VEN (DULUTH) — After twice reading the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of To Kill a Mockingbird, Duluth’s director of curriculum and instruction Michael Cary told VEN‘s Senior Index Librorum Prohibitorum Correspondent Etienne Dolet, that he decided to remove the book from the school district’s curriculum because in Mr Cary’s view, Arthur “Boo” Radley — a person suffering from severe intellectual and other developmental disabilities — was most likely responsible for sexually assaulting Mayella Ewell, whereas the accused and convicted rapist Tom Robinson probably did nothing more than assist Boo in abducting Ms Ewell, in return for some hard candy and a bottle of grape-flavored moonshine whiskey and possibly a handful of roasted peanuts, which Mr Carey emphasized, “was, as everyone knows, a favorite treat among Southern Negroes at that time.”
Mr Carey also took exception to the portrayal of protagonist Jean Louise Finch, who in Mr Carey’s opinion was queer questioning (hence her nickname “Scout”), and that her struggle to accept her non-cis-gender sexuality was not developed adequately or at all by repressed, self-hating crypto-Lesbian Harper Lee.
“I find that omission from the novel simply reprehensible!”
Additionally, and for Mr Carey the straw that broke the camel’s back, was the book’s shocking lack of relevance.
“In it’s entire 25 pages, Mockingbird makes not even one attempt to address the serious issues confronting us as a nation today, namely reparations for slavery, defunding the police, CHAZ, George Floyd, the necessary destruction of hateful non-inclusive monuments to an asymmetrical power structure of white supremacy, and the repressive toxic masculinity and institutionalized systemic racism that makes me ashamed to be a white man!”
When asked what novels he is considering to replace To Kill A Mockingbird, Mr Carey said that he and the board are taking this very seriously, and have narrowed the list down to three “appropriate” works from the Reader’s Digest Condensed Library– War, A Tale of a City, and The Two Musketeers.
Developing . . . .