Predictably, there was an explosion of outrage among the media, parents of the non-Muslim students, and parents of the Muslim students. That's right, not a single Muslim student or parent had actually complained about the school's choice of literature -- the school arbitrarily decided to ban all pig-centric fiction on their behalf. The Muslim Council of Britain even had to chip in and explain that they are totally OK with children's books featuring pigs, because like most people who aren't lunatics, they can make a distinction between reading about something and eating it.
Walt Disney Animation Studios Probably very few kids reacted to this by killing and eating their own fathers.
The school's headmaster insisted that they were only trying to "ensure that all of our children are awarded the respect that all human beings deserve," which we suspect is another way of saying, "We have no idea what's going to set you terrorists off, amirite?" Ultimately, the school allowed the books back in their classrooms and learned a powerful lesson in the process: If you're going to get offended on a group's behalf, it's a good idea to at least check with them first.
Sesame Street Angered Mississippi by Showing That Black People Exist
When it debuted in 1969, Sesame Street was both the first American show scientifically designed to educate kids and one of the first to boast a diverse, racially integrated cast (and a giant talking yellow bird). This was in the late '60s, when "white flight" (the exodus of white families from the inner city to the suburbs) was in full swing, so the idea of different races being able to live together was unthinkable to many people, primarily ignorant dickheads.
Sesame Workshop "I just don't want my kids watching it, OK?! It doesn't mean I'm racist. I have plenty of blue friends."
So while Sesame Street's primary concern was to recruit children for the powerful alphabet lobby, it also exposed them to the idea that people of different races and cultures can totally be friends, and that inner city neighborhoods aren't necessarily places of squalor, desperation, and drug violence. However, this message proved problematic for the state of Mississippi (see: "ignorant dickheads," above), whose official policy at the time was to promote the idea that all black people were vampires or something.
Sesame Workshop "I got 97, 98, 99 problems, ah ah ah."
It may be hard to believe, but Mississippi in 1970 was not the cornucopia of tolerance we know today. When PBS first brought Sesame Street to the state, they were targeted by activists campaigning for "freedom of choice," which here means segregation (see, they wanted the "freedom to choose" to never be around black people). Appalled by Sesame Street's depiction of racial harmony as a completely normal thing not exclusively practiced by insane Martians, they pushed for the state to ban the show. The Mississippi Commission for Educational Television duly complied, reportedly explaining that they weren't ready for Sesame Street's integrated cast.
Sesame Workshop "And we ain't too comfortable with them Jewish puppets, neither."
This created a bigger shitstorm than a muddy diaper put on a centrifuge. The national news media didn't sugarcoat their outrage over the decision, which caused the commission to cave and lift the ban after one month. Which is ironic, considering that watching Sesame Street could've taught them a thing or two about believing in themselves.
Related Reading: People get riled up over the most ridiculous things. Like how folks in the Congo went crazy because of penis thieving sorcerers. Or that time the BBC banned a song because it mentioned Coca-Cola.
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