Wisconsin School District Considers Banning ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ over Racial Slurs

AP Photo/Harper
AP Photo/Harper

A Wisconsin school district is considering a ban of the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird, after a parent complained about the book’s use of racial slurs.

The Monona Grove School District in Monona, Wisconsin, is considering banning To Kill a Mockingbird after parent Tujama Kameeta filed a complaint about the book’s use of racial slurs.

“The n-word is used so many times that it numbs the readers to its potency,” Kameeta said in a comment to a local news outlet. “Reading the book just perpetuates racists thoughts and attitudes in a school district that actively discriminates against children of color.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and served as the source material for a 1962 Oscar-winning film, has long been used in American classrooms to promote the values of tolerance and acceptance. The book also has also faced several censorship campaigns over the years, most of which were concerned with the book’s use of racial epithets.

“The novel reduces black people to passive, humble victims and ignores the reality of black agency in resistance,” Kameeta wrote in a statement. “Black people are robbed of their role as subjects of history and are portrayed as mere spectators and bystanders in the struggle against their own exploitation and oppression.”

Kameeta argued that the book is encouraging students to use racial slurs. “We feel they are actually teaching kids to use racial slurs,” he said. “They haven’t grown up seeing those words used that way. They’re learning to put those words together to use them for power over people of color.”

In his statement, Kameeta cited the deep racial disparities within the Monona Grove School District, which is 83 percent white. He went on to argue that the district’s English department revealed to him that the educational standards met by teaching To Kill a Mockingbird could be achieved by teaching a different book.

“Communications with the English department, prior to the formal submission, revealed that the educational standards covered using this book could be taught using any book,” he wrote. “Throughout e-mail communications with English department staff, a parent forum discussion with the high school principal, and a meeting with the district Director of Instruction, high school principal, English department coordinator, and our son’s English teacher, no one could provide us with an educationally sound reason for including this book and the use of the n-word in the curriculum.”

As Breitbart News editor Adrienne Ross observed in 2016, “We are traveling down a road in which anything that is politically incorrect, deemed dangerous, or simply makes one uncomfortable must be eliminated. Add race to the mix, and we lose our collective minds.”


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