Joke book “literally kills lives,” says person so right I cannot agree

A satirical cover from the recently-pulled Bad Little Children’s Books

Following accusations of racism, Abrams has taken the collection of satirical illustrations Bad Little Children’s Books off the market at the author’s request. The pseudonymous Arthur Gackley maintains that neither he nor his book is prejudiced, but that public outcry has made it impossible to have “the kind of dialogue I hoped to promote.” If that sounds suspiciously high-minded to you, you’ll love his quote in The Guardian:

This act of censorship is dangerous on so many levels, as free speech, satire and parody are tools to help make us a stronger society, not a more divided one.

Totally true re: speech and satire, but I question his use of the phrase “act of censorship.” When you pull your own book because people said you were a jerk for writing it, that’s not censorship. That’s free speech convincing you. I’m kind of surprised it did, though, because the speech used to condemn Bad Little Children’s Books seems like the wrong way to convince anybody. Example after the jump.

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High school student disputes scholar’s denial of “no Irish need apply”

"The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things" by Thomas Nast, 1871

“The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things” by Thomas Nast, 1871

Patrick Young, Esq. is one of several to report that a high school student has disproven University of Illinois professor’s Richard Jensen’s claim that signs reading “no Irish need apply” were a historical myth. Originally published in the Journal of Social History in December 2002, Jensen’s “‘No Irish Need Apply’: A Myth of Victimization” argues that the signs forbidding employment to Irish immigrants in the 19th century were “an enhancement of political solidarity against a hostile Other; and a way to insulate a preindustrial non-individualistic group-oriented work culture from the individualism rampant in American culture.” That’s kind of a bigoted thesis, bro. Unfortunately, Rebecca Fried’s article—which is extremely commendable and impressive for a high school student—doesn’t seem to disprove it.

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