Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern
Rush Limbaugh doesn’t seem to understand what racism is. On Wednesday, he called out Teaching for Change for not carrying his own children’s books and for promoting books written by and about people of color.
“This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be,” he said on his radio show. “They claim that they’re tolerant. They claim they’re open-minded. They claim that they are colorblind and all that. They are the most bigoted, racist people.”
Limbaugh gets it wrong in more ways than one. Teaching for Change never said anything about being colorblind. Teaching for Change, a non-profit organization whose motto is to build social justice in the classroom, helps teachers and children honor the diversity of cultures in the US instead of pretending that this diversity doesn’t exist.
Teaching for Change has an on-line store as well as a bricks and mortar store in Washington DC , where browsers can find children’s books by and about people of color. They fill a valuable need in a publishing industry where only 10 percent of children’s books published in the last five years were written by people of color (people of color make up 37 percent of the U.S. population).
Teaching for Change has children’s books on all kinds of diversity, including LGBT people, different religions, cultures, race and economic status.
While Limbaugh doesn’t understand why this representation is important, it is one of the cornerstones of the HRC Foundations’s Welcoming Schools program. Welcoming Schools recognizes that all children benefit when schools embrace family and gender diversity and that when schools embrace diversity and help students be their authentic selves, incidents of bullying and harassment decreases.
Check out Welcoming School’s bibliographies of diverse children’s books. Many are available at Teaching for Change! Consider buying a few for the children in your life as well as a few extra to send to Limbaugh for his reading pleasure.