“There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can't imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!”—
Passage from The Diary of Anne Frank that parents of 7th and 8th grade students are claiming is “too graphic” and “too pornographic” to appear in classrooms. Instead, they argue, a censored version of the book should be taught if it is to be taught at all.
Gail Horalek, the parent who filed a formal complaint with her daughter’s school district in Northville, Michigan, added:
If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip. It doesn’t mean my child is sheltered, it doesn’t mean I live in a bubble, and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to ban books.
Yes, it does. If it’s “too graphic” for middle school aged kids to read about a body part in a diary written by a girl of the same age, those kids are sheltered. Acknowledging that vaginas exist and babies come out of them isn’t pornographic, especially when many middle school aged kids can and do have sex, sometimes resulting in a pregnancy. Somehow, though, it’s more offensive than Nazis systematically murdering over 12 million human-beings in concentration camps, forcing slave labor, starving millions until dead, lining people up and shooting them in the street, and doing horrific medical experiments on unwilling participants.
I hope your kid has nightmares from "Beloved"
To Laura Murphy, the mother fighting to allow parents to opt their children out of reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved, due to its graphic content:
I’m glad Beloved gave your son nightmares.
You’re waging a campaign against Beloved’s “scenes of bestiality, gang rape and an infant’s gruesome murder”, content you believe is too intense for teenagers, after your son Blake reported having night terrors after reading the book. You wrote into the Washington Post today to defend your efforts. You’re not a crazy book-burner, you say. You just want parents to have choices over whether their children are exposed to graphic content at school. Your son Blake is now a 19-year-old college freshman and he’s still disturbed about reading Beloved.
“It was disgusting and gross,” he says. “It was hard for me to handle. I gave up on it.”
Here’s the problem, Laura and Blake. Beloved is not disgusting and gross—it’s a beautifully-written novel. The content in Beloved is disgusting and gross, because slavery is disgusting and gross. Slavery is horrific, and Blake, I’m glad that having to spend a few hours in a book and imagining the horrors of slavery was such a visceral experience, it gave you nightmares.
That’s exactly why you should be reading this book.
I hope all the little white children of America have nightmares after reading Beloved. I hope they’re sickened when they imagine the treatment of slaves. I hope they’re disgusted when they think about the legacy of slavery in this country, how people are still suffering from it, how they benefit from all the bloodshed. I hope Blake Murphy remembers those nightmares when someone puts a gun in his hand and calls him officer, when someone puts a briefcase in his hand and calls him boss, when someone puts a gavel in his hand and calls him judge. I hope Blake Murphy will always be disturbed by Beloved. He should be.
The least your child can do, before growing up into his privileged white manhood, is spend a few hours between the covers of a book, imagining himself in the shoes of people struggling to recover from one of the most traumatic, violent, disturbing, and horrific eras of human history.
Because Laura, all the little black children of America have to learn to live with the legacy of slavery and its effects on their lives. We understand that slavery is disgusting and gross, hard for us to handle. But it’s not a book that we can put down and walk away from.
Censorship happens when: the government, a media outlet, or other organisation withholds from disclosure, removes from publication, or shuts down public communication and/or suppresses the ability of people to express thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions without fear of punishment
Censorship does NOT happen when: someone disables or refuses to publish your abusive, idiotic comments on his or her own blog, website, youtube channel, etc.
Tumblr Censoring This is Thin Privilege
Since June of 2012 the tumblr This is Thin Privilege has been inundated with trolls trying to silence and shut down a blog that has been bringing to light the experiences of fat people. Over the last few weeks TITP has tried to contact tumblr support after they noticed that their posts were no longer showing up in tumblr tags and reblogs of their posts are not shown in the notes of each post. While this could just be a bug, Tumblr support has not responded to requests to have these issues fixed. Just last week I was experiencing issues with my own blog and I had a response within an hour after sending in a request for help.
At this point, with tumblr not responding to support tickets, TITP is continuing to post content but they are unable to run their blog as they have been over the last year. If it is tumblr censoring TITP this is yet again another case of tumblr not supporting the social justice community that has grown on tumblr over the past few years.
This is Thin Privilege and I would really appreciate you reblogging this post, to not only support TITP but to also speak out against Tumblr censoring blogs due to troll complaints. The moderators at TITP hope that they can continue their mission of giving fat people and their experiences a voice.
The Privileged Person's Definition of "Censorship"
“I have a popular opinion. One person disagreed with me and refused to listen to me. I can easily talk about my opinions to anyone else, and they’ll agree without questioning. My opinions are supported by a large number of politicians and other authority figures. The person who ignored me has most likely heard my opinion over 1,000 times already. I’m just whining because my opinions are not supported by every single person.”