Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Leporine Edition

For deborajoy, this post has bunnies in it.

For the rest of you, these bunnies are brainwashing our children as part of their seditious plot to undermine the laws of God and Nature.

I speak of course of Garth Williams' 1958 best-selling children's book, The Rabbits' Wedding, wherein two rabbits get married. How nefarious.

But wait! The buck was black, and the doe was white!


As you can imagine, once certain people were apprised of this book's existence, they weren't too happy with it. A chapter of the White Citizens Council splashed over the front page of their journal, The Montgomery Home News, an article entitled "What's Good Enough for Rabbits Should Do for Mere Humans." They declared that the book was integrationist propaganda obviously aimed at children in their formative years. An editor in Florida said that it was "brainwashing . . . as soon as you pick up the book and open its pages you realise these rabbits are integrated." Edward Ozwell Eddins, state Senator of Alabama, roared that the "book should be taken off the shelves and burned." Together they scored a great victory, for Emily Reed, director of the Alabama Public Library service division, put the book on the "reserve" shelves. There it was not on display, but still available to whatever moral degenerates should request it.

Eddins had also noted, "There are many other books of the same nature and others that are communistic which should be burned as well." And how right he was! Soon after this nefarious plot was uncovered, other similar books were discovered. In Alabama, Grand Dragon Bobby Shelton said that the Ku Klux Klan had discovered ten or twelve books in Alabama's libraries that were "a lot worse than The Rabbits' Wedding." The only one he named, however, was a book entitled Two Is a Team which featured two boys--one white, one black--who were playmates.

And in Florida, David Hawthorn discovered an insidious version of The Three Little Pigs which was "much worse than the rabbit story." His patriotic, eagle-eyed gaze had caught an unmistakable sign of integrationist propaganda: the pigs were different colors--one white, one black & white, one black. And worse, the white and mixed pigs are the ones whom the Big Bad Wolf eats, but the black pig survives. "The book follows the same old brainwashing routine," he said. "It shows a white pig and a mulatto pig who are destroyed and the black pig survives." Brave stalwart that he was, he tried to get the state legislature to ban the book from schools and libraries, but the others were afraid to challenge the awesome Juggernaut that is picture books. "I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole," quipped one cowed colleague.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, George Shannon of the Shreveport Journal wrote an editorial revealing to all the true nature of a piece of "insidious interracial propaganda." This malignant tome, the 1944 book Black and White by Margaret Wise Brown, featured a white lady and a "grumpy black man." Shannon, brave defender of children, said that to "circulate books advocating integration among adults is one thing, but to deliberately warp the minds of children is quite another." He added that parents "must spare their children as well" as protect themselves. Scoring a great victory, he managed to wrestle the librarian to withdraw the book under the clearly-false pretenses that "it is worn out and not because of being objectionable, because it isn't."

Similarly, Williams attempted to defend the innocence of his own propaganda. "I was completely unaware that animals with white fur, such as white polar bears and white dogs and white rabbits, were considered blood relations of white human beings," he maintained--perhaps trying to preemptively deny any knowledge of Blacksad.

Alas, these staunch defenders of the public good were met with stark ridicule the whole nation over. More than one editorial remarked that children's books should be kept away from "infantile" and "impressionable adults", or that all books would "have to be placed on the reserved shelf" because "their white pages have black print on them."

Indeed, of all the papers in which mention of this glorious stand for the innocence of children was made, I have only found two letters defending their gesture. One South Carolinian admonished Time,
Despite Author Williams' naive and sarcastic assertion, I know, and you should know, that this book is readily adaptable to planting in the mind of a child receptiveness to the idea of marriage between white and black human beings. No responsible person will deny that just such use is being made of this type of material today.

And a resident of Visalia, California, wrote the San Francisco Bee:
I think those books are for propaganda purposes and to put such things in books for minors is not only wrong, but cowardly as well.

The Rabbits' Wedding is a complete misrepresentation of life in the wild world, where everything is governed by the laws set down by the Supreme Power.

Segregation permits mingling to a certain extent but never mixing. To bring children up in integrated circumstances is to teach them disrespect for privacy and that might cause some of them to trespass on other people's rights. Books for children indicating a disrespect for privacy should be prohibited.

Segregation is plainly the ordained way of life, religiously, scientifically and legally. Segregation is the guardian of privacy, individualism and the force which supports variety (coexistence).

But worse yet, despite such stirring words as found above, only one letter noticed the even deeper implications Williams had buried in this book. "No doubt the yellow dandelions the bunnies are eating symbolize the Chinese," a Milwaukee miss wrote to Time. "Let's not limit this book's racial message."

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