Texas Tribune: White parents ‘largely’ opposed to schoolchildren being exposed to sexually explicit imagery

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The Texas Tribune, an ostensibly “nonpartisan” news outlet, has gone out of its way to suggest that white parents aren’t OK with schoolchildren being exposed to blatantly pornographic content, but minority parents are.

To some, this seems like a perfect example of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

In a tweet posted Saturday, the paper claimed, “The coming-of-age memoir ‘Gender Queer’ has become a lightning rod in Texas. But the scrutiny over school library books, which is largely being driven by white parents, is part of a nationwide political phenomenon.”

The tweet linked to a comprehensive article that touted the same talking point:

The tweet provoked quite a bit of backlash, with critics noting that the liberal paper doesn’t seem to think too highly of black and brown parents.

Look (*Graphic content):

To be clear, whites comprise the majority of the U.S. population, meaning therefore that they also comprise the majority of U.S. parents. And so the demonstrable fact that most dissenting parents are white doesn’t necessarily prove anything.

The book mentioned by the paper, “Gender Queer,” has in fact sparked widespread controversy among parents of various races because it contains pornographic cartoon imagery depicting, among other things, oral sex.

The Tribune admits this, though it also tries to downplay it.

“[Upset parent Kathy] May didn’t read the book, but what she saw — a few pages of explicit illustrations depicting oral sex — was disturbing to her,” the paper reports.

“It took less than a day for May and other parents to get the book removed from the district. May tweeted that same day that after school officials had been notified, the book was removed from a student’s hands.”

The part about the parent, Kathy May, not having “read the book” comes off like the paper accusing her of being ignorant. Interestingly, this argument seems to be rooted in the author’s own interpretation.

Author Maia Kobabe told the paper that because of social media, “a person can more quickly flip it open, see one or two images that they disagree with and then decide that the book is not good without actually reading it.”

“To people who are challenging the book, please read the whole book and judge it based on the entire contents, not just a tiny snippet.”

She also defended the pornographic cartoon imagery, saying that it depicts “good, accurate, safe information about these topics.”

“Kobabe, who recommends the book to high school students or older, said there are other novels that have been in high school libraries for years about sexuality, relationships or identity,” according to the Tribune.

Yes, but they have never contained straight-up pornography, nor extremely “graphic descriptions of sex, masturbation and strap-ons,” as reported by the Daily Mail.

The content of the book is so graphic that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched an investigation into it last week.

“Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath directing the agency to investigate any criminal activity in public schools involving the availability of pornographic material that serves no educational purpose,” a press release from his office reads.

“The Governor also directed the agency to report any instance of pornography being provided to minors under the age of 18 for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”


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Vivek Saxena


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