Watch out parents! Evil honkys are infiltrating children’s books to push a racist, white-bread, evil honky agenda! This is according to Melanie Koss, a honky professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU), which itself is over 60% honky.
I’m not sure if it’s a case of self-loathing or white liberal guilt, but Koss has made it her mission to expose the lack of diversity in children’s books and the scourge of white influence. From an article on the NIU website:
Koss reviewed 455 children’s picture books published in 2012 to measure their representation of diversity.
Her findings, reported in the latest Journal of Children’s Literature, show that the majority of that year’s picture books for children featured white as both the primary culture (45 percent) and the secondary culture (21 percent).
Black came in a distant second, presented as the primary culture in only 9 percent of books and as the secondary culture in 17 percent. Those percentages tumbled to 5 and 12, respectively, for other cultures including Asian, Latino, Native American and Middle Eastern.
Seventy-five percent of human main characters were white; blacks were protagonists in 15 percent of the books while other cultures combined for less than 6 percent of lead characters.
There is, however, one big problem with her argument. Most children’s books don’t feature characters of any race at all. Most are animals and other creatures. Does the Grinch count as a minority because he is green? Probably not, but are the Whos in Whoville, who are white, part of the diversity problem?
I took a quick look at the top 20 children’s books on Amazon.com. Only six books actually feature human characters with an identifiable race. The rest are animals or other non-human characters. While most of the human characters are white, they are from timeless books like Harry Potter (which are two of the six books), Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” and the heartbreaking classic “Love You Forever,” none of which focuses on white culture. The mere presence of white characters does not inhibit or neuter the understanding of different cultures or the need for understanding self-identity.
Koss does not specify how she chose the books used in the study, but she fails to admit something most teachers already know: children’s books offer perhaps the greatest diversity, and there are many books available to meet whatever cultural or racial standard or agenda you may have. My sister teaches at a school where 98% of the students are black. During Black History Month, she never has a problem finding quality children’s books about fine black Americans. The same happens during Hispanic Heritage Month. And she doesn’t have to resort to books about Malcolm X, Kanye, or Salma Hayek to meet the “diversity” need.
H/T: NIU website