Who’s Been Blacklisting MY Book?

Thomas Frank: Don’t Mess With the Texas Board of Ed – WSJ.com

The state’s board of education, by contrast, feels entitled to enforce its homemade party line with a rigidity that no comp-lit pinko would dare to dream of. Back in January, for instance, it struck the author of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” from a list of people for third-graders to study because it got him confused with the similarly named author of “Ethical Marxism,” a book that, according to board member Pat Hardy, makes “very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system.” And, as we all know, those who criticize capitalism deserve to have no place in public life, especially in this age of affluence and financial probity. (The board later discovered its error and reinstated the “Brown Bear” author.)

I love Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

As did my one-and-a-half year old. But unfortunately he’s nearly two and a half now, and demanding that I sing him songs about Ethical Marxism. I try to point out that this stands in striking contrast to his demands for Goldilocks and The Three Bears (with its private property fetish) and The Little Red Hen (exaltation of the division of labour and the fruits of rugged individualism). Via ladypoverty.

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2 Responses to “Who’s Been Blacklisting MY Book?”


  1. 1 lolarusa April 6, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Malvina Reynolds had a slightly different take on the Little Red Hen– a statement of the right of the working class to the products of their labor. Or something like that.

    • 2 Hugh Green April 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      Whoa! I suppose it’s in the way it gets told too. Like, the Ugly Duckling could either be a fable about how surface appearance is not important and that everyone has his/her place, or a cast-iron warning against blurring well-established racial divisions.


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