December 5, 2012

NYT: Latinos don't read, whites to blame

Here's the fourth most emailed article on the New York Times:
For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing 
By MOTOKO RICH

I'm guessing that Motoko Rich isn't Latino. (But, "Motoko Rich" would make a great name for a videogame character or the Bad Girl in a James Bond movie).
PHILADELPHIA — Like many of his third-grade classmates, Mario Cortez-Pacheco likes reading the “Magic Tree House” series, about a brother and a sister who take adventurous trips back in time. He also loves the popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” graphic novels. 
But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary here: most of the main characters are white. “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color,” he said. 
Hispanic students now make up nearly a quarter of the nation’s public school enrollment, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, and are the fastest-growing segment of the school population. Yet nonwhite Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers. (Dora the Explorer, who began as a cartoon character, is an outlier.) 
Education experts and teachers who work with large Latino populations say that the lack of familiar images could be an obstacle as young readers work to build stamina and deepen their understanding of story elements like character motivation. 
While there are exceptions, including books by Julia Alvarez, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Alma Flor Ada and Gary Soto, what is available is “not finding its way into classrooms,” said Patricia Enciso, an associate professor at Ohio State University.

I suspect the pay is more regular for being a Latino activist than for being an author who is Latino.
Books commonly read by elementary school children — those with human characters rather than talking animals or wizards — include the Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen, Judy Moody, Stink and Big Nate series, all of which feature a white protagonist. An occasional African-American, Asian or Hispanic character may pop up in a supporting role, but these books depict a predominantly white, suburban milieu. 
“Kids do have a different kind of connection when they see a character that looks like them or they experience a plot or a theme that relates to something they’ve experienced in their lives,” said Jane Fleming, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in early childhood development in Chicago.

There aren't many faces that look like the typical Mexican-American on Spanish-language Univision either (starting with blue-eyed news anchorman Jorge Ramos, who looks like Anderson Cooper's cousin, the Tyrolean count), except for maybe the fat guy in the sombrero who falls down a lot on Sabado Gigante.

And, yet, Mexican-Americans watch the heck out of Univision.
She and Sandy Ruvalcaba Carrillo, an elementary school teacher in Chicago who works with students who speak languages other than English at home, reviewed 250 book series aimed at second to fourth graders and found just two that featured a Latino main character. 
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, which compiles statistics about the race of authors and characters in children’s books published each year, found that in 2011, just over 3 percent of the 3,400 books reviewed were written by or about Latinos, a proportion that has not changed much in a decade. 
As schools across the country implement the Common Core — national standards for what students should learn in English and math — many teachers are questioning whether nonwhite students are seeing themselves reflected in their reading. 
For the early elementary grades, lists of suggested books contain some written by African-American authors about black characters, but few by Latino writers or featuring Hispanic characters. Now, in response to concerns registered by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Hey, at least the SPLC is doing something with its quarter of a billion bucks ... Maybe the SPLC can declare the Magic Treehouse a hate group.
and others, the architects of the Common Core are developing a more diverse supplemental list. “We have really taken a careful look, and really think there is a problem,” said Susan Pimentel, one of the lead writers of the standards for English language and literacy. “We are determined to make this right.” 
Black, Asian and American Indian children similarly must dig deep into bookshelves to find characters who look like them.

So, that explains why Asians never do well enough on the PSAT to become National Merit Scholars.
Latino children who speak Spanish at home and arrive at school with little exposure to books in English face particular challenges. A new study being released next week by pediatricians and sociologists at the University of California shows that Latino children start school seven months behind their white peers, on average, in oral language and preliteracy skills. 
“Their oral language use is going to be quite different from what they encounter in their books,” said Catherine E. Snow, a professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. “So what might seem like simple and accessible text for a standard English speaker might be puzzling for such kids.” 
Hispanic children have historically underperformed non-Hispanic whites in American schools. According to 2011 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a set of exams administered by the Department of Education, 18 percent of Hispanic fourth graders were proficient in reading, compared with 44 percent of white fourth graders. 
Research on a direct link between cultural relevance in books and reading achievement at young ages is so far scant.

And it's only been obsessively studied for the last 45 or 50 years, but Real Soon Now somebody will discover something.
And few academics or classroom teachers would argue that Latino children should read books only about Hispanic characters or families. But their relative absence troubles some education advocates. 
“If all they read is Judy Blume or characters in the “Magic Treehouse” series who are white and go on adventures,” said Mariana Souto-Manning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, “they start thinking of their language or practices or familiar places and values as not belonging in school.” 

On the other hand, if you do put Latino characters into your books, you are likely guilty of stereotyping:
At Bayard Taylor Elementary in Philadelphia, a school where three-quarters of the students are Latino, Kimberly Blake, a third-grade bilingual teacher, said she struggles to find books about Latino children that are “about normal, everyday people.” The few that are available tend to focus on stereotypes of migrant workers or on special holidays. “Our students look the way they look every single day of the year,” Ms. Blake said, “not just on Cinco de Mayo or Puerto Rican Day.” 
On a recent morning, Ms. Blake read from “Amelia’s Road” by Linda Jacobs Altman, about a daughter of migrant workers. Of all the children sitting cross-legged on the rug, only Mario said that his mother had worked on farms. 
Publishers say they want to find more works by Hispanic authors, and in some cases they insert Latino characters in new titles. When Simon & Schuster commissioned writers to develop a new series, “The Cupcake Diaries,” it cast one character, Mia, as a Latino girl. “We were conscious of making one of the characters Hispanic,” said Valerie Garfield, a vice president in the children’s division, “and doing it in a way that girls could identify with, but not in a way that calls it out.” 
In some respects, textbook publishers like Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are ahead of trade publishers. Houghton Mifflin, which publishes reading textbooks, allocates exactly 18.6 percent of its content to works featuring Latino characters. The company says that percentage reflects student demographics. 

There was this book that used to be assigned in middle schools and high schools with Hispanic characters and even boys liked it: The Old Man and the Sea.

111 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well... why don't they just sneak into the schoolbooks, the same way they snuck in here?

Anonymous said...

What about Zorro and the Cisco Kid?

Anonymous said...

“If all they read is Judy Blume or characters in the “Magic Treehouse” series who are white and go on adventures,” said Mariana Souto-Manning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, “they start thinking of their language or practices or familiar places and values as not belonging in school."

And what would be wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

Reading is too white and must be abolished.

DaveinHackensack said...

TL;DR version, flipped around.

Anonymous said...

Publishers say they want to find more works by Hispanic authors, and in some cases they insert Latino characters in new titles.

How hard can this really be?? Spain has a very long literary tradition from which publishers can draw on. And Mexico and Central and South America are very big places.

Anonymous said...

“If all they read is Judy Blume or characters in the “Magic Treehouse” series who are white and go on adventures,” said Mariana Souto-Manning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, “they start thinking of their language or practices or familiar places and values as not belonging in school.”


We can't have that.Heck, that might actually cause Hispanic kids to assimilate into American society.

Anonymous said...

And few academics or classroom teachers would argue that Latino children should read books only about Hispanic characters or families.

Should Latino children read books about Latino characters or about Hispanic characters?

Anonymous said...

On a recent morning, Ms. Blake read from “Amelia’s Road” by Linda Jacobs Altman, about a daughter of migrant workers.

Linda Jacobs Altman: Latino, Hispanic, . . . or Scots Irish?

Benjamin I. Espen said...

The key here is popular books written for children. Having spent time on a school board, I know there is a vast industry that churns out books for schools that have characters that look like America. The problem is these stories all suck. I feel for teachers here. Either you give the kids diverse books, or you give them interesting books.

It isn't as if there aren't any books featuring diverse characters. I get review copies of novels, and there is any kind of crap imaginable available in book form. Check out the list of books at LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. A couple of later best-sellers have snuck in there, but the reason things like Amazon Vine and Early Reviewers exist is because there are so many crap books that you have a hard time filtering them out. The stuff written for textbooks on spec probably never makes it to the market, because no one would buy it if not for political considerations about what goes into textbooks.

I can remember an especially wily English teacher I had in high school who managed to find the appropriately diverse and yet still interesting stories in one of the great paperback anthologies we used for a textbook. We probably read less than 5% of that book. He also had us read A Brave New World, and then started calling us Alphas, Betas, and Gammas. He was retiring, so he could get away with that.

Anonymous said...

A full quarter of children in American public schools are Hispanic?

Wow. Just wow.

cecil henry said...

This kind of talk and reasoning of this article is disgusting and pure anti-white racism against whites.


I would not even engage this article but only the assumption, prejudices and implications its attitudes presume.


This ridiculous and intolerant reasoning must end.

White people are entitled to their identity and their stories.

The "ME too' attitude in all these type of article is really a "non-whites first, whites last--even in their own society" attitude.

No way. Call this out for what it is.

Anonymous said...

Linda Jacobs Altman is a very wise Latina.

Steve Sailer said...

"I know there is a vast industry that churns out books for schools that have characters that look like America. The problem is these stories all suck."

DaveinHackensack said...

The oddest thing about New York Times articles is that they tend to be written with a guilelessness that the author couldn't possibly have if he or she read the New York Times. For example, if Rich had read this article in her own paper last year, about a hotshot young Latino principal in the Bronx, and his herculean challenge of getting his mostly Latino students to read anything -- even crappy young adult novels -- and how the kids drop a grade level in reading ability over the summer, she might question some of the explanations offered by the experts she quotes.

Jefferson said...

[QUOTE] Yet nonwhite Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers.[/QUOTE]

How can Latino children not see themselves in books like "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid" and "Harry Potter", when according to the U.S census, most Latino children in America are White.

So is the U.S census lying ? So most Latino children in America do not look like Beaver Cleaver and Marsha Brady ?

Maybe more Latino children will read if someone makes children's books about Aztecs and Mayans. After all Aztecs and Mayans are just as Brown as the Hispanic Hispanics like little 8 year old Mario Cortez Pacheco.

Make a book about Aztecs, and put a picture of an Aztec woman on the book cover, and little Mario Cortez Pacheco will want to read the book because the Aztec woman on the cover will remind him of his Brown Hispanic Hispanic mother.

Hunsdon said...

Since---as Mr. Sr. Nick Diaz keeps reminding us---Latino is an overarching category untethered to mere racial classification, there is an easy answer.

Cervantes.

Dude rocks, seriously. Don Quixote works on so many levels. You can read it as a straight up adventure story, you can read it for the ironic reflection on chivalric ballads, you can bring in the whole Dostoyevsky thing (c'mon, Dost called it "the ultimate and most sublime work of human thinking" which is no sparse praise indeed).

And Sancho Panza!

If Sancho Panza did not exist, they would have to invent him. Like God. (Only shorter, and funnier.)

And then there's the whole Lepanto thing. Naval Infantry! Морская пехота! Fighting the infidel Turk!

They've got problems, I've got solutions. (It's an Anglo-Celt thing.)

Anonymous said...

Don't a lot of kids' books feature animal or fantasy characters?

jz said...

Same problem for Christian children's books...those books all suck.

Anonymous said...

On a recent morning, Ms. Blake read from “Amelia’s Road” by Linda Jacobs Altman, about a daughter of migrant workers.

Linda Jacobs Altman: Latino, Hispanic, . . . or Scots Irish?


The Scots Irish qualify under all racial quotas--white, European, Hispanic, Latino, Middle Eastern, even African (usually via South Africa).

Anonymous said...

The Scots Irish qualify under all racial quotas--white, European, Hispanic, Latino, Middle Eastern, even African (usually via South Africa).

Their proper quota category is "Asian," but, if Ron Unz is to be believed, that category is disfavored these days. Must be nice to have options.

Anonymous said...

Hispanics need to get over their racist ethnocentrism and learn to enjoy stories for the story and not the color of the characters' skin

David Davenport said...

Publishers say they want to find more works by Hispanic authors, and in some cases they insert Latino characters in new titles.

How hard can this really be?? Spain has a very long literary tradition from which publishers can draw on. And Mexico and Central and South America are very big places.


"Publishers" really means NY City book publishers, and "Hispanic authors" really means Scot-Irish authors with or using Hispanic names.

anony-mouse said...

Yeesh. Such un-entrepreneurial people here.

Steve, why couldn't you become the next Johnston McCulley (under a pseudonym)? He basically ripped off Emma Orczy.

There's a fortune to be made.

sunbeam said...

I'm confused as to what they actually want.

Are they calling out the publishing industry for not publishing books with hispanic characters?

Or the authors for not writing about hispanic characters?

Anonymous said...

Are they calling out the publishing industry for not publishing books with hispanic characters?

Or the authors for not writing about hispanic characters?


They are calling out the powers that be for both (a) not publishing books BY LATINO authors and (b) not publishing books ABOUT HISPANIC characters.

It's the double whammy of Latino authorship and Hispanic charactership that is problematic.

Anonymous said...

Basic Spanish is much easier to learn than English so it becomes the default language of the less intelligent.

eah said...

The Old Man and the Sea

The Pearl

Anonymous said...

Children's books seems like the ultimate thing to moneyball.

Anonymous said...

The Scots Irish qualify under all racial quotas--...even African (usually via South Africa).

Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya may also be tickets to ride.

El Guapo said...

"What about Zorro and the Cisco Kid?"

Sorry, only Pancho could pass as an hispanic hispanic. But that fat guy who keeps falling down on Sabado Gigante does the trick!

Anonymous said...

Yea except for Narnia and Lord of the Rings. Don't a lot people buy those from your checkout counter at Half Price Books.

Anonymous said...

"A full quarter of children in American public schools are Hispanic?

Wow. Just wow."

At one point the New York crowd used to argue that while diversity fails in places like the Balkans, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and all over the Earth basically - and throughout all of known history - BUT they argue it will work in the present-day West (especially USA) because we are taking in SO MANY groups that they will just get confused by the large number of identities and NEVER fight. Who can't follow that argument? You have to be some kind of a racist. This is a MAJOR pillar of the diversity-can't-fail-today orthodoxy.

But with the speed of the Hispanic demographic transformation of USA that argument can no longer be made - right? You would think anyway - hmmm... what's next my school in Frankfurt?

Anonymous said...

My kids just read a new YA novel set in Sailer's neck of the woods (the San Fernando Valley.) The heroes were two white teenage boys (a middle class genius with Aspergers and his violent sidekick) and they ended up tangling with violent Mexican gangbangers in Sylmar. I was shocked at how few concessions to PC there were.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I don't understand why the advocates just don't write some awesome books about Latinos that everyone wants to read.

Or is it that they want JK Rowling and Judy Blume or whoever to do that job for them?

It is hard enough to get kids to read anything, much less Stalinoid crap pumped out to satisfy diversocrats.

The thing is, Multiculti wants to use your water fountains, but it also wants to keep its own water fountains.

Anonymous said...

I thought the central problem was that non-white Latino students read, write, and speak poorly in Spanish, too.

By the way, the Magic Treehouse series is for K-1, not third grade so already by third grade it would seem the Hispanics in this class are lagging 2-3 grade levels in reading.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see people that have a lot of color in the book"...

The horror! The horror!

Anonymous said...

How about a book about an Aztec priest who rips out the still beating hearts of his victims? That storyline shouldn't have hardly any whites in it.

Anonymous said...

Yep, getting rid of Dick, Jane, and Spot really improved white reading scores too, right? Made stories more vibrant, right?

Peter the Shark said...

Why can't they just give the kids Dora the Explorer and Diego books? Even when I was a kid in the 1970s we we were bombarded with hispanic love from Sesame Street and Electric Company with constant spanish language bits. "unos, dos, tres..." If there is one group that is not neglected in this country it is Latinos.

Anonymous said...

"Should Latino children read books about Latino characters or about Hispanic characters?"

Don't we have to make sure Mestizo kids read books by Mestizo authors about Mestizo kids?

Hmmm. I wonder if we whites who read Greek mythology were hurt by reading about gods with superpowers.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny how a good number of iSteve commentators say

"Ok NYTimes this is a problem? Here is a solution!"

And by doing so...MISS THE ENTIRE POINT.

We're being erased. Whites are being erased. Whites have to deal with diversity...but how dare diversities have to deal with anything white?


Anonymous said...

"I know there is a vast industry that churns out books for schools that have characters that look like America. The problem is these stories all suck."


Ahhh..Kinda like America? :) hehehe

Anonymous said...

I've known Scots Irish who, although resident in the United States, claimed "African-American" status for purposes of admission to American universities on the basis that they or their parents were born in South Africa.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that Motoko Rich isn't Latino

Since she "joined The Times in 2003 to write for the House & Home section and covered the run-up to the real estate boom", there are probably all kind of pearls authored by her that can be found in the NYT archives. Consistency!

agnostic said...

Not only don't they read, but they don't write either.

The article says around 3% of the books they looked at were either written by Hispanics or featured Hispanic characters. So less than 3% of children's authors are Hispanic, even though they're 17% of the country.

And I'd wager that most of the Hispanic authors are from the Caribbean, not from Central America. The Caribbeans contribute visibly, if not astonishingly, to American culture.

But the Mexicans etc. are just about total no-shows in every domain of culture, high and low. They're like low-IQ Asians.

Anonymous said...

"Kids do have a different kind of connection when they see a character that looks like them or they experience a plot or a theme that relates to something they’ve experienced in their lives."

Ms. Fleming is, astoundingly, arguing that integrated public education in a multiculturalist society suffers an unavoidable drawback: mix cultures and races, and it is impossible to have each assignment reflect the race and culture of each student. Then, each reading leaves some students with a deficit of understanding which would not happen were the students homogenized and the reading reflective of the homogeneity. QED.

Fisk Ellington Rutledge III said...

The only reasonable response to this typical NTY sludge is, "who cares and so what?"

I have a hard time thinking about the NTY because it drives me nuts to think that they have a large building with tons of furniture and computers and carpet and toilets and printing presses and vending machines and employees and security guards and company cars and bulletin boards and IT'S ALL COMPLETELY WASTED.

What's important to know, is why is the entire Japanese cartoon industry, starting in the 1950s and coming down to the present day, populated entirely by big-round-eyed White people?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nItY7T9zqAo

Anonymous said...

The thing is, Multiculti wants to use your water fountains, but it also wants to keep its own water fountains.

This is deep also.

Anonymous said...

"Reading is too white and must be abolished."

Hey, I've an idea: how about whites simply being paid to stop achieving, you know, so the others can catch up.

Matthew said...

If they didn't wanna read about white kids then they shouldn't have snuck illegally into a white country. They should have stayed the hell back home.

I grow rather weary of hearing people bith about being mistreated or underrepresented or oppressed after coming willingly to this country - without an invitation from us - after having left a country where the majority looks a lot like them.

Kaz said...

That explains low Asian reading scores.

Oh wait.

rightsaidfred said...

Note well here all the academics and interests groups manically counting and cataloging the skin color of characters in books and the kids who supposedly read them.

Money well spent by a color blind society where race is a social construct.

Jefferson said...

[QUOTE]Money well spent by a color blind society where race is a social construct.[/QUOTE]

The irony is that the same liberals who claim race is a social construct, are the same liberals who for example complain that Portland, Oregon is too White or used to complain that the tv show "Friends" was too White and how the show did not paint a realistic accurate portrayal of New York City's marvelous multiculturalism.

Why do they care if "Friends" was too White, aren't they suppose to be color blind and not see race. After all they claim there is only one race, and that is the Human race.

And last time I checked, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, and Joey are all Human Beings.

I don't see White people when I watch Friends, I only see Human Beings.

All of us color blind Human Beings should get together, sing, and drink a bottle of coke.



I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
That’s the song I hear
Let the world sing today
A song of peace that echoes on
And never goes away

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
That’s the song I hear
Let the world sing today
A song of peace that echoes on
And never goes away
A song of peace that echoes on
And n-e-v-e-r g-o-e-s a-w-a-y


Anonymous said...

How are mexicans and other latinos going to assimilate into white mainstream culture if whites are no longer the mainstream(and soon to be minority) and when they're told gringo is no good?

Silver said...

Publishers say they want to find more works by Hispanic authors, and in some cases they insert Latino characters in new titles.

How hard can this really be?? Spain has a very long literary tradition from which publishers can draw on. And Mexico and Central and South America are very big places.


I have an idea for them. How about The characters don't really "look like Mexico."

It's funny to watch the defensive reaction of Mexicans well-versed in the not-so-subtle art of hating white America when you bring up Memin to them. The comic book isn't "racist"; you're racist for suggesting it. (You "don't understand" Mexican culture blah blah blah...; the real problem always being that you understand it only too well.)

Silver said...

How are mexicans and other latinos going to assimilate into white mainstream culture if whites are no longer the mainstream(and soon to be minority)

Don't worry, I'm sure they'll find a way to blame whites for that too.

Silver said...

Yikes, my post came out badly screwed up.

It was meant to read: "I have an idea for them."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memín_Pinguín

"Then again that might not work because the characters don't really look like Mexico."

http://www.meminpinguin.com/carlangas/

Anonymous said...

The heroes were two white teenage boys (a middle class genius with Aspergers and his violent sidekick) and they ended up tangling with violent Mexican gangbangers in Sylmar.

Tsk the distortions of the white supremacist media!

No doubt based on a true story where the heroes were a black nerd genius with Aspergers and his violent, white, implicitly lesbian, sidekick and they ended up tangling with violent white skinheads in Sylmar.

Anonymous said...

Positive white characters are being purged now from the media because minorities arent deemed to fairly represented.

Whats the betting that once whites are a minority a new paradigm will come smashing down like an iron fist? That whites must not be represented as its quite simply unfair for a minority to to expect concessions from the majority? (Obviously this is what will happen to AA and political representation as well)

teqzilla said...

Anyone who spends 5 seconds looking at the kind of fiction children enjoy can see that the protragonists likeness to themself is absolutely irrelevant to the child's interest and enjoyment. If you spent 10 seconds you might even notice that kids often favor protagonists that are wildly different to themselves.

Hey, hypothetical latino kid, wanna see a movie about robots from outter space that transform into trucks and stuff? Yeah!

How about one where sword wielding mutant turtles fight an alien that looks like some weird brain thing? Let's go!

Or how about this one about a young latino child's struggles to adapt to a white man's world? booorrrrriiiinggg!

It's so obvious yet an NYT writer can stare right at it and not know it's there. The fact that latino children read tales about talking animals and immortal wizards is something to be blithley mentioned and excused so we can focus on how cruel it is to expect latino kids to empathise with these weird white kids.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you started the ball rolling with Motoko Rich.

Lets see the other named parties in your excerpt, other than students:

Jane Fleming. Looks like Julia Roberts' plain sister, does that make her jewish?

Sandy Ruvalcaba Carrillo

Susan Pimentel

Catherine E. Snow


Mariana Souto-Manning

Ive come up short on Kimberly Blake, her school doesnt even list her as staff.

Valerie Garfield

Well, I dont know what to make of that, people of color seem rather thin on the ground though.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, I forgot Patricia Enciso!

Anonymous said...

And no men in the list at all, I guess thats not a problem - somehow.

Steve Sailer said...

By the way, I just wanted to alert commenters to not bother putting in a lot of effort into a witty comment about somebody named in an article if that individual is under age 18 (and isn't a celebrity).

BigStraightPhil said...

Matthew-

"I grow rather weary of hearing people bith about being mistreated or underrepresented or oppressed after coming willingly to this country"

What we really need is for a critical mass of around 40-50 million white Americans to grow equally weary, and then we can all have a damn good rest. I can see this day coming a lot sooner than many people think. I for one have already started stockpiling duvets and alarm clocks.

Craig M. said...

'Motoko Rich' sounds like something Psy would say in Gangnam Style.

Ray V. said...

"All of us color blind Human Beings should get together, sing, and drink a bottle of coke."

Problem is, Coke dropped the 'we are all equal humans' line somewhere in the 80's along with the rest of the liberal elites, leaving that to conservatives and whites.

From a June '12 editorial in Blackgivesback.com:

"The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) has recently installed Ingrid Saunders Jones, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president of Global Community Connections and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, as chairman of the board at its 55th annual conference in Washington, DC."

and

"Under Ms. Jones’ leadership, the Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed more than $460 million to support sustainable community initiatives, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)...."

Think about that the next time you are deciding which cola to buy...

Snippet said...

Did Motoko Rich see a lot of people who looked like her in the books she read as a child?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:43 and Jefferson @ 12:04 articulate the fundamental duplicity in the liberal mindset.

Speaking as anthropologists about humanity in general, liberals insist that race is just a cultural artifact--an accidental and not an essential quality--and that we are all members of one family.

But then, sensitive to the the faintest whiff of cultural slight and acting in their role of social crusader and protector of the meek from the scourge of white privilege's obliviousness, they turnabout and impose a classic double bind by arguing that the uniqueness of a minorities race constitutes his/her identity and must be honored and preserved at all costs.

And that anyone who can't get their minds around this "together but separate and equal but different" doublethink is guilty of a hate crime and must be deprived of their rights (livelihood and freedom of speech) imprisoned and reeducated.

Dutch reader said...

Like Univision, Indonesian television and movies in particular are largely populated by actors that do not look like the population at large. In prominent roles, they cast something like 60-70% mixed race actors, both male and female (but females particularly). The Indonesian-looking cast members are predominantly extras, servants, menial workers, or comical relief characters. And they do it themselves; although Indonesian show bizz is financially dominated by ethnic Chinese, ethnic Indonesians are well represented in their own mass media (and the non-Indonesian characters have European traits, not Chinese ones).

Harry Baldwin said...

My wife has done illustrations for children's textbooks. They are multicultural to the nth degree, with happy little clusters of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and girls in hijabs--however, she's instructed not to make blacks with dark skin or thick lips, or Hispanics who would fail the paper bag test. In other words, illustrate different races but don't make them look too much like the actual races. Our hope for diversity lies in pretending that while races are different, they're not TOO different.

Chicago said...

Most of this seems to revolve around works of fiction. Perhaps kids would be better off if non-fiction books about history, science, geography, biography, etc, were used. Most fiction is just blather anyway.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Whoa!

Either I forgot to press "Post" (sadly, a very real possibility...) or I was moderated( on Isteve!) for (admittedly snarkily) suggesting that they add "Little Black Sambo" to their reading list.

Yeah, I know ne wasn't "hispanic", but he was a person of color --- Tamil or such, IIRC. Also, once again IIRC from my long ago childhood, there wasn't a damned thing racist about the book. Seems like someone republished it, several years ago under a different title and it slipped by the PC PO-lice and was moderately successful.
Kudos to whoever mentioned "The Old Man and the Sea". Truly, a classic.

John Mansfield said...

Give them Tintin. My boys love the translated reprints of those Belgian stories originally published 50-80 years ago.

Anonymous said...

“If all they read is Judy Blume or characters in the “Magic Treehouse” series who are white and go on adventures,” said Mariana Souto-Manning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, “they start thinking of their language or practices or familiar places and values as not belonging in school."

Public schools are now celebrating Indigenous People Day instead of Columbus Day, The Day of the Dead instead of Halloween, Indigenous People Day II instead of Thanksgiving, Kwanza and Haunuka instead of Christmas, Cesar Chavez Day, Martin Luther King Day, Ramadan instead of St Patricks Day, Passover, and Juneteenth. By my last count, four fifths of the books in the Scholastic Books catalog were about members of the coalition that elected Obama. What Mariana Souto-Manning is implicitly griping about is that all the highest quality educational material and young adult fiction is produced by the free market for their best paying customers: home schooling families, who are overwhelmingly white and Christian, and pre-adolescent and teen white girls.

Anonymous said...

Gee, you can't expect Asians to study classical music if all of the major composers have been white!

elvisd said...

"My kids just read a new YA novel set in Sailer's neck of the woods (the San Fernando Valley.) The heroes were two white teenage boys (a middle class genius with Aspergers and his violent sidekick) and they ended up tangling with violent Mexican gangbangers in Sylmar. I was shocked at how few concessions to PC there were."

Title?

Londoner said...

When I was a child I was taught that reading fiction was a way to experience things that WEREN'T a part of my everyday life. This strikes me as correct and valid. So if "Hispanic" children can only engage with stories about Pepe's lazy mule or whatever then that's not particularly impressive. Of course the real goal of all this isn't to get Mexican kids reading, it's to strip whites out of popular culture and replace them with non-whites. And to expose white children to a culture denuded of whites from an early an age as possible in order to make it the norm in their developing minds,

Anonymous said...

"But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary here: most of the main characters are white. “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color,” he said. " - It is almost as if he were in a white nation, and benefitting from white institutions or something.

Kylie said...

Can't the teachers just pass out brown crayons?

I get the distinct feeling that these mestizos would rather color in their books than read them anyway.

Jefferson said...

[QUOTE]I get the distinct feeling that these mestizos would rather color in their books than read them anyway.[/QUOTE]

Mestizos/Amerindians are not exactly known for having high I.Q's. Which explains why countries like Mexico, Bolivia, Honduras, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, etc are not in the same league as White countries.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I thought Hispanics could be any race. This seems to imply that Hispanics are not white. Or are they white at certain times and not at others? Does it depend on the season or pH or what?

Everyone knows that not seeing people like yourself in picture books is the cause of poor school performance. As a Jewish child, not once did I see a bearded rabbi in my picture books at school and now all I can do is mow lawns since I never learned to read. All those blond haired blue eyed characters completely turned me off on school.

A few years ago they made a big deal of the fact that on the SAT, they had an analogy question involving the words yacht and regatta. Everyone knows that white people all have yachts - in fact, entire regattas of yachts, while black people have none. As soon as this cultural bias was cleaned up (in fact so evil was this question that they got rid of the entire analogies section) blacks and whites would surely score equally. UNEXPECTEDLY, this has not happened. In fact the gap is BIGGER on the math sections that have the least "cultural" content, at least until they figure out a way to make algebra out as racist.

Average Joe said...

The NYT doesn't really care about whether or not Latino kids read. What they want to do is stop white kids from reading about white characters unless those white characters happen to be bad guys.

Anonymous said...

Am/Was I the only one, who, upon reading the persons Steve cited above, began to feel as though their primary concern was not so much helping Latino children learn to read as it was lecturing, chiding, admonishing, fault finding and pointing the finger at the Evil White Callous Demon and yet again, reluctantly but for its own good, shoveling a load of guilt/sh*t on those recalcitrant Whites for their just-can't-help-acting-like-Whitedness?

Anonymous said...

My favorite Steinbeck novel has always been Tortilla Flat. I lived in Salinas/Monterey Peninsula area for years, and I can tell you those hispanic sons of bitches were very funny and reeking of verisimilitude!

jody said...

reminds me of the argument that africans will not do well on tests created by european men, and that if the africans created the tests, it would be the europeans doing badly.

1) europeans create almost everything, so, what tests? have african academics created any tests of any kind, in any field, from scratch? "If we created the tests, you'd suck at them." this riposte assumes the africans, or more broadly speaking humans in general, even have the capacity in the first place to create anything like that.

over and over again though we find, they don't. so that's occam's razor for the books available to public school students in the US. who's writing all the books, doing all the work, coming up with everything from scratch? the europeans. so of course most of the characters in the book are europeans. if the other groups had any interest in this stuff, and they don't, they'd be free to write any story they want. that they don't, pretty much ever, is the reason the characters in existing books are the way they are. it's because europeans are more interesting and do more stuff. not because any authors are discriminating.

the mexicans in LA i used to hang with were crazy about movies. almost all movies show european peoples doing stuff and almost never mexicans, mestizos, mulattos, or the various mixed race people of latin america. that never stopped them from paying their 10 bucks for a ticket once a month to see the latest blockbuster.

2) i seem to recall this one test european men created, called "who can put the orange ball in the basket the best". not surprisingly, africans were terrible at it. another test european men created was called "who can move the brown oblong ball down the green field the best". africans were, predictably, awful at this as well. even ancient european men, who may not have been the virulent racists that year 2012 white men are, created a test called "who can run circles around the oval the best" and even an ancient test from ancient times which, one would think would be exempt from modern racism, was, yet again, found to be racist. africans were abysmal at that test as well.

now, if only africans created the tests, you might seem them excel at tasks like:

moving spheres through euclidian space in a vector horizontal to the earth

increasing their velocity from from point A to point B in the shortest time possible and achieving a smaller delta than anybody else

overcoming the negative acceleration of g, and momentarily achieving lift off at a rate greater than 9.8 meters per second, while simultaneously calculating parabolic trajectories to accurately predict their flight towards objects 10 feet above the ground

alas, those are tricky mathematical propositions, and africans struggle with such tests of ability.

Anonymous said...

Hispanics seem to be white, when they feel like it and non-white when it serves their interests.

Anonymous said...

"Title?"

http://www.amazon.com/Colin-Fischer-Ashley-Edward-Miller/dp/1595145788/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354558099&sr=1-1&keywords=colin+fischer

Looks like the authors are a couple of 40-ish straight white married with kids white guy screenwriters with gentile names. Hmm...

Truth said...

"2) i seem to recall this one test european men created, called "who can put the orange ball in the basket the best". not surprisingly, africans were terrible at it. another test european men created was called "who can move the brown oblong ball down the green field the best". africans were, predictably, awful at this as well."

You know jody, I've read that brain parasites were an often overlooked cause of mental illness.

Anonymous said...

Whites don't read, jocks to blame.

Anonymous said...

Los Angeles has two million Mexicans, but is there a single decent Spanish bookstore, something that sells literature beyond westerns and romances?

john marzan said...

"As schools across the country implement the Common Core — national standards for what students should learn in English and math — many teachers are questioning whether nonwhite students are seeing themselves reflected in their reading. "

soon, they will be questioning the predominance of English in public schools.

Silver said...

Everyone knows that not seeing people like yourself in picture books is the cause of poor school performance. As a Jewish child, not once did I see a bearded rabbi in my picture books at school and now all I can do is mow lawns since I never learned to read. All those blond haired blue eyed characters completely turned me off on school.

Hehe. It's easy to scoff, but I think there is something to the 'identification effect.' I used to love playacting as a kid. I've been everything from crusader to muslim marauder, to cowboy, to roman, knight of the round table and so on. But some identities were easier to assume than others. Being a soldier in WWII came very easily, but I always struggled with cowboys.

As far as I knew, cowboys were all WASPs who looked like the Lone Ranger, and they didn't have surnames like Stoyanovich or Dimitrov. So I'd play a cowboy but my heart was never really in it - I suppose maybe because I thought I could never 'really' be one (like when I grow up, say).

On the other hand, He-Man looked as Germanic as it gets and I never thought about it even once. That could be because I knew the world he inhabited was completely make-believe, but it does go to show that racial considerations are hardly paramount.

Also, the attempt to be inclusive can have unintended negative consequences. In the 5th grade my class listened to a sing-along radio program for kids. The programmers decided to include a most embarrassingly stupid folk song from Yugoslavia. The chorus had a part that went "seno slama seno slama - zob zob zob." The kids would hit an emphatic "zob zob zob!" and look at me and snigger -- "That's where Silver's from." Lol, even the teacher got into the act. There was a student teacher from England monitoring our singalong once and this song came on. The teacher and the student teacher looked at each and fighting back laughter my teacher said to the student teacher, "We don't do so well with the ethnic songs" and glanced at me immediately afterwards. I wanted to sink under the desk.

MAtthew said...

Wanna hear something truly depressing? According to WIkipedia, here's the employment data on the 45,000 strong Somali population in the UK:

"Somali-born migrants have the lowest employment rate among all immigrants in the UK...In the three months to June 2008, 31.4 percent of Somali men and 84.2 percent of Somali women were economically inactive (the statistics include students, carers and the long-term sick, injured or disabled in this group). Of those who were economically active, 41.4 percent of the men and 39.1 percent of the women were unemployed. Employment rates were 40.1 percent for men and 9.6 percent for women. The male employment rate has, however, risen from 21.5 percent in 1998"

Follow that: only ~40% (68.6% of the economically actives (those who hold or are looking for a job)x 58.6% who are actually employed) of all Somali men in the UK hold down a job.

Compare that to the United States, where the overall workforce participation rate - men AND women - at its lowest ever recorded was 63.5%.

Truth said...

"Everyone knows that not seeing people like yourself in picture books is the cause of poor school performance. As a Jewish child, not once did I see a bearded rabbi in my picture books at school and now all I can do is mow lawns since I never learned to read."

I doubt it, but you probably became a WASP butt-kisser like all of the Jews who wrote the comic books.

Enter your full name here said...

"Of all the children sitting cross-legged on the rug, only Mario said that his mother had worked on farms."

Ah, if only white children, too, could appreciate those farm family books like Little House on the Prairie!

Eric Rasmusen said...

I'm actually in the proc ess now of reading Old Man and the Sea out loud to my 6 and 9 year old daughters at bedtime. They seem to like it.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that not seeing people like yourself in picture books is the cause of poor school performance. As a Jewish child, not once did I see a bearded rabbi in my picture books at school and now all I can do is mow lawns since I never learned to read. All those blond haired blue eyed characters completely turned me off on school.

Which is probably why so many blacks, Latinos and other darker nominal Christians were turned off Christianity by all those Bible Stories books in doctor's offices!

Anonymous said...

"Maybe the SPLC can declare the Magic Treehouse a hate group."

That made me laugh out loud at The Internet.

Anonymous said...

Cons don't read much either. In college towns and big cities, I recall leftist/Marxist/feminist/gay book stores, buy I've never seen a rightwing bookstore... not even in conservative towns.

There are Christian bookstores but...

Anonymous said...

Ok, pass out the 'Don Quixotes' and 'Of Tombs and Heroes'.

I'll bet more Jews and Asians will read them.

Anonymous said...

Most Mexican tv soaps feature 'Aryan-looking' people. So, why do mestizos watch so much of that stuff?

And why do Japanese love anime when most characters don't look Japanese at all?

And why did Jews draw so much inspiration from Wagner and write so many Christmas songs?

and why did so many whites listen to and emulate black music?

Anonymous said...

This is a variation of black doll/white doll bs.

Anonymous said...

Playboy mags musta been popular with men of all races because the centerfolds were racially so diverse.

It was when stubby and portly Maria Gomez made the centerfold that all the Mexican men flocked to buy it.

Anonymous said...

Mebbe NY Times is right. Not enough cons read the NY Times because it doesn't hire and showcase enough people who look and think like most conservatives.
So, it should hire more people who look/think like Buchanan to make us read more of it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Cons don't read much either. In college towns and big cities, I recall leftist/Marxist/feminist/gay book stores, buy I've never seen a rightwing bookstore... not even in conservative towns."

Conservatives - real conservatives - generally object to the politicization of everyday life. Their reading lists aren't dictated by a political agenda. They don't need books on gardening or cooking that have an explicit political agenda, as leftists (for whom all politics is personal) do.

Anonymous said...

I read Curious George books. I did not know anyone in a jungle suit who had a pet monkey.

Anonymous said...

Well, Steve, I came across a several page list of students sent by a school district in CA today concerning your National Merit Scholars, and amazingly enough, almost all the names appeared to be Mexican extraction. Whether or not that means they are smart I do not know, but it for sure means that the Mexicans have succeeded in colonizing that city. You CA guys had better start running away unless you get the Feds to push out the invasion force.

David said...

Oh my goodness, this pushes my buttons.

>But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary here: most of the main characters are white. "I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color," he said.<

I would bet anything that Mario is Hispanic like Geraldo Rivera is, and that some adult put these words in his mouth.

The whine "this TV show/movie/book is too whitebread, it needs more COLAH" is something that caused a shit storm during a movie I was involved in. The Scots-Irish producer was willing to junk the whole flick because, in the middle of filming, he decided it was "too whitebread." But the movie wasn't going to be sold to BET or anything, and firing the actors and refilming would have been expensive.

Never met a NAM who voiced this whine. Well, a black lady co-worker of mine in Nashville long ago suddenly had select words with management about the country music that was piped in to the office all day. She went off in a hilarious rant about "racist cowboys." To the relief of most of us, the music ended for good that day. That's the only instance I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Never met a NAM who voiced this whine. Well, a black lady co-worker of mine in Nashville long ago suddenly had select words with management about the country music that was piped in to the office all day. She went off in a hilarious rant about "racist cowboys." To the relief of most of us, the music ended for good that day. That's the only instance I can think of.

In my lifetime, NAMs and even AMs rarely voiced that whine unless given cue cards by white liberals. And it was white liberals who bemoaned racism and "COLAHLESNEZ", either directly or by proxy.