The state of Tennessee ranks 41st in their poverty rate, meaning that one out of every six Tennesseans currently lives below the poverty level. They rank 40th in healthcare access, 13th in number of COVID-19 cases and 8th for highest number of COVID-19 deaths. The state also ranks 39th overall for quality of education, with Tennesseans among the least educated population in the United States.
What are their lawmakers doing about all of this? They’re banning books to “protect children.”
Love to see it https://t.co/cZIhK03KcZ
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 29, 2022
One of the most outrageous targets of the Tennessee school book bans is Maus by Art Spiegelman, a graphic novel about the Holocaust that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. The book was banned because of its use of a few objectionable words, but as the author says, you can’t really “teach a nicer Holocaust.”
The result? The book is a bestseller, according to CNBC.
‘“The Complete Maus” on Friday held the No. 1 spot among Amazon’s bestsellers in the categories of fiction satire, and comics and graphic novels, and the No. 7 spot overall for all books.
‘“Maus I,” an earlier published book that is the first part of “The Complete Maus,” was the No. 5 bestselling book on Amazon. The second part of the story, “Maus II” was the No. 1 bestseller in the European history category.’
Art Spiegelman sees the new ban of his book “Maus” as a “red alert” https://t.co/QkE38CafN7
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 29, 2022
The ban has spurred many to purchase the book, ensuring that children won’t be denied knowledge about the Holocaust. Currently, millennials and Generation Z are the least educated about the Holocaust, 11 percent saying they believed that Jewish people were responsible for the Holocaust, nearly 41 percent saying that they couldn’t name a concentration camp, and one in 10 saying that they had never heard the term “Holocaust” before. The upsurge in purchases of the book has made it a new bestseller.
The history of the Holocaust includes the banning of books. Maus is a work of art that has helped generations understand Nazi brutality and how they dictated what people could think, read and say. When you become fearful of ideas you forfeit your freedom. https://t.co/wM2o1khAn9
— Ken Burns (@KenBurns) January 27, 2022
One independently-owned bookstore in the state is helping those sales along, purchasing copies of the books and lending them to any interested student, some of whom may be denied the book in school.
‘Richard Davis, owner of the Nirvana Comics bookstore in Knoxville, Tenn., is offering loans of “The Complete Maus” to any student.
‘Davis, whose store is located within 15 miles of McMinn County, also has set up a GoFundMe campaign to buy more “Maus” copies to be loaned and possibly ultimately donated to students. That effort had raised more than $30,000 by late Friday, more than three times its original $10,000 target.’
FUN FACT: Kids who read Maus don’t grow into adults who constantly compare minor inconveniences to the Holocaust. pic.twitter.com/z7RWlMHqoM
— Lawson Clarke (@Malecopywriter) January 28, 2022