I'm quite aware of the hypocrisy of it, or I wouldn't have pointed it out. In this very thread are people who, when the negative influence of certain romance and erotica were pointed out, withdrew to the exact opposite point of view regarding books and their influence compared to now. Which is what amuses me.Jena H said:Welcome to the WWDS-- the World Wide Double Standard. Some people don't like peaches because they're juicy and messy, but don't have a problem with watermelon, even though the same qualities apply. Other people take offense at horror movies/video games because of (for one thing) the common damsel-in-danger trope, but don't have any problem with superhero movies/games with the token female character in a tight, form-fitting costume. Getting back to the fruit metaphor, it's called cherrypicking.
It is a slippery slope. First obliterate the name, then retcon the books, then remove them entirely.Bards and Sages (Julie) said:Nobody has removed the books from schools, libraries, Amazon, or anywhere else. They are still available and sold and nothing is restricting access to them.
Unfortunately this is neither the intelligent, nor the intellectual, and most assuredly not the best way to deal with the past and its culture. No one says people should "cling to a worldview". The intelligent and civilised approach is to teach, not to ban or censor. It is the cheapest approach, though.All that has happened is that the people who oversee the award have said, "We have decided, in 2018, that the award should reflect the nature of the children's book community as it is TODAY, instead of clinging to a worldview that is over a century old and does not reflect the diversity of modern children's book writers."
This isn't a bad thing, regardless of how some may want to spin it otherwise.
I fully agree with this part. It's why the books, movies and music of many people unable or incapable of researching and evaluating the past - for various reasons, one main one being the loss of the material - are unreadable, trite and purposeless.Annie B said:And please, if you are going to try to play the "but history" card, do remember that history as we understand it is often retconned before we ever learn it and that there are constant discoveries and un-ret-conning of history all the time that changes how we understand it. History is not set in stone (so to speak, ha) and much of the literature or art that we think of as representational of points in history is, in fact, a super narrow and deeply flawed (and sometimes outright disingenuous or biased) portrayal of those times.
Before I got to college, the only time we learned about African Americans was during Black History month, and then it was basically MLK and abolitionists. It wasn't until I got to college that I was exposed to a wealth of African American literature and history that I would have never known existed. We never studied women unless it was Women's History Month, and then it was the suffragettes and a few "safe" female figures. I have often believed that the people who scream about "preserving history" the most are really hoping to preserve a very specific, narrow view of history that continues to elevate white, Anglo-Saxon males as the "benevolent bringers of civilization" and treats everyone else as secondary characters to the white, male "heroes" of history.Annie B said:And please, if you are going to try to play the "but history" card, do remember that history as we understand it is often retconned before we ever learn it and that there are constant discoveries and un-ret-conning of history all the time that changes how we understand it. History is not set in stone (so to speak, ha) and much of the literature or art that we think of as representational of points in history is, in fact, a super narrow and deeply flawed (and sometimes outright disingenuous or biased) portrayal of those times. As we learn and grow as a culture, naturally so does our ways of interpreting and relating to what came before. It's not a slope. It's just evolution of understanding.
Well said. These were some of my favorite books as a child. My Civil Rights activist mother first began reading them to us in the 50's. We visited the museum in DeSmet on one of the many trips we made across country when I was a kid. I've reread them many times over the years. I've also read her real story (not at all the same as the highly idealized picture she painted in the novels) in several biographies of her and of her daughter.Annie B said:Nobody is pretending anything. Her books aren't changing. This is an award whose board decided that celebrating a work that is to modern audiences out-dated and racist isn't something they want to do anymore. That's it. It's just the award, nothing is being censored or changed in the work itself. It is there for anyone to read.
It isn't like white people's views on indigenous people are being wiped from the historical record, geez. It's that as a society some people are choosing to recognize that there is more to history than just one perspective and that we don't always have to celebrate that single perspective. Which, as private citizens, we're allowed to do. The award can call itself whatever it wants to. And please remember that our historical record is highly flawed and often revised in ways that put it through a lens which isn't accurate at all and which erases many aspects.
I grew up in the heyday of Little House fever with the books everywhere and the TV series and all that. But as the parent of a 7 year old, these books do not hold the cultural place they held then. They're certainly in the library, but they are definitely not what you see in the end of shelf display in the children's section. And it's not because the PC goblins took them away, it's because nobody really cares all that much about them either way.Bards and Sages (Julie) said:I also have to wonder how many people who are outraged by this have actually READ the books. In all seriousness, I was having a conversation with someone about this who said, "There was nothing racist on the TV show." How many people expressing outrage are ONLY familiar with the books through the old TV show and have never actually read the books?
It seems historically accurate to me. That was the prevailing attitude back then. What good does it do to pretend it wasn't?JRTomlin said:Native American children who read it, particularly passages such as "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" might disagree. But I expect many people will continue to read them. Maybe parents might decide to discuss some of the unpleasant factors though.