The Irrelevant Author Offensive

Here’s one for the history books. Or not. This author (I already forgot his name) wrote a book (I already forgot the title) and then wrote an article in the Washington Post (no need to click over really) complaining that his book isn’t ban worthy. 🙄

Perspective | I’m offended my book isn’t considered offensive enough to be banned too

The values of the county are understood. There is some rough, objectionable language in this book, ” said McMinn County Director of Schools Lee Parkison during a Jan. 10 meeting where the Tennessee school board voted — unanimously — to remove Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” from an eighth-grade curriculum. (“Also,” Parkison allegedly said, while allegedly eating breakfast the next day, “this book is called ‘Maus’ when there’s clearly multiple mouses in it. I counted at least 16. Why isn’t it called ‘Mice’?”)

The books most challenged in these present-day ban jamborees are your usual suspects, like Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” and Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” but there are contemporary works too. At least 14 states have targeted George Johnson’s “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” Some of these oft-contested contemporaries are friends of mine, like Kiese Laymon (“Heavy”) and Nikole Hannah-Jones (“The 1619 Project”).

That so many (White) adults are desperate to prevent their (White) children from consuming, engaging with and being challenged by these beautiful and brilliant books is depressingly, devastatingly and quintessentially American. I’m as surprised by this as I’m surprised by the sun. I am jealous though. Because my book, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker,” has multiple references to drugs, sex, slurs, naked White people, God and masturbation — and that’s just in the first six pages. There are entire chapters about the n-word. And yet it still hasn’t been banned.

There should be (White) parents with pitchforks and picket signs. Bonfires where my chapters are kindling to roast marshmallows. Mass resignations and self-immolations at schools where it’s taught. But, for reasons that escape me, these (White) people haven’t deemed it radical or controversial enough to perform their discomfort with it. And I’m offended they don’t think I’m offensive enough.

Look, whatever your name is, maybe your book isn’t offensive enough to be bonfire worthy, but you did make it into this blog so that has to count for something.

Oh, and I am (White) but I identify as (Beige), not that it matters.

Maybe you just need to try a little harder next time?

What do you think? Should we be offended by his/her/their book just to placate their narcissistic need for offending (White) people? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “The Irrelevant Author Offensive

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