More than 80% of Americans polled expressed opposition to banning books such as Maus and New Kid from classrooms.
A crackdown on prose books and graphic novels has emerged in recent months across the United States, but according to a recent poll, the vast majority of Americans reject the idea of banning books for their depictions of history, politics, slavery and race.
The survey, conducted by CBS News and data company YouGov, was conducted from February 15-18 and sampled 2,494 adults from a variety of backgrounds. 83% of all respondents felt that books should never be banned for criticizing US history, while 85% of respondents agreed that books presenting political ideas with which they were not d agreement did not deserve to be banned either. 87% said books should not be banned for depicting slavery or discussing ideas about race.
Other questions in the survey probed the idea of race. 68% of all respondents said teaching about race in America helps students “understand what others have been through.” The topic of critical race theory was more controversial, especially among respondents who identified as Democrats, Independents or Republicans. The vast majority of Democrats (81%) expressed favorable views of critical race theory, while most Republicans (86%) held an unfavorable view. Independents were split down the middle, with 47% having a favorable opinion and 53% unfavorable.
Critical race theory posits that race is a social rather than a biological construct, with racism resulting from a combination of factors, including biases embedded in legal systems as a byproduct of history and culture. culture. The concept, despite being around 40 years old, has been lambasted by critics who see it as a new way to pit white people against people of color.
In the literary world, author Jerry Craft’s young adult graphic novels were removed from Texas school libraries last October following complaints from parents that Craft’s work promoted critical race theory. Craft books include new child — the first graphic novel to win the prestigious Newbery Medal — and class actboth of which focus on the experience of children of color in a classroom.
Elsewhere in the United States, Maus, an acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel was banned in January by Tennessee’s McMinn County School Board for featuring content inappropriate for school-aged children. Author Art Spiegelman, who founded Maus on his father’s memories of the Holocaust, called the “Orwellian” movement, as well as a wasted opportunity to teach students about the horrors of the events leading up to World War II.
Ironically, the attention generated by the bans led to increased sales of Jerry Craft books, as well as multiple internet moves to donate copies of Maus to residents of McMinn County.
KEEP READING: Maus’ ban may have a silver lining – and will attract even more readers
Source: CBS News
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