In Texas, Tories police books that educate school children about racism and gender identity

Behind the media coverage and the cries of excitement around the “cancel culture” and the very vague concept of “wokism”, a school war is declared in Texas, where the authorities of this conservative state in the south of the United States are attacking books educating school children about racism and gender identity, believing that they make white children feel guilty.

In the United States, a “cancel culture” can hide another.

Illustration of this offensive, led by fifteen states in the country, a comic book relating the unintentional micro-attacks that an African-American child suffers because of his skin color was withdrawn in October from school libraries from West Houston. “New Kid” by Jerry Craft is part of a list of 850 works compiled by a parliamentary committee which investigates in schools books evoking racism or institutional sexism.

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The debates on these books “Will multiply across the country in urban areas where there is conservative pressure at the state level but where we are more democratic locally”, explains Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston.

The “critical theory of race” called into question

Across the country, the newly elected Republican governor of Virginia has promised parents will have a say in what books public schools choose. During the campaign, he broadcast the testimony of a mother shocked that her high school son had nightmares after studying “Beloved,” a classic by African-American novelist Toni Morrison – which won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. The book tells the story of a former slave who chooses to kill her child to avoid him in turn suffering the atrocities of slavery.

“Wokism”, a concept inherited from African-American culture

Conservatives also denounce the teaching of “critical race theory,” a school of thought that analyzes racism in the United States as a system, with its laws and power logics to the advantage of white people, rather than ‘an individual prejudice against minorities.

It is a question of fighting against the culture “woke”, a term developed by the American left to designate the awareness of injustices in particular related to the color of skin or the gender, and which led to the blacklisting. of books containing racial stereotypes. It has since fallen into disuse in militant circles and taken over by right-wing conservatives, in the United States as in France.

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” Witch hunt “

The Texas Librarians Association regretted “Increasing censorship” in this State, recalling that a “Parent has the right to determine what is best for their child, but not for all children”.

The Texas Teachers’ Association, for its part, called the parliamentary inquiry a ” witch hunt “ after the passage of a law framing very precisely the way in which subjects such as racial or sexual inequalities should be taught.

At the time of “wokism”, what is really happening in American universities?

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The book “New Kid” has finally found its place on the shelves. It has been translated into a dozen languages ​​(“le Nouveau”, in French) and crowned with prestigious awards. Drawing inspiration from his personal experience and that of his children, Jerry Craft delicately evokes the difficulties of an African-American college student in integrating into a predominantly white private establishment. “If we were working together and I unknowingly did something that offends you, you should be able to tell me without getting angry.”, he explains to AFP.

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In Texas, Tories police books that educate school children about racism and gender identity