So what set me off this afternoon? Only this professor who is on a vendetta to prove that children's books, taken as a genre, are RACIST. Melanie Koss has dropped this bombshell on the world all the way from Northern Illinois University where she made her argument this way:
Seventy-five percent of human main characters (in children's picture books) were white; blacks were protagonists in 15 percent of the books while other cultures combined for less than 6 percent of lead characters.I'm not disputing her numbers. What I do find interesting, however, is how closely the percentages she quotes correspond to the overall racial mix in the United States today. Will this country cease to be "racist" only when minorities are over-represented in every aspect of life to the point that the majority becomes the new minority? And will even that shut up the professional whiners out there?
And remember this: book publishing is a For Profit industry. No profit, no books; it's as simple as that. Even the NI Newsroom (the NI stands for Northern Illinois) seems to understand that the number of minority oriented books printed will be dependent on how many of them sell and actually make a little money for the publisher:
Because publishers don’t expect big profits from diverse books, few are made available. And because few are for sale, few are sold, creating an endless supply-and-demand conundrum. “If the books aren’t out there, no one can buy them,” Koss says.
...and Ms. Koss, if no one buys the ones that are out there, why should publishers market them in the numbers that YOU might finally approve.
It's a PC world, and it's beginning to remind me of the fable in which the little boy cried "Wolf!" one too many times. I'm starting to tune out the babble now.