From The Atlantic:
My mother went to enormous lengths to protect her family from negative stereotypes of Black people.
As all good white people who read The Atlantic believe, black people have incredibly low self-esteems. If anybody ever mentions a less than ecstatic word about blacks, they will suddenly realize the truth about themselves and simply die of embarrassment.
MARCH 6, 2021
Senior Writer at The Root
… One afternoon four decades ago, when I was about 8, I walked into my family’s house after playing outside and saw my mother sitting in the yellow recliner with a book in her lap. She had found the copy of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.
I knew that I was in trouble… But the real issue, I soon learned, was that Dr. Seuss was on our family’s list of banned authors—for precisely the reason that the famous children’s book author is in the news this week: Some of his works portrayed nonwhite people in a racist way. My mother went to what I now realize were enormous lengths to shield us from negative images of Black people, a seemingly impossible task for someone raising children in 1970s and ’80s South Carolina. The intensity of her displeasure over a Dr. Seuss book being in her home—and not even one of the objectionable titles—speaks to how much labor her plan required.
… As someone who grew up with a mother who was saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy-but-defiant spirit of Malcolm X, I am intimately familiar with “cancel culture.” Nearly all the standard accoutrements of American youth were banned from my mother’s house. Christmas was for heathens. …
A few years ago, I asked my mother why she put so much effort into concocting this Caucasian-free cocoon. She informed me that our childhood was part of an experiment she had envisioned before we were even born. “A Black person’s humanity can never be fully realized in the presence of whiteness,” she explained. Not a single day has passed since in which I have not thought about that sentence.
… Today, I wouldn’t read his books to my children. …
Harriot, the author of “The 5 Types of Becky,” is actually pretty funny, but he’s also a huge racist.