A Mom
A Mom asked:

Why read a book that teaches racism? This little boy hates the newcomers because they look, sound and smell different (plus he had a bad dream). The book teaches that those who don't look like us are really just animals and should be driven away. This is the opposite of teaching that all humans have inherent rights that should be respected. Why teach hate?

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Alex Christopher Columbus, victim of Taino racism is a spicy new take.
Poppy How naive of you. The boy is expressing his feelings from his perspective - and since when is the truth racist? He is showing the natural tendancy for humans (and most of the animal kingdom) to compare, note differences and be wary of the unknown. As the story illustrates, his bad dream could have been considered an omen - one that unfortunately came to pass. That boy at that time didn't have the luxury of offering benefit of doubt. In a tight knit community, living in an isolated, harsh environment, its members rely heavily on maintaining cohesion and protecting it. The members of that community have a right to be suspicious of any one or thing that is different. They have to determine if the new situation is a threat to them and their way of life. It would be lovely to live in a utopia where every ones "inherant rights" are respected. In a first world country like ours, we do have the luxury to extend a non-judgemental hand of friendship. However we will still read news stories of good samaritans getting killed when they intervene to help their fellow man. It's the way of the world and we best accommodate for it, be the change we want to see and leave the world to its own devices. It's not racisism either - it's the natural defensiveness we feel when we encounter the unfamiliar and the unknown. It was a very different time then and probably depicts the reactions and opinions of the people very well and as authentically as possible. Hate is going to be here for a long time, as will love and respect. You are only responsible for your behaviour and the way you interact with the world. You have no right to demand the world follow your lead, however I hope it does. Truth is the best teacher and we shouldn't change history just to suit a liberal narrative.
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by Jane Yolen (Goodreads Author)
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