Thursday, September 7, 2017

my humble opinion on PBS

Yes, that was me...

Did you miss seeing me on PBS last month? I was on the PB NewsHour, sharing my humble opinion about potentially racist classic children's books. I actually didn't think my position was that controversial but after it aired I received a lot of...well, let's just say it was a lot more controversial than I thought. You can make your own opinion after watching:

However, even with the unpleasant feedback, I do stand by my position. Whether you agree or disagree with my "Little House" example (yes, Ma was scared of Indians because she was a settler--but her hatred of them was portrayed as far stronger than that of Pa's or Laura's who were also settlers, so I--as an 8 year old girl-- took that to be racism), I hope that my real message of simply talking to your kids about the books they are reading can be one we don't have to disagree on. 


Lisa said...

Thank you for voicing this opinion. As a young mother, I wanted to read "classics" to my children and was shocked at by some of the things we encountered in these books. Some books we put away in favor of new classics (i.e., Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), and other books we read through and discussed. I always appreciate your insights, so thank you for being a champion for kindness and bravery.

Andrea (MaoMaoChong de Mama) said...

I think you were exactly right. I remember being shocked by Ma's attitude when I was a child also, and talking about it with my mom. I did read the books with my daughter, explicitly talking about the racism, the attitudes at the time, and how that can explain, but not justify the racism. Anyway, I think it's great that you made this piece, and that a lot of people saw it. I'm especially glad that people who disagreed saw it - it may plant seeds for the future, and that's the only way we will move forward.
Hope the comments weren't too hard on you; thank you for doing this,