[The Capital Times]: What had you heard about our senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, before you read my piece and what concerns you about the idea of him reading one of your stories to children?
[Jane Yolen]: He is a Republican junior senator associated with the Tea Party. And that makes me think that either he is 1. A True Believer in the Tea Party NoNothingness which frightens me or 2. Kowtowing to it for votes which possibly frightens me more. Since the Tea Party (and alas much of the Republican Party these days) are the ones behind the notions of breaking unions, throwing librarians out of their jobs, and defunding education, I think it is more than a tad bit disingenuous for such politicians to be out in libraries reading books to children who will have no libraries to visit if we listen to the Tea Party.
The book in question was “How do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?” Apparently, the answer is “Only in a proper, progressive manner.” Personally, if I was a children’s author I might be a little more careful about spewing out my elemental hatred of a demographic known for its relatively larger family sizes, but I suppose that Yolen has not yet realized that potential readers can find out about these petty little prejudices these days. Either that, or it’s simply more important to her that she remind the world that courtesy and politeness only be shown to what Yolen apparently considers real people: that is to say, non-conservatives.
One final point: it is of course perfectly acceptable for Jane Yolen to be a hateful bigot in this country: we have, after all, freedom of speech and expression here. It’s also perfectly acceptable to suggest that you consider that hateful bigotry when you make the financial decision of what books to buy for your children. Or, for that matter, which books are to be read to them by their teachers; I’m probably going to have to make sure that I have a conversation along those lines in a week or so when the school year starts for my eldest.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: “NoNothingness?” I assume that she’s referring to the Know-Nothing party of the 19th century. Well, you have to expect that a former McGovern delegate who’ll actually admit to it these days isn’t going to be the best-educated person out there.