An Australian Reader Says "Hey, Woke Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone!"
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From: Phil Shannon [Email him]

The cultural diversity inspectors have run their woke ruler over Australian children’s literature and have discovered a cesspit of white supremacy!  Two university academics from New South Wales have found that, as their shouty headline puts it, “in 20 years of award-winning picture books, non-white people made up just 12% of main characters.”

They examined the 118 books for children aged 0-6 years shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia for their Book of the Year award from 2001 to 2020 and were shocked that a jaw-dropping (to the woke academics) “88% of human main characters in the shortlisted books were white; none of the main characters were Asian, Black or Middle Eastern” whilst just two were Indigenous, only one was multiracial and none were “sexually and gender diverse” (the LGBTQ et al. lot).   This, say the academics, is a disgraceful national scandal which infringes the woke catechism by failing to “embrace and reflect the full and rich diversity that makes up our country.”

The woke outrage needs to be dialed down, however.  If, as the academics note, 78% of the Australian population is white, then 88% of the books’ main human characters being white is hardly enough of a disparity to justify a claim of systemic racism in children’s books.  Similarly, the two out of 52 human main characters who are aboriginal clocks in at 4%, in accordance with the aboriginal proportion of the total Australian population.  File under non-scandal scandals.

Context-free statistics are, however, essential to our academics’ preferred woke narrative.  They reference some academic friends in Wokethink who assert that “a world of children’s books dominated by white authors, white images and white male heroes, creates a sense of white superiority.”  Which is only to be expected from a White Supremacist society—their confreres refer to research purporting to show that  "75% of Australians hold an implicit bias against Indigenous Australians, seeing them negatively, even if this is unconscious" (although, if we are to be honest, such implicit racial bias can more accurately be described as implicit race realism).

What our woke academics are really interested in is, like the Jesuits, getting their followers young: “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man,” as the religious order’s founder put it about the crucial first years of the child for indoctrinating someone into a lifetime of religious dogma, or, in the secular case of children’s’ book, woke dogma, equally resistant to all subsequent experiences of reality.

Commendably, the Children’s Book Council of Australia has not rolled over or mea culpa’ed: “our main criterion is literary merit,” not diversity, they said.  Well done, them.  The fabricated “white supremacist” phenomenon exists only in the  deluded minds of the woke, and has about as much substance as the belief that giant lizard overlords are out to subdue us, or something.

 Phil Shannon is a veteran Australian working class socialist, a latter-day supporter.

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