A new biography of Barack Obama is out and has been assigned to fourth-grade students in at least one Illinois community (Illinois is, after all, Obama’s adoptive home state), according to The Daily Caller (via EAGnews). A sample chapter, available at Google Books, ends with a “True or False” question. The question, which asks how many countries Obama’s family live in, is boring. No one cares about that.
Here are several suggested T-F questions based on the content that are far more intriguing and likely to promote dialog:
- True or False? Barack Obama brought racial harmony to America.
- True or False? Growing up, Obama believed that being black meant smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and acting tough.
- True or False? Obama’s a nice guy.
According to the book, all three are true.
The book, the article notes, was assigned to students at Bluffview Elementary School, in Dupo, Ill., who were told that they would be tested and graded on its contents. The title is part of Scholastic’s “Reading Counts” program. Not surprisingly, it meets a Common Core State Standards reading objective for Grades K through 12.
So why are parents in Dupo unhappy with the assignment? Could it be the book’s patronizing tone? Could it be passages like the following, which insinuate that white voters who chose not to vote for Obama in 2008 were racist?
But some people said Americans weren’t ready for that much change. Sure Barack was a nice fellow, they said. But white voters would never vote for a black president. Other angry voices were raised. Barack’s former pastor called the country a failure. God would damn the United States for mistreating its black citizens, he said.
Could it be the smarmy and misleading manner in which the author recounts Obama’s 2008 speech on race?
‘Barack decided it was time to speak to Americans about race,’ the next paragraph pedantically explains. ‘Black people and white people were too often angry with one another. All people were going to have to work together to solve the country’s problems. Only in that way could Americans make a more perfect United States.’
Perhaps the parents in Dupo are just generally sick and tired of the constant bickering in Washington, which has risen to an all-time fever pitch under Obama’s “leadership” (if that is the current term), the partisan bitterness, the president’s sarcasm toward his opponents. Maybe, in their humble opinion, it is inappropriate to sing Hosannahs to a man who many believe has done irreparable harm to the country, whose economy continues to founder, largely due to overregulation, and whose health care delivery system is now more broken than ever.
Maybe they simply do not agree that the United States is “more perfect” now than it was before Obama took office.