A book for fifth-graders now at New York City Public School libraries glorifies leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), mocks Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and stars a “queer” black child named Demetrius who feels “shame” in church, the New York Post reported.
“What You Don’t Know: A Story of Liberated Childhood” was written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham and is listed on a reading list for the city school system’s upcoming “Mosaic” curriculum. In it, Demetrius tries to find a friend “who’s queer like me,” and his “spirit” meets Jesus in a Catholic church.
“Churches can preach all they want about love,” the boy says. “The only thing that I feel when I’m here is shame.”
When Jesus tells him “everyone is invited to love and be loved,” the boy points to a man who Higginbotham confirmed was meant to be McConnell and says, “Even — ?” Jesus replies “Yes.”
Join author and illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham tomorrow at 6 pm ET for interactive Roller-Skating Party collage fun celebrating "What You Don't Know: A Story of Liberated Childhood." Check out the book trailer and RSVP here: https://t.co/3kKmUEKofw. @dottirpress pic.twitter.com/8QRzwiQasC
— Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe (@Malaprops) January 26, 2021
The Post, which reviewed a copy of the book, reported that it states, “We will rewrite the rules we live by and love the world into balance,” with a picture of Demetrius and his parents watching AOC and fellow “Squad” members Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on television.
The blurb for the book on Amazon says it “delves into queerness, Blackness, and the love that dismantles whiteness.”
One Staten Island mom said she thought the book was anti-Catholic and that, with its mix of religion and politics, “has no place in the classroom.”
“It’s a horrible book,” a Staten Island mom told the Post. She said the principal at her child’s school refused to distribute it.
Higginbotham is the author of other children’s books, including “Death Is Stupid,” “Tell Me About Sex, Grandma,” and “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness.” The latter is about a child who “connects to the opportunity and their responsibility to dismantle white supremacy.”
Among other books listed in the Mosaic curriculum were “The Bell Rang,” which attempts to explain slavery to kindergartners; “I’m Not a Girl,” which is for first-graders and discusses being transgender; and “Our Skin,” which is for kids as young as two, and blames the idea of race and racism on white people, the Post reported.
Reached for comment by the Post, Higginbotham lashed out at her critics.
“I never expected people who cling to the oppressive, dying institutions of patriarchy and white supremacy to like that book,” she said.