July 18, 2018

UK: Children's books are “too white.” Is anything sacred?

Jack BuckbyRebel Contributor

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has produced a government-funded report on literature for children in the UK.

In the new report, the CLPE states that just four per cent of books published for children last year featured non-white lead characters, despite a third of primary school pupils in England coming from an ethnic minority background.

Is nothing sacred? The pandering never ends. One minute we’re told race isn’t important, then we’re told race doesn’t exist, and then we’re told that we need to pander to people based on their race and thus, race is important again.

This really shows us how insatiable the Left can be. Well, actually, just how insatiable the Left is. Let me be clear about this: I don’t believe this is the thinking of a minority on the Left. This is mainstream opinion, and authors are now being told buy researchers that they should rethink their characters and start placing non-white personalities in leading, "central" roles.

So, does this really make that much difference? I mean, first off, let’s be honest and say that Britain has long been a majority white country and still is a majority white country. The people who created this society and civilisation have been, by and large, white.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think non-white people can be British. Of course I do. But it is a fact that the native people of this country happen to be white and the non-white population are descendants of immigrants who have, on the most part, arrived in the last century.

So here we are, presented with a population shift placed on us by our politicians, and now we’re told we need to bend over backwards and change everything about our lives to suit the needs of new arrivals.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not having it.

If we are to become truly able to look past race, it shouldn’t be an issue that a majority-white nation produced a majority of children’s books featuring white kids. I’d expect a majority of Indian children’s books to feature Indian children.

That’s how the world works — and in all honesty, I doubt very much that non-white families are lying awake at night, concerned that Christopher Robin is a little white boy instead of a Pakistani girl in a hijab.

The news of this report comes on the same day that MPs have announced that MI6 is too white.

You couldn’t make this up.


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commented 2018-07-19 18:57:54 -0400
I view it as a literary flare or his penchant or preference to colorful (sarcastic) writing on his take of [new] fascism, you view it as just political. We could both be partly right for only he knows the exact intent in which he wrote it, for us it is subjective. The article did contain some validity, but like I originally stated “but then again I rarely agree with any writing in its entirety”.
commented 2018-07-19 18:32:59 -0400
Hyacinth, those few examples could be read as sarcasm, I suppose but it doesn’t have to be. And he is right about uniforms, etc. But those are few and not exceptionally clearly sarcastic. The overall tenor of the piece does not come across as sarcastic. I’d bet a fiver he is still left leaning- just not terribly aggressive. The article has many left wing canards such as Muslims being equated with Jews in Nazi Germany. We’ll have to agree o disagree.
commented 2018-07-19 18:23:10 -0400
Had a fairly eloquent and lengthy response to your posting Allan, was about to hit the post button and my computer went down again. Been having that prob few days, think I need a new cord.

In summary to your link:
As to wiki, don’t lend much to it for it has been proven inaccurate many times, but as a secondary link or personal verification it is deemed acceptable. Looking at the wiki link, it can be safe to assume that as a young man he did hold strong political opinions however that does not mean he still held them when he was much older.
i.e.; “Both members of the Young Communist League, Harold and Connie met in 1935, aged 15. They participated in the Battle of Cable Street together. As a young couple, they settled in Pinner, Middlesex. They eventually left the Communist Party in 1957. Michael never joined, but this background influenced his childhood, for example his father’s acquaintance (through his mother) with the bohemian literary figure Beatrice Hastings made an impression on him as a child.” And “Despite previously having made no secret of his radical left-wing politics when he was originally interviewed for a BBC post, he was asked to go freelance in 1972, though in practice he was sacked despite several departments of the BBC wishing to employ him.” Both those quotations does portray him as very political but that can change with age just as pointed out that they (his parents) eventually left the Communist Party in 1957 showing that even his parents softened their political views as do most as they age.
“In 1993, Rosen gained an MA in Children’s Literature from the University of Reading. He holds a PhD from the University of North London.” Which showed his main interest was not in the political arena but rather focused on writing and a particular type of writing which eventually ended in producing works/programs for children.
“… Sometime around the age of twelve and thirteen I began to get a sense that I liked writing, liked trying out different kinds of writing, I tried writing satirical poems about people I knew.” Which lends to the point I made of sarcasm in his writing.

What I got out of the wiki article was that this man was educated, well off, could afford the luxury of pursuing self-interests which ultimately led him to writing for children. A political activist in his youth but not by appearance (wiki notations) later in life.

In summary in regards to the link I posted, it is riddled with sarcasm.
For example this statement – “One of the great misunderstandings and misconceptions people have is that Fascists wear uniforms and round up Jews, therefore anyone who isn’t calling for the Jews to be sent to a gas chamber or wearing a uniform, isn’t a Fascist.” and this statement “Fascists have been demonised as uniformed clowns and skinhead thugs, to the point that many think this is the only form they take.” are two examples of the use of colorful language which is a form of sarcasm. He could have made his point far more succinctly but chose to embellish the statements through sarcasm as a means of emphasizing his point which actually is much further in the article which merely was “Fascism can also come in the form of a friend or a relative, someone you trust, someone you like and admire.”

There is some validity to this article, the idea of
- There are some differences between the Fascism of 1936 and 2016, but the core principles are the same.
- The main thing holding the Fascists back is that the system is still standing. Fascism thrives in a vacuum.
- The rise of New Fascism is an issue across the Western World
commented 2018-07-19 17:01:49 -0400
Keith Barnes… Not any more.. But I did pass on my sailing genes to my sons and my oldest son did a lot of serious offshore racing when he still lived in Australia…
commented 2018-07-19 15:11:52 -0400
Read it again. There is no sarcasm there. He is straight up about it. Here is link to his wikipedia profile that show he is probably quite left of centre:

commented 2018-07-19 13:59:55 -0400
Okay, Hyacinth, I’ll go over it again in that light. I have to admit I read it rather quickly. It didn’t give me the impression of being sarcastic. I’ll give it another go.
commented 2018-07-19 13:51:39 -0400
“This is a leftist screed against the right and Trump but well disguised.”

Might I suggest that perhaps you have missed the intentional sarcastic tone added to the article? It is a colorful way that the author is trying to place what he deems to be facts out in plan view while avoiding direct accusations, hence some parts of the article could be construed as to meaning two or more things. He does state “Now most of the readers are probably going to compare this to the current American election, but I am not speaking about one individual or even one country” which in my opinion was in effort to negate the possibility of reading into the article. But one must remember that the majority of articles online are not academically driven writings but rather opinion pieces sometimes with actual past or present facts. I did not take it as veiled leftist propaganda, but rather an opinion piece that held some validity though not in its entirety, but then again I rarely agree with any writing in its entirety.
commented 2018-07-19 11:30:04 -0400
ANDY NEIMERS commented 7 hours ago.

Same books that I read. Are you still sailing?
commented 2018-07-19 11:20:27 -0400
HYACINTH commented 4 hours ago
This is an interesting read, it holds a warning that is being ignored.
Read it again, Hyacinth. It should be ignored.
Well maybe not ignored but not accepted uncritically.
This is a leftist screed against the right and Trump but well disguised. The real clarity is when he equates Muslims of today with Jews of Nazi Germany. That is a comparison the leftists always make and it is incorrect. Muslim should be equated with the Nazi’s- not the Jews.

Give it another careful read.
commented 2018-07-19 04:24:01 -0400
As an immigrant boy, I grew up and learned English reading Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” series… So, “too white” now?… And should be re-written to include a token Jamaican boy now, even though there was not one anywhere in the Lakes District when the books were written?? The absurdity of it all has seemingly no bounds now…
commented 2018-07-19 00:17:32 -0400
If you don’t like children’s books, then write your own damned books.
commented 2018-07-18 21:40:03 -0400
If Christopher Robin was all of a sudden turned into anything other than a white boy I sure hope the family of A A Mills would be outraged for changing the character that is in reality the author’s son to something he was not. Yes Christopher Robin was a real person and even Winnie the Pooh was based on a real bear named Winnie and was the mascot of the Winnipeg Rifles Birggrade of WW1.