Vamos a Selma!

What would happen if I published a book called “Vamos a Selma” and in it, I completely denigrated Martin Luther King and the Civil rights movement, stating falsities like “the South was utopian before the civil rights movement.” And showed photographs of African-Americans sitting in the back seats of buses and captioned “In Selma, all African-Americans are guaranteed seats in public transportation.” Or showed photographs of African-Americans lined up at a drinking fountain with a sign that reads “blacks only” above it and captioned the photograph “African-Americans even have their own water fountains in Selma!” And yet another photo of African-Americans in the cotton fields captioned “African-Americans share in the robust economic activity of Selma!”

And then, I took said published book and sold it to the School Board and had it shelved in elementary school libraries.

What would happen? How long would that book last on the shelves? Would concerned African-American parents want to have that book removed from their children’s schools’ shelves? Would the rest of the non-African-American population support them in their quest to have that book removed?

Ive heard arguments stating that libraries are chock full of books that are slanted, one-sided and downright false and that that is no reason to suppress the freedom of expression that libraries offer. That may be so. But does that make it right for me to publish a book like “Vamos a Selma”, complete with all the lies and misrepresentations, and have it placed in libraries as a “reference” book?

How many of the same people that have lobbied for the “Vamos a Cuba” book to remain on the shelves in Dade County Public School Libraries, will lobby for “Vamos a Selma” to remain on the shelves as well?

I know the answer. Do you?

16 thoughts on “Vamos a Selma!”

  1. I think you are dreaming if you think your Selma book would even make it to the library. the school would not purchase your book; it would never even be considered for the library.

    There is your answer.

  2. Your superb analysis of the hypocrisy surrounding the book controversies will be lost on the people who have already made up their minds that we are just a bunch of intolerant hotheads. And these bigoted loudmouths know exactly who they are.

  3. Not only would the book not be purchased, you can bet the MSM would be all over the story, warning parents that bigots were marketing racist books aimed at children. Imagine the outcry.

  4. George,

    No way are you guys a bunch of intolerant hotheads.

    You all have more than tolerated a rant or two from me.

    Send those posts my way and I’ll tell them they tolerate this…

    To all, keep up the good work.

  5. A Sample Chapter from Vamos a Selma:

    “The negro children are so special to the people of Selma that they have their own schools where they won’t be bothered by little white boys and much less little white girls. Their schools are very quaint, with four walls, a tolerable roof and conservationist sod floor. A cheery wood stove burns in season. They have textbooks that have been tested for at least 15 years on white students. Their health is promoted by their 20-mile daily constitutionals to and from school while white kids ride on buses that deprive them of healthy exercise and of the opportunity to commune with Nature.”

  6. Manuel,

    No way I’ll argue that one with you.

    I’m just old enough to remember “Colored Only” bathrooms, even in the north.

    But as you know not all school boards are so ignorant. In Philadelphia “Waiting For Snow In Havana” is the “One Book One City” book for the current school year.

  7. Do the Dade public schools have a copy of “The Poisonous Mushroom” that German school children read in 1938?
    How about Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s “The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan.” (New York: A. Wessels Company, 1907)? It was so popular, that the renown director D. W. Griffith used it as the basis for a movie.
    Needless to say, Crew and his minions are hypocrites.

  8. Jack,

    You too have tolerated “rants” from us!

    At least when all is said and done, I am certain the vast majority of the posters here truly love America, and I am one of them. Thank god for America – even with all its faults and the terrible judgement of past leaders.

    Free speech in America has helped eradicate the racism and injustice that existed.
    That is why we must denounce people like Pastors for Peace, Code pink, Globalxchange, Francisco Aruca (hope his Cuba travel business is in the toilet!) that are the anthesis of what America REALLY stands for, freedom.

    I especially despise people that enjoy our freedoms, live here and make a good living off the capitalism, yet use their free speech to say how “glorious” the Cuban revolution is.

  9. The author of “Vamos a Selma” would be roundly denounced, and rightly so. So why do the same folks who would grab the tar and feathers for “Vamoa a Selma” seem so shocked at the response for “Vamos a Cuba.”

    And this is from the daughter of a man refused service for being too obviously Indian.

  10. Let’s face it — there will ALWAYS be slanted books out there. But I have an idea: how about the teachers in these schools, doing their jobs, and TEACHING kids about the reality. And parents EXPLAINING things to their children?

    Teachers teaching — I could be coming out of left field here…

    I think it could turn into a good lesson for kids about the realities of biased reporting. Because let’s face it — kids should not be sheltered from the fact that there is bias in the media, and what they hear on the news may be slanted. Otherwise, they will think that everything they hear on CNN is Gospel Truth.

    Exposing children to biased books, and teaching them to dissect and analyze a story, is much more worthwhile than hiding those books from children. We would be doing the kids a disservice because we are not equipping them to understand the realities of today’s world.

  11. Dave,

    I agree. And as Ive said alll along with this Vamos a Cuba issue, I dont necessarily agree on removing the books from the shelves, but, perhaps, just place them in teh appropriate section. The Vamos a Cuba book is definitely no reference book and thus belongs in the fiction section, next to, say, Huckleberry Finn, if ole Huck Finn hasnt been removed from the library.

  12. Val, you can bet they already removed Huck Finn, the greatest book ever written in American Literature. I just downloaded the audio book in my IPOD so I can enjoy it like I did when I was in school. I figure the required reading lists today are “My 2 dads,” “Gore on the Environment”, and it takes a village.

    the school board wouldn’t have any of this crap going on if they had any oversight as to what is purchased. The school has the discretion to purcahse or not purchase any book it sees fit. Yet somehow, they end up purchasing ca-ca.

  13. La Ventanita,

    The theoretical book “Vamos a Selma” would never make it to the library because there wouldn’t be a publisher in the U.S. that would publish the book in the first place.

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