“All the other stuff.”

The state is Tennessee, the county is McMinn — the Board of Education of which just voted unanimously to ban Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel Maus from its curriculum.

Why? Before I quote from the explanatory minutes of the decisive meeting (thank you, New York Times, for printing this), I want to point out that in 1925 the State of Tennessee made it a criminal offense to teach evolution in all its public schools. (In case you’re thinking, “How quaint!”, that law remained in effect until 1967.)

Tennessee has, thus, been for at least a century in the avant garde of the bizarre, anti-fact teaching movement.

Now, for the quotes objecting to how Maus portrays Nazi genocide — which I don’t really have to bold but hey, I’m in the spirit of emphatic emphasis today:

“There is some rough, objectionable language in this book.” — Lee Parkison, the director of schools for McMinn County.

“We don’t need this stuff to teach kids history. We can teach them history and we can teach them graphic history. We can tell them exactly what happened, but we don’t need all the nakedness and all the other stuff.” — Board member Mike Cochran.

 “…[Maus’] unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide.” —  The McMinn County Board of Education


“…all the other stuff.”

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