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Even Little House on the Prairie is apparently too controversial for the nation’s libraries. The Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) has publicly removed the name of Little House author Laura Ingalls Wilder from an award for children’s literature.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award has been renamed the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, an ALSC press release announced. Disturbingly, the action was motivated by political correctness.
The organization apparently changed the name because the Little House novels contain “expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC core values.” Not surprisingly, the core values are tolerance and lack of controversy.
The characters in the books speak and act like real 19th Century Americans. Consequently, they behave in a racist manner in the eyes of modern-day public opinion. For example, many of the pioneers express hatred for Native Americans. Therefore, the ALSC wants nothing to do with Wilders because her books are historically accurate.
“ALSC has had to grapple with the inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity, and respect, and responsiveness through an award that bears Wilder’s name,” an ALSC announcement states.
“We are not demanding that anyone stop reading Wilder’s books, talking about them, or making them available to children,” the statement claims. “We hope adults think critically about Wilder’s books and the discussions that can take place around them.”
Little House On The Prairie Is Too Controversial For America’s Libraries
The controversial content in Little House consists of minstrel shows featuring blackface, and statements about Native Americans. Furthermore, many readers have reportedly found the line “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” very offensive. Laura’s mother supposedly made that statement.
The Little House books have reportedly been generating controversy for many years. For example, Native Americans have been objecting to the language in some of the books for decades.
Significantly in 1955, Little House’s publisher received a letter complaining about this line: “There were no people” on the prairie. “Only Indians lived there.”
Is Little House On The Prairie Too Conservative For Your Library?
There is compelling evidence that politics is motivating the ALSC’s decisions. The Little House books openly promote conservative and traditional values, New Yorker writer Judith Thurman reveals. Wilder apparently used the books to extol values she felt were under threat in the 1930s.
“A work ethic inherited from her Puritan forebears, which exalted labor and self-improvement not merely for their material rewards but as moral values, was, she believed, the key to happiness.” This is how Thurman described Wilder’s thought.
Wilder and her daughter, Rose Lane, were definitely conservatives who opposed President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (D-New York) New Deal welfare state in the 1930s. Despite that, the Little House books are not openly political – they chronicle Wilder’s childhood on the Minnesota frontier.
Over 60 million copies of the Little House books have reportedly been sold since they were first published in the 1930s. NBC made Little House into a TV series starring Michael Landon in the 1970s. That program was supposedly President Ronald Reagan’s (R-California) favorite show.
“The popularity of the Little House books . . . helped create a constituency for politicians like Reagan who sought to unsettle the so-called liberal consensus established by New Deal politics,” Professor Anita Clair Fellman wrote. Fellman is the author of a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Lane, called “Little House, Long Shadow.”
The ALSC’s decision to scrub Wilders from its award might have more to do with politics than racism.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: History Reader Beware: The Past Is Full Of “Fake News”
What do you think about the ALSC’s attempt to remove Little House on the Prairie from public libraries? Let us know in the comments below.