington Post, Schools are banning my book. But queer kids need queer stories.
Distribute the Wealth Worksheet
Image of the school board members who voted to ban Maus
Rufo's New York Post piece: https://nypost.com/2021/05/06/what-critical-race-theory-is-really-about/
Christopher Rufo and the Critical Race Theory Moral Panic (nymag.com)
How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory | The New Yorker
Rufo tweet about Maus/McMinn https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1486711700283740169
Judd Legum responds https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1486736150295420939
Tennessee pastor held a "witchcraft" book burning where followers were encouraged to bring Harry Potter and Twilight books to hurl into the flames: Right-Wing Pastor Greg Locke Holds 'Witchcraft' Book Burning (newsweek.com)
Book bans in schools are catching fire. Black authors say uproar isn’t about students. (nbcnews.com)
Book banning in Texas schools: Titles are pulled off library shelves in record numbers (nbcnews.com)
The critics were right: "Critical race theory" panic is just a cover for silencing educators | Salon.com
Calls to Ban Books by Black Authors Are Increasing Amid Critical Race Theory Debates (edweek.org)
Moms for Liberty has turned ‘parental rights’ into a rallying cry for conservative parents - The Washington Post
Unmasking Moms for Liberty | Media Matters for America
Friend of the pod Talia Lavin: Brownshirts vs. the Board of Education - by Talia Lavin (substack.com) & How To Report Subversive Books And Teachers in YOUR School (substack.com)
A. R. Moxon: Profanity and Obscenity | Revue (getrevue.co)
Southlake school leader tells teachers to balance Holocaust books with 'opposing' views (nbcnews.com)