Monday Morning Reads — New Format Edition

Trying out a new MRs format. Feedback is welcomed and I will weed out opinions I dislike.

The News in Numbers

1,000,000 – The amount of money Donald Trump’s campaigned paid in legal fees. When we include legal fees paid by the RNC, that number tops $2.4 million.

1960 – The year Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published. It was pulled from a school in Mississippi, because it makes students uncomfortable. People are understandably upset by the school district’s decision.

3 – UGA’s ranking in the AP poll. They’re 7-0 this season. Each time UGA starts the season 7-0, they’ve gone on to win the SEC Championship.

5 – Arrests were made in connection to the 1983 murder of Georgian Timothy Coggins. Two of the five people arrested were law enforcement officers. Authorities believe the murder was racially motivated.

250,000 – The number of people who attended Atlanta’s Pride celebrations. This year brought a record breaking turnout. In 1985, only 700 people attended Pride.

700 – That’s the number of voters that cost Mary Norwood the election for Atlanta mayor in 2009. Will she make the same mistakes? Regardless, Kasim is working hard to stop her.

9 – The percentage of people who sold their vehicle without purchasing another. Uber and Lyft are changing American cities with their ride sharing technology. But, why aren’t they solving our problems?

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Noway2016
Noway2016

400 – the number of electoral votes Bannon says Trump gets in ’20.

evergreentree
evergreentree

Correction #1: the book was not removed from the school. Instead, it was taken off the official grade reading list and will no longer be among the books used as a class assignment i.e. where the entire class reads and analyzes the same book at the same time. The book is still in the library for any individual student to read, use as the basis for individual book report assignments etc. Correction #2: the reason for the expressed parental discomfort was the book’s use of racial slurs. Which puts the school board in a difficult position … how can we… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

Oh, so a 60 year old book can’t be a classic? (eye roll…) They’ve also done the same to Uncle Remus. Brer’ Rabbit and Brer’ Bear. The black dialect there simply had to go, right?! (Nuther eye roll…) Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn. Can we call them classics?! Yep! The slurs cited and the dialects written DID exist!!!!! Seriously, what real benefit comes from their removal? And I’m not snarking. Matter of fact, I’m all snarked out…

evergreentree
evergreentree

@noway:

Let me put it another way. I guess a 60 year old book can be a classic, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” wouldn’t be one of them as Chaucer, Dante and Milton it ain’t. I feel very comfortable in stating that in another 60 years the book will be largely forgotten.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Sez you…what other books should we censor today?

evergreentree
evergreentree

A better question is who gets to set the standard for which books get censored and which do not when it comes to books that are A) required and not optional and B) will be analyzed by the whole class as a major part of your grade.

Benevolus
Benevolus

But it’s a question that is too vague and makes too many assumptions to provide an answer: – There doesn’t have to be a “standard” to select books for a list. Just a consensus of whoever is tasked with it. – We’re not really talking about censoring – “major part of grade” is vague. What does “major” mean? If it were a minor part of the grade would it change the “standard”? So I think the story is likely much ado about not much. It makes the news because it has a racial aspect and it is Mississippi. But the… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I can’t believe I’m siding with Noway on something. It’s the job of teachers and parents to help students understand the context of that word in both the story and in our modern times.

Why do I get the feeling that 99% of parental opposition to books with bad words, sex ed classes, etc. etc. stem from parents that are too scared to have real conversations with their kids.

Noway2016
Noway2016

LOL! I think it’s a brief detente over our appreciation of a great tennis match over the weekend…

Charlie
Charlie

Someone needs to nominate me for a Nobel Peace Prize over this.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Well, you did provide the forum, that’s for sure. I’m calling Stockholm…

evergreentree
evergreentree

First, you might think that you are agreeing with NoWay but you might want to parse his comments a bit more and read between the lines. Though I agree that when considering his curious use of grammar, punctuation and paragraph/sentence structure it is hard sometimes. “It’s the job of teachers and parents to help students understand the context of that word in both the story and in our modern times. ” As it was parental complaints that resulted in this action, this is precisely what happened! Your problem isn’t the lack of parental involvement. Your problem is feeling that the… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

To Kill a Mockingbird is a literary and culturally significant work of art. The book represents the Jim Crow era South in all its ugliness, contradictions, and shortcomings. When properly taught, the book can help students understand the history of the American South, how racism and discrimination weren’t limited to just those folks under Klan hoods, and how racism and discrimination still permeate modern society. Are there other books that accomplish this task? Yes. Are there other books that accomplish this task without subjecting 8th graders to Faulkner? None as good as To Kill a Mockingbird. Parents complain about stupid… Read more »

evergreentree
evergreentree

Andrew Pope: I say it again … there are tons of things that were they being taught in your kids’ class – or any kids’ class anywhere in this country – you would object to. You would write letters about it. Complain to the school board. Recruit candidates for the school board. Run for the school board yourself. And so on. The lengthy list that you gave me were all things that didn’t abrogate your belief system and moral code in any serious way. If it had been something that did, you would do the very same thing that the… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

There probably should be an age consideration. If you are going to talk about this book you want the kids to be able to understand it.

The book was pulled from the 8th grade reading list. That seems like right on the edge of where you would want to have this discussion with kids. (Disclaimer- I have no kids so it’s all theoretical to me.) That book isn’t just entertainment.

evergreentree
evergreentree

@Benevolus:

Don’t just focus on “To Kill A Mockingbird” really. The issue is that you can’t just have a “To Kill A Mockingbird” exception where it – and the obligatory Mark Twain books – are the only ones where works featuring racial slurs are allowed in the classroom. The arguments in favor of it i.e. “it was how people talked back then” and “it was used in an anti-racism context” have been consistently rejected in the case of other books, including but certainly not limited to the Joel Chandler Harris works that noway referenced.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

August Wilson’s Fences uses the n-word. Not kept out of the classroom. Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find has a short story entitled The Artificial [N-word]. Not kept out of the classroom. Of Mice and Men. N-word. Not kept out of the classroom.

TKAM and Finn/Sawyer aren’t “the only ones where works featuring racial slurs are allowed in the classroom.” Come correct next time.

evergreentree
evergreentree

Andrew C. Pope:

There are things that you would object to that other parents would not. Your only method of “coming correct” would be to deny this. You know this, and that is why you are making a laser focus on the racial slur in question to the exclusion of the larger issue, thereby making the slur itself a strawman.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Bruh… … I’m making a “laser focus” on the racial slur because that’s why the parents are complaining about To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m pointing out the use of the slur in other works because you expressly stated that TKAM, Tom Sawyer, and Huck Finn were — and I quote — “the only ones where works featuring racial slurs are allowed in the classroom.” … I’m not inventing a strawman, here. I’m directly approaching the position of folks who think To Kill a Mockingbird should be banned because it uses a racial slur. (By the way, the opposition to TKAM… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

B, let me ask this and I swear it’s with no snark, just pointing something else out. Kindergarteners/first graders are introduced to LGBT/homosexuality topics and yet you point out the TKAMBird was taken off the 8th grade READING list. Do you think that 5 years old is a wee bit early to bring up those subjects above? And I’m not trying to bust your chops, just genuinely curious.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I don’t really have an answer. As I said, I don’t have kids so I don’t have any direct experience about this. (Mrs. B is an elementary school media specialist though, so she is right in the middle of this kind of thing. I’ll ask her about the LGBT issue.) What I believe is that it is a complicated issue and trying to pass a “rule” that tries to encompass all situations is unnecessary. Teachers select specific books for these reading lists. Leaving one off doesn’t mean it is censored. It just means it’s not on the list. If they… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

Maybe for context, maybe not…
I was in Jr. High when The Exorcist came out. I bought it and read it. 12 years old. No fuss, no muss…

Benevolus
Benevolus

What lessons did you learn from it?

Noway2016
Noway2016

No lessons. Just enjoyed a good terror story!

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Alabama 66
Old Miss 3

Alabama 41
Arkansas 9

Alabama 59
Vanderbilt 0

Who is going to win the SEC? (hint…crimson tide)

Will Durant
Will Durant

Yep, overall the best semi-pro team in the country for the last few years.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

…and here I thought I would incur the wrath of so many GA fans. Guess they know resistance is futile

Will Durant
Will Durant

With internet access to most 14-year olds any discussion of book banning is so 20th century.

drjay
drjay

i suppose schools can choose to use or not use whatever books they want, but they are really are putting their children at a disadvantage for the future…there is an expectation that prepared students are going to have read certain books, plays and poems by the time they graduate, ap lit tests ask about them, college application essays do too, and when they get to college, professors will operate under the assumption that you’re not hearing of these works for the first time in their class…

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Many – “Despite what the press writes, I have great relationships with actually many senators, but in particular with most Republican senators. But we’re not getting the job done. And I’m not going to blame myself. I’ll be honest. They are not getting the job done. ”
.
One need only quote the head of the GOP on any given day to understand the party’s magnificence.

DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

When I was in the classroom, I taught TKAM to tenth graders. It doesn’t belong on an 8th grade reading list. Leaving it in the library while removing it from a required reading list is not censorship.

P.S. I like the MR format today, Will.

Indypendant
Indypendant

“Milner, Ga. police officer Lamar Bunn and his mother, 58-year-old Sandra Bunn, were charged with obstruction. Gregory Huffman, 47, a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, was charged with obstruction and violation of oath of office. He was fired Friday morning.”

But when football players take a knee they are “disrespecting the troops”.