Khury Petersen-Smith of SocialistWorker.org caught up with Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi to talk about the shady restrictions being placed on the teaching of her book in Chicago. Again, Satrapi showed her insight and savvy and aptly expressed the utter confusion and dismay we are all feeling:
What is so horrible in my book that you need guidance? Am I inviting people to go find a shotgun and kill each other? Am I teaching the kids to hate the other ones? Am I teaching them to be violent?
No. What I’m telling them is that the world can be like that, but in the middle of this bad world, we can always choose another way. We can always not hate. I think this is good for kids to learn, and the earlier they learn these things, the better. So this is extremely shocking.
You imagine it must take a lot for Satrapi to be shocked by the forces of government, even its petty iterations like school boards and administrators, considering everything she has witnessed.
The interview’s final question asks what she would like to say to students, teachers and administrators. Her response is fantastic:
To the administrators I would say: Find your brain again. Stop lying, stop being hypocritical, and trust the young people. Read the book first and don’t just be shocked by one picture. Read it first, and then, if you really are shocked, don’t teach it. But I’m sure these people didn’t even read it.
I would say to the children that I trust them–and I really trust that they will make a better world. I think they are very intelligent, and I really believe in young people.