Meanwhile, On TumblR: The Under-Ten Set Styles Cute And Schools Hard

By Andrea Plaid

Since our sister blog, Love Isn’t Enough, ceased publication, the R’s Tumblr has taken on the delightful task of celebrating kids of color, like this little one in all of her being-ness, via Tumblrer wretched of the earth:

Cutie patootie via wretchedoftheearth

Then Tumblrer stoptalk reblogged this incredible letter from 9 1/2-year-old Afro-German Ishema Kane, who took the German newspaper ZEIT to task over defending an anti-Black slur in children’s book:

(c) Ishema Kane.

(c) Ishema Kane.

The translation:

Dear Editors,

You’re in luck that I’m at least writing this letter to you in my best handwriting because I am very angry at you. Why should it not be prohibited to write ‘Neger’ in children’s books? One has to be able to put oneself in somebody else’s shoes. Because my father is Senegalese, and he is a very dark shade of brown; I am café-au-lait brown. Just imagine if you were Afro-German and lived in Germany. You’re a newspaper reader and unsuspectingly buy the ZEIT of January 17th 2013. Suddenly, you note the article ‘The Little Witch Hunt.’ This is when you read that the word ‘Neger’ is supposed to be deleted from children’s books, and that this would allegedly spoil the children’s books. I find it totally shit that this word should remain in children’s books if it were up to you. You cannot imagine how I feel when I have to read or hear that word. It is simply very, very terrible. My father is not a ‘Neger’ [lightning bolt sign] nor am I. This is also true for all other Africans. Right. That was my opinion. This word should be deleted from children’s books.


Ishema Kane, 9 1/2 years old

P.S.: You’re welcome to send me a response.

[more lightning bolt signs]


See who else we think styles cute and schools hard on the R’s Tumblr!

  • Leila Nea

    Given that it doesn’t say “your comment is awaiting to be moderated”, I guess disqus just ate my longer comment. (Ugh)

    So here the short version:

    That letter is sooo awesome! I saw the original article at an international news vendors and rolled my eyes hard. The article drips with privilege and arrogance. The newspaper used to be a favorite of mine but is right now going out of the frying pain into the fire. They just featured an article by a dude that says that the sexual harassment of a female journalist by a top politician was her own fault (!!!)
    Sidenote: The debate is as far as I can tell from skimming articles online not about a racist slur, but on whether words that are slurs today, but were non-derogatory terms then, like “Negro” and “Colored” should be edited out of re-editions of childrens’ books and then replaced with the terms we use today. We’ve had similar debates stateside.

  • whattamisaid

    Thank you, Jennifer! We’re on hiatus for the moment. It became impossible for Julia and I to attend to a very active daily blog with a team of two. I hope to get LIE back on its feet in 2013.