Take a look. It’s in a banned book.
Conservatives rail against “cancel culture,” but right now they’re the ones doing the cancelling. Outraged parents across the nation have been calling for hundreds of books to be banned from public school library shelves — an “unprecedented” number, according to the American Library Association. Which books are they appalled by? Ones about race, sexuality, even the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the latter, recently became a bestseller again due to the controversy.
On Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah looked at the “latest culture war that’s tearing America apart,” making sure to point out that multiple books about Ruby Bridges, the first Black child to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960, came under parents’ ire. (Ditto a biography about Michelle Obama.)
Noah had some reinforcements, namely LeVar Burton, the Star Trek: TNG alum, Reading Rainbow host, and almost-Jeopardy! emcee. Burton helped drive the segment’s point home, doing a version of Reading Rainbow in which every book he tried to introduce to kids got banned. Those included a book about civil rights icon Rosa Park, a book about gay penguins (And Tango Makes Three), even Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop, whose inclusion was no doubt a nudge to conservatives getting outraged over books by the author containing racist imagery being pulled from circulation (but not library shelves).
“There are plenty of books to choose from,” Burton told viewers at the end of his segment. “But you know what? No. Read the books they don’t want you to. That’s where the good stuff is.”
You can watch the segment in the video below. Burton’s section starts around the 8:30 mark.