Racism in Ireland (1 Viewer)

magicbastarder

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of course it's incredibly limited. if the purpose of studying literature is to give a kid a good grounding in literature written in the english language, to restrict it like that is nuts.
 

sleepy

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this seems to be the list currently. i'd loved to have done ender's game at that age. though isn't orson scott card cancelled now?

ACHEBE, Chinua Things Fall Apart
ALMOND, David The Savage
AUSTEN, Jane Sense and Sensibility
BLACKMAN, Malorie Noughts and Crosses
CONNOLLY, John The Book of Lost Things
CROSSAN, Sarah The Weight of Water
DOWD, Siobhan Bog Child
GLEITZMAN, Morris Once
GOLDING, William Lord of the Flies
HINTON, S.E. The Outsider
KIERNAN, Celine Into the Grey
LEE, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
MULLIGAN, Andy Trash
ORWELL, George Animal Farm
SCOTT CARD, Orson Ender’s Game
SEPETYS, Ruta Between Shades of Grey
STEINBECK, John Of Mice and Men
STEVENSON, Robert Louis The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
SWINDELLS, Robert Stone Cold
TAMAKI Mariko and Jillian This One Summer (graphic novel)

Actually, that list is a fair bit more diverse than I thought it would have been.
 

Bernie Lomax

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Lord of the Flies still does my nut in to this day. Amazing book. For a 15 year old whichever book has the most swearing or smutty stuff would be the ideal choice
 

ernesto

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But what if that character of Piggy makes the overweight kid in class uncomfortable?

that's a remarkably inaccurate comparison to make.
Wildly wide of the mark.

imagine hearing the N-word used against you, your da, your ma, your sister, your entire family or friends repeatedly growing up.

pretty horrific I could Only imagine.

And then they go into school and are forced to hear and read it repeatedly because Some eejit teacher it's this book that alllll the other white kids will learn from not to use the N-word against them. Which it won't.
Kids are kids and Some little geebags will still use it, regardless of TKAMB. In fact, only spurred on by being reminded of the word in the book.

fuck that, it's cruel. That's needlessly traumatising the black kids when another text could do a (perhaps better) job.

edit: and as previously mentioned, if they really wanted to go to the effort of reading it they could just borrow the book from the library.
 

Cormcolash

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I pretty much disagree with everything you've just said there. In my view, removing a book from a school syllabus and updating it is not the same as censorship. The book is still available for anyone to read at any time. What's happening here is that people are being asked to examine their attitudes to a piece of art within the context of the current cultural climate, seeing whether it's still relevant or not and seeing if other viewpoints can be brought in to the mix. I think, and this is just me, what Ola was highlighting when she mentioned the graffiti was how our country has changed in recent years and that maybe our education system hasn't been quick enough to react to this
In some ways, I'm seeing a parallel between this and the whole Fairytale of New York thing from a few years back. What happened there was a 2FM DJ put out a tweet saying that maybe we should look at whether screaming "Faggot" for a whole month every December is the soundest thing to do nowadays. Next thing, everyone's twitter feed was full of middle aged blokes shouting "Censorship! They've banned Christmas songs from the Radjo." Which was complete bullshit.

You're cheap and you're haggard!
 

egg_

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imagine hearing the N-word used against you, your da, your ma, your sister, your entire family or friends repeatedly growing up
Pretty shit, as you say - but it's not the word that matters, it's the fact that the people who are saying it dislike you, for no good reason. The actual racism these kids experience is what's traumatising, not hearing/reading a word

Having said that - I'm totally with @ann post in wondering what the point of having TKAM on the syllabus is at all. If it's some kind of lesson about racism then I honestly don't think there's much to be learned by Irish kids in 2020 from a story of racism 80 years ago set in a country with actual apartheid laws in place. AFAICS we're just aping the Yanks having the thing on the syllabus in the first place, and the discussion on twitter is more Yank-aping - everyone is just repeating the same arguments as if we all live in the US. 1st generation Nigerian kids in Ireland are not having the same experiences as black kids in Alabama.
 

Cormcolash

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Pretty shit, as you say - but it's not the word that matters, it's the fact that the people who are saying it dislike you, for no good reason. The actual racism these kids experience is what's traumatising, not hearing/reading a word

Having said that - I'm totally with @ann post in wondering what the point of having TKAM on the syllabus is at all. If it's some kind of lesson about racism then I honestly don't think there's much to be learned by Irish kids in 2020 from a story of racism 80 years ago set in a country with actual apartheid laws in place. AFAICS we're just aping the Yanks having the thing on the syllabus in the first place, and the discussion on twitter is more Yank-aping - everyone is just repeating the same arguments as if we all live in the US. 1st generation Nigerian kids in Ireland are not having the same experiences as black kids in Alabama.

Yeah says the white man!!
 

hermie

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I think it's an outrage that Mein Kampf isn't on the list, how can the kids possibly learn about the nazis otherwise?
I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone brought up the Nazis. Ignoring for a moment that one book espouses the virtues of tolerance whereas the other does the opposite, do you think that banning Mein Kampf in the 20s would have made a difference to the turn of events in the 30s?
 

hermie

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that's a remarkably inaccurate comparison to make.
Wildly wide of the mark.

imagine hearing the N-word used against you, your da, your ma, your sister, your entire family or friends repeatedly growing up.

pretty horrific I could Only imagine.

And then they go into school and are forced to hear and read it repeatedly because Some eejit teacher it's this book that alllll the other white kids will learn from not to use the N-word against them. Which it won't.
Kids are kids and Some little geebags will still use it, regardless of TKAMB. In fact, only spurred on by being reminded of the word in the book.

fuck that, it's cruel. That's needlessly traumatising the black kids when another text could do a (perhaps better) job.

edit: and as previously mentioned, if they really wanted to go to the effort of reading it they could just borrow the book from the library.
You're so high up on that horse I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be bothering but anyway. First of all your projecting and you're exaggerating. Ola in the interview, didn't say she was traumatized. That's your projection. Secondly, I was being a bit tongue in cheek but at the same time I don't think it's a crazy comparison to make. I'm not for a minute saying that overweight people have it worse or even as bad but as you say yourself, kids are kids - some are little geebags. If you've been called a "fat cunt" all your life or had to listen to comments about the size of your clothes and what you eat for lunch constantly; school can be a very cruel place and it's not a stretch to think students might be made to feel uncomfortable in such a situation.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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Firstly, syllabi have to change otherwise they become irrelevant. Keeping a syllabus stagnant only keeps the teaching stagnant. Do you think most English teachers only teach the same handful of books from the wider syllabus because they keep learning something new and going deeper with each year? No, TKAM stays on the course and they keep going through the motions in teaching it.

Secondly, it’s an outdated book with an outdated view of portraying racism. Some books are timeless, some are not. TKAM is stale in a way something like Lord of the Flies isn’t. Other authors are exploring similar concepts from different perspectives and in ways that show the developments that have occurred in modern writing. Even if they replaced it with something more obscure from the same era to widen the horizons of students, it would be something more worthwhile - the canon is not the be all and end all of literature, even from eras that are supposedly well curated at this point.

Thirdly, it’s an English course not an Irish literature course. Irish writing is hardly unrepresented on the courses but to suddenly remove other authors because only an Irish writer’s experience is real to an Irish reader or that there’s more value to an Irish reader in reading local is bizarre. The point of the junior and leaving cert is to expose students to a scattering of what awaits them should they pursue their own interests or continue to study something in university. Plus Irish writing is such a minuscule part of what literature is, and literature is way more than just telling a story or evoking a mood. Form, style, genre, use of language, idioms, metaphor, universality of experiences, etc. are all a massive part of literature. Not just writing a story that allows to to relate to someone a bit like you (indeed, it’s an opportunity to enter the mind of someone you DON’T relate to in order to learn something).

And speaking as the fat kid in the class, to compare that to racism is absolutely off the wall. I got called way worse than what’s in Lord of the Flies by my peers but the black kid got called the worst by random strangers and their peers, have heard it said about their families, and have probably been at the end of violence or physical threats for simply having skin. Then they get to read it again in a book whitesplaining racism to them.
 

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