Horrified by its depictions of child molestation and incest, Alabama state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw is calling for Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye to be struck from all high school reading lists in the state. "The book is just completely objectionable, from language to content," Holtzclaw tells the Alabama Media Group. He also said he'd "probably" support removing it from school libraries. Federal "Common Core" standards list the Bluest Eye as a recommended book for 11th-graders.
And that appears to be the real root of the controversy. Tea Party groups have been railing against Common Core recently as a big government intrusion, the Atlantic Wire explains. Hotzclaw has been under pressure from these groups since he opposed a bill to repeal the standards. With a long history of being banned or challenged, Morrison's book makes a convenient target. The conservative blog Politichicks recently posted a number of graphic quotes from it, under the headline "Common Core Approved Child Pornography." (Read more Toni Morrison stories.)