Common Core Education has sparked political controversy since the U.S. Department of Education decided to adopt its curriculum nationwide in both public and private schools. The Common Core website lists “exemplar texts” by grade which they recommend for reading and one in particular has some parents taking action. The Common Core recommends a book for 11th and 12th graders by Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison called “The Bluest Eye”. The excerpts from the book are too pornographic to post here but you can choose to read them here at this link. The Bluest Eye depicts detailed accounts of incest, rape and pedophilia as “friendly”, “innocent” and “tender”. The biggest issue with the book is that the story is told from the pedophile’s point of view so the reader can become a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. The author purposely did not portray the pedophile’s actions as wrong so the reader can “sympathize” with the pedophile.
Obviously the reason behind some parents calls for removing the book are the graphic depictions of incest, rape and pedophilia. And not just that, the book actually lets the reader see the depictions from the perpetrators point of view. In fact, the author of the book, Morrison, says that she wanted the reader to feel as though they are a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. She took pains to make sure she never portrayed the actions as wrong in order to show how everyone has their own problems. She even goes as far as to describe the pedophilia, rape and incest “friendly,” “innocent,” and “tender.”
It’s no wonder that this book is in the top 10 list of most contested books in the country. The Bluest Eye is the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, who prays every day for beauty: for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to fit in. As her life begins to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife, such as being raped by her father and beaten by her mother, she finally appeals to Soaphead Church, a pedophile, to help her attain blue eyes. After being impregnated by her father, she loses her baby and ultimately loses her mind.
Macey France goes on to explain why this is no different than child pornography:
Using just the smallest amount of common sense we can deduce that if the book cannot be read aloud in the class, could not be viewable if it was a movie and couldn’t be played on the stereo if it was a CD, then why is it okay for it to be read and discussed; in school of all places! In fact, according to one lawyer, if the incidents in this book were a movie or a picture there would be a very clear cut case for prosecution for child pornography.