‘White Voters Would Never Vote for a Black President’: Those Are the Words Found in a Middle School Library Book

Suburban moms are hitting back at Education Secretary Arne Duncan after his recent comments about who’s opposed to Common Core standards, in one case highlighting a book in President Barack Obama and Duncan’s home state.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks at the Strong Start for America’s Children bill introduction at the Capitol Visitor’s Center, Nov. 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Larry French)

A book about Obama available to fourth-graders has sparked controversy, with parents citing a passage they believe implies opposition to the president is based entirely on his race.

While an Illinois school administrator said the book is not part of the school curriculum, it has drawn intense criticism on Facebook and elsewhere, primarily in the midst of the debate over the controversial Common Core education standards.

The Facebook page “Moms Against Duncan” was launched after Duncan specifically named “white suburban moms” as main opponents of Common Core, which is backed by the Obama administration and teachers unions.

The controversy around the book “Barack Obama,” written by Jane Sutcliffe and published by Lerner, mostly surrounded the following paragraph: “But some people said Americans weren’t ready for that much change. Sure Barack was a nice fellow, they said. But white voters would never vote for a black president. Other angry voices were raised. Barack’s former pastor called the country a failure. God would damn the United States for mistreating its black citizens, he said.”

Page 40 of “Barack Obama” by Jane Sutcliffe, a book available to elementary school students in St. Clair County, Illinois. (Image source: Illinois Review)

The website Illinois Review said: “The Bluffview Elementary students were told the book’s content would be tested for grades. That brought outrage among parents just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, one of the ‘MAD’ moms reported.”

But St. Clair County Regional Superintendent Susan Safarty told TheBlaze that’s not the case, saying the book is optional reading from the library and not part of classwork.

“It is a library book, not a textbook, that’s all I know,” Safarty said. “It is not part of the curriculum.”

She said the book is not a concern at the local level.

“I’m not familiar with the book,” Safarty said. “I have not heard from parents. This is the first I have heard anything about this.”

When TheBlaze asked about the controversial paragraph in the book, Safarty responded, “I will not comment on the contents of the book or whether it should be in the library.”

(H/T: Illinois Review)

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