Common Core 4th grade reading: Obama biography portrays whites as racist

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek
November 24, 2013

Parents in Duplo, Ill., are up in arms over a book portraying white Americans as racist – required reading for their fourth-graders under the Common Core curriculum.

Students at Bluffview Elementary School were told they would be tested and graded on thebook, “Barack Obama,” part of the Scholastic “Reading Counts” program, according toEAGNews. The author, Jane Sutcliffe, has written numerous books on other historical figures, such as George Washington, Ronald Reagan and Susan B. Anthony.

The book begins with Obama’s life as a child, referring to him as “Barry,” and frequently mentions that he was “the only black” in various settings, a situation that caused a bit of an identity crisis for him, according to this passage:

When Barry looked in the mirror, he saw a young black man. But he didn’t know how to be black. And no one was there to teach him.

He decided to act like the black characters he saw on TV. He started acting tough. He cursed. Was that what it meant to be black?

As he got older, he started smoking and drinking. He tried drugs. Was that what it meant to be black?

The biography refers to Obama’s candidacy in the 2008 presidential election this way:

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.

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  1. Pingback: Is “Epaminondas And His Auntie” Really A Good Learning Tool For Children? | Archemdis's Blog

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