I have been going on for a couple of days about the Leftists who canceled To Kill a Mockingbird.

There have been comments about a school district in Tennessee canceling Maus.

As of yet I haven’t posted on it, but I value my integrity and I realize my silence on this topic may have been quite loud.

First, the reason I focused on the canceling of To Kill a Mockingbird is that it was canceled out of pure naked racism.

A black woman decided that a white woman who was born in Alabama in 1926 couldn’t possibly understand, or sympathize with enough, a black man to write a book about his plight that is accurate enough to be worth reading.

Never mind that the book in question was galvanizing for the Civil Rights Movement in the South and propagated positive change for the black community.

According to the Progressive Left, white people should not write about black people.  That is racist and intellectually segregationists.

The situation in Tennessee is different, or at least what I have seen is different.

As far as I have read, the school district had objections to some of the language and imagery in the graphic novel.  Particularly nude female mice in a gas chamber.

The district claims it is looking for a new text for covering Holocaust history.

At face value, this is not antisemitic.

I was going to hols my judgment (and post on said topic) until it is fully resolved.

Personally, I hate Maus, so I’m fine with removing it as the Holocaust text.

There are several reasons.

In general I hate graphic novels.  I’m not going to get into the debate if graphic novels are literature or not.

I find them hard to read.  I didn’t grow up reading comic books, my parents thought they were garbage and I owned none.  Few words and panels of pictures is distracting to me.  I can’t read them.  I’d rather a book.

For Maus specifically, I hate that the Jews are mice and the Germans are cats.

Mice are a rodent and that hits too close to Nazi propaganda of Jews being rats and vermin.

Moreover, it makes the Jews a prey species and the Germans a predator species.

We Jews are not prey.  A half a century of Israeli history has demonstrated that.

Depicting tyr Nazis going after the Jews as predators going after prey is the antithesis of the lesson of Ordinary Men.

Both the Jews and Germans were human.  Equal.  Tantamount.

Kids reading Maus can say “I’m not a cat.”  Reading Ordinary Men, you learn that yes, you too can be made into a mass murder without ever truly understanding (grok is such an appropriate word in this case) that you are in fact the bad guy.

If your goal is to teach kids about antisemitism and the Holocaust, Night, Entombed, or one of several other texts does that.  Then make the seniors read Ordinary Men.

I unstable that Maus was written by Art Spiegelman as a way for him and his father to process the trauma and memory of what his father went through and I don’t want to demise that.

I do think there are better educational texts.

I’ll follow back up with a final conclusion when I see what the school board decides.

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By J. Kb

9 thoughts on “A little bit on the Maus debacle”
  1. Ben Shapero’s podcast today covers this as well.

    I heard about the school board removing the book. They stated that it was for language and nudity. Ok. Maybe 8th graders shouldn’t be reading books that depict nudity and have strong language.

    I don’t really care. It was one school and they are looking into other books to replace Maus.

    Both sides have history on “banning books”. The right sometimes gets caught up in the “My child will not learn about sex in school.” never realizing that their child learned about sex long before they thought their child had and likely were watching stuff that was much more explicit than any book.

    Today it is even harder, most kids have phones that will let them access anything on the internet and there is pornography on the internet.

    The left is much more about canceling ideas. Different opinions are often canceled. We see it in how they cancel speakers and books. And it is always about stopping an idea.

    And for the left, the reason doesn’t matter. As long as they achieve their goal. This time it’s because the author wasn’t the right color. Next time it’s because the language isn’t right. And the next time it is because there wasn’t enough about something else.

    They always have a reason and the reason isn’t why they want that person or book or idea canceled. It is just the excuse.

  2. Thanks J.

    I pointed out the hoopla about Maus as an example of the left wing inconsistency: Maus being removed creates a loud uproar, but TKaM being canceled happens in silence. As you point out, on top of that the case against Maus is arguably reasonable while that against TKaM is pure racist BS.

  3. Personally I think that the whole Maus debacle was deliberately made to go viral to cover up the blatant racism regarding the TKAMB issue. Especially since the reaction to LGB calling for a SCOTUS pick based on racism/sexism has not gone over well.

  4. Another huge difference between the Maus debacle and the TKaM debacle, is that the Maus school is discussing what to replace it with that is objectively less explicit or less offensive. (And I agree with J.Kb, among the other issues with Maus, depicting the Jews as rodents hits a little too close to Nazi propaganda of the era.)

    To my knowledge, no such discussion is taking place about TKaM. It’s just gone, with nothing on deck to replace it.

    As Therefore points out above, in the latter case, they’re killing the idea and the history lesson with it (the phrase, “throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” comes to mind). In the former case, they’re getting rid of one specific source, but finding another source to retain the history lesson behind it.

    That’s a big deal. The Left takes Orwell’s lesson from 1984 to heart: “Who controls the present, controls the past. Who controls the past, controls the future.” Thus, the Left promotes revisionist history whenever they can. Remove the warning lessons of the past, and it’s easier to set the future to repeat them.

    Good on that school for seeking out a new resource for the lessons, rather than just banning the book.

  5. Never read Maus. I dislike Graphic Novels.

    Jews as mice, Nazis as cats? What did they portray the Romani, the Gays, or the Communists the Nazis also eliminated as?

    1. There was no anti-gay campaign by Nazi’s, if anything, they were MORE accepting of it than other European gov’ts (and the U.S. as well) of the time.

  6. Re depicting Jews as prey: certainly that is unreasonable to Americans, and particularly to Orthodox Jews. But it makes sense for Europeans, where disarmed victimhood has been a long-standing rule. And as I understand it, for centuries it was the law in a number of European countries that for a Jew to possess a weapon meant an automatic death sentence. With that background, the depiction is not so unreasonable, and I would not dismiss it as mindless catering to Nazi propaganda. (Note that I don’t know the author’s background; if he’s US born and raised, what I said above isn’t so applicable; if he was born in Europe, it is.)

  7. No anti-gay campaign? Why, then, were gays compelled to sew pink triangles on their clothing? (Years ago, I asked a gay customer why gay organizations, at the time, often used a pink triangle as a symbol. He replied, “Yours was a yellow star.”)

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