The Left and the Politics of the Book Fair

The Left and the Politics of the Book Fair
The Left and the Politics of the Book Fair

A new book is planting the ideas of revolutionary egalitarianism in our children’s hearts and minds. It comes with bright pictures, happy animals, and catchy rhymes. The purveyor is Scholastic, a company with a long reach into America’s schools and libraries. The chances are excellent that your neighborhood or parish school hosts a Scholastic Book Fair, or sends home Scholastic Book Club fliers.

The book is titled We Are All Equal. The cover shows elephants, bears, turtles, deer, and penguins, cavorting with an owl, a turtle, a monkey, a muskox, and a snake. All are smiling. Most of the critters have trunks, wings, arms, or paws extended in a welcoming gesture of universal peace and love.

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The book’s web page says that  “No matter who you are, where you come from, where you live, what you look like, who you love, whether you are small or tall, whether you walk or run, this book celebrates the richness in our differences and the joy that… we are all equal.”  This book promotes a very definite point of view – very much in step with the worldwide “social justice” movement. This philosophy will find its way into the minds of Scholastic’s elementary school customers.

This quotation manifests its radical message: “We are all equal/ Our love we decide/ We can get married/ No love is denied.”

Scholastic – the Company and its Ethos

However, the left cannot openly promote its ideology but must resort to dressing it up in the language of empowerment and individual rights. Recognizing real differences between persons become acts of discrimination. Through this prism of empowerment, immorality becomes freedom.

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Scholastic excels in this process of changing young minds.  A page on their website titled “Credo” describes the corporate ethos. The last two paragraphs read:

“We pledge ourselves to uphold the basic freedoms of all individuals; we are unalterably opposed to any system of government or society that denies these freedoms. We oppose discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation or identity, age, or national origin.

“Good citizens may honestly differ on important public questions. We believe that all sides of the issues of our times should be fairly discussed — with deep respect for facts and logical thinking — in classroom magazines, books, and other educational materials used in schools and homes.”

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Translated from “edu-speak” (the jargon of educationists), the statement defends the notion that all ideas should be welcome in the schoolroom or a child’s library—as long as they are inspired by the left.

One Side of History

The book company has an extensive readership. Thus, their offerings range from Bible stories for the very young and children’s classics (Charlotte’s Web) to books designed to appeal to the baser interests of adolescent boys (Captain Underpants). They feature both Disney princesses and Harry Potter– lots of Harry Potter.

However, there are peculiar gaps, which are especially evident on its nonfiction list. We find feminist heroines like Amelia Earhart and Malala Yousafzai. Civil rights icons like Ruby Bridges, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela are here. Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King get multiple titles. Sacagawea gets a title, but the men that she guided, Lewis and Clark, do not. There is a biography of Astronaut Mae Jamison, but nothing about the far more famous and significant John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. There are several books about the victims of Nazism, but nothing about the errors of Communism.

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There are elementary-level biographies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Alexander Hamilton. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are presented as “Those Rebels.” Only two modern presidents are represented.  John F. Kennedy’s PT 109 and his assassination are here. The cover of Yes We Can! A Salute to Children from President Obama’s Victory Speech features a broadly smiling president and three cheering children.

False Equality

Thus, like many leftists, they proclaim the equality of persons – even of the non-human characters in We Are All Equal. At the same time, ideas that do not appeal to their leftist sentiments are not worth considering. So their equality is false, even by the terms of their “Credo.”

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This sense of equality is a false and damaging modern myth. To claim total equality is to deny that God gave each of us an individual set of gifts and interests so that we may serve Him and humanity in our particular way.  It is to deny that mothers and fathers play complementary but distinct roles in the raising of children. The leftist sense of equality seeks to mold us into a mass of humanity without dignity, distinction, or ideas that oppose their own. Even more tragic is that the left does this by indoctrinating children at an early age.