Hudson, Hold My Beer

Hudson, Ohio, Mayor Craig Shubert

by Deborah Hommer

In Hudson, Ohio, several days ago, Mayor Craig Shubert addressed the School Board. “It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing essentially what is child pornography in the classroom,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a judge this evening, she’s already confirmed that, so I’m going to give you a simple choice. You either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged. Thank you.”

Schubert then walked away to riotous cheers from a crowd of outraged parents.  Some of the writing that upset parents included violent scenarios like “choose how you will die” and “write a scene that begins. ‘It was the first time I killed a man,’” to weird sexual suggestions like “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” and “write an X-rated Disney scenario.”

I am here to tell you that the English-required reading materials that outraged Hudson parents were were mild compared to what’s found in Fairfax County Public Schools. Mayor Shubert, hold my beer.

On September 23, 2021, at the Fairfax County School Board meeting Stacy Langton went to the podium and read from two books from the Fairfax High School library that contained explicit pornographic and pedophilia content.  Since then numerous articles have been written about the meeting, and the video went viral.

This controversy is not new to FCPS. Many of FCPS’ English class students are required to read wholly inappropriate materials, including content on sexuality —  homosexual, heterosexual, incest, pedophilia — violence, mutilation, murder, psychopathic cold-blooded killers, dystopia, racism, and vulgar, offensive language. An AP English class required reading contained sexually explicit material depicting gang rape and bestiality, prompting the 2016 Virginia General Assembly to pass HB 516, which would require the Board of Education to write a policy on sexually explicit instructional material requiring parents to be notified of the material, have an opportunity to review the material, and to find an alternative if parental approval is not provided.

HB 516 passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support only to have Governor Terry McAuliffe veto it. The House voted to override the Governor’s veto and was shy one vote of the 67 votes required. McAuliffe stated, “School boards are best positioned to ensure that our students are exposed to those appropriate literary and artistic works that will expand students’ horizons and enrich their learning experiences.” The Federalist wrote an article that reported on this controversy in a few schools and provided studies that illustrate that “Sexually explicit texts negatively affect teen minds.”

The book that prompted HB 516 was Beloved by Toni Morrison. Here follows some excerpts.

Page 13:  “All in their twenties, minus women, fucking cows, dreaming of rape, thrashing on pallets, rubbing their thighs and waiting for the new girl.”

Page 24:  “the new girl they dreamed of at night and fucked cows for at dawn while waiting for her to choose.”

Page 83:  “I am full God damn it of two boys with mossy teeth, one sucking on my breast the other holding me down, …”

Beloved Cliff Notes.” “Sethe slices the throat of the eldest girl, tries to kill her two boys, and threatens to dash out the brains of her infant daughter.”

As a parent at Marshall High School in Falls Church, I have pulled my daughters out of their enrolled English classes due to morally bankrupt required reading materials (summaries provided below, in addition to other English class required readings in the county). My daughters were both given another option, but I feel that it is altogether inadequate. It is a self-directed, online class that deprives the students of the rich interactions, analysis, and discussions that take place in a classroom.

Here follow other examples of required English-class reading materials in Fairfax County with offensive sexual and racial content.

Blindness by Jose Saramago. The back cover provides this description: “A city is hit by an epidemic of ‘white blindness’ which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century,”

Obasan by Joy Kogawa. (From Spark Notes) “Old Man Gower – Naomi’s next-door neighbor in Vancouver. Old Man Gower molests Naomi on multiple occasions. He is a manipulative and cunning man who has the audacity to pose as a generous friend to Naomi’s father.”

Scythe by Neal Shusterman. From the description: “Two teens must learn the ‘art of killing’ … A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life — and they are commanded to do so in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe — a role that neither wants. These teens must master the ‘art’ of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.” … “It is the most difficult thing a person can be asked to do, And knowing that it is for the greater good doesn’t make it any easier. … The ending of life used to be in the hands of nature.  But we store it.  Now we have a monopoly on death.  We are its sole distributor .. how necessary the work is.”

Jazz by Toni Morrison. From a review: “The central event of the story is once again an incomprehensible murder — this time a middle-aged man kills his young lover in order to preserve the feelings their affair has produced. His wife, upon learning of the liaison, mutilates the corpse; but the two inexplicably resume their married life. So okay, it’s a tad melodramatic and unlikely, but great fiction has been built on such shaky foundations before. Morrison however seems uninterested in mining any psychological depths or spinning out any conclusions from her basic set up. Instead the book is sort of a set of bluesy linguistic riffs on Renaissance Harlem, ping ponging backwards and forwards in time, and it does contain some beautiful passages of prose; but to what end? We never really connect with or care about any of the characters. We know about the crimes from the word go, so there’s no dramatic tension. Do the periodic phrases of lambent, tumescent prosody really suffice to make the book worthwhile? I think not. The beauty of language has fairly little to do with the basic value of a work of fiction. The Sears Catalogue might sound pretty to some people if read aloud in French, but that doesn’t make it great literature. Here’s a little clue for you — when the professional reviewers praise the language but pan the story and the regular readers (at sites like Amazon) say they loved it even though they didn’t understand it, it’s safe to assume that you’ve got an author who’s skating on reputation and warning flags should go up in your head. Morrison’s Nobel Prize is probably unwarranted by any measure, but it certainly receives no validation from this book.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Spark Notes: “The college regards Trueblood with hatred and distrust because he has impregnated his own daughter. Norton reacts with horror when the narrator reveals this information, but he insists on speaking with Trueblood. Trueblood explains that he had a strange dream and woke to find himself having sex with his daughter. Norton listens with a morbid, voyeuristic fascination. Trueblood expresses wonder at the fact that white people have showered him with more money and help than before he committed the unspeakable taboo of incest.”

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 12th grade AP English syllabus.

Pages 84-86: “He must enter her surreptitiously, lifting the hem of her nightgown only to her navel. He must rest his weight on his elbow when they make love, to avoid hiring her breasts. … When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm. She might wonder again, for the six hundredth time, what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband’s penis is inside her.” …”She hopes he will not sweat — the damp may get into her hair; and that she will remain dry between her legs — she hates the plucking sound they make when she is moist.

“The cat will jump into her lap. She will fondle that soft hill of hair and let the warmth of the animal’s body seep over and into the deeply private areas of her lap. Sometimes the magazine drops, and she opens her legs just a little, and the two of them will be still together, perhaps shifting a little together, sleeping a little together. … The cat will always know that he is first in her affections.”

Pages 130-131  “Then he will lean his head down and bite my tit. … I want him to put his hand between my legs. … I want him to open them for me. … I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me … He would die rather than take his thing out of me. Of me … I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind. …  know he wants me to come first.  But I can’t. Not until he does.”

Pages 148-149:  “I said, get on wid it. An’ make it good, nigger. … With a violence born of total helplessness, he pulled her dress up, lowered his trousers and underwear. Come on, coon. Faster. You ain’t doing nothing for her. He almost wished he could do it — hard, long and painfully, he hated her so much.”

Pages 161-163:  “What could a burned-out black man say to the hunched back of his eleven-year-old daughter? … A bolt of desire ran down his genitals … and softening the lips of his anus… He wanted to fuck her — tenderly. But the tenderness would not hold. The tightness of her vagina was more than he could bear. His soul seemed to slip down his guts and fly out into her and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made. … Removing himself from her was so painful to him he cut it short and snatched his genitals out of the dry harbor of her vagina. She appeared to have fainted. … Cholly stood up and could see only her grayish panties, so sad and limp around her ankles. … So when the child regained consciousness, she was lying on the kitchen floor under a heavy quilt, trying to connect the pain between her legs with the face of her mother looming over her.”

Page 181:  “The little girls are the only things I’ll miss. Do you know that when I touched their sturdy little tits and bit them — just a little — I felt I was being friendly? … If I’d been hurting them, would they have come back? … They’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them. It was like a party. … And there wasn’t nastiness and there wasn’t any filth, and there wasn’t any odor, and there wasn’t any groaning. … With little girls it is all clean and good and friendly.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Book review: The Kite Runner talks about some serious issues that are deeply rooted in our society, like rape, injustice, Pedophilia, wrong influence of power. Hassan like the rest of Hazaras is shown to pay a grieve price for being a Hazara. And Amir after witnessing the brutality Hassan had to go through couldn’t manage to stay in the same house with him. So due to Amir’s course of action, Hassan is forced to leave Amir’s place. All this happens before the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and the subsequent civil wars.

The Book Thief. The book is over 500 pages, and the first review on Amazon listed below is an academic who specialized in the Holocaust. He stated that the writing is convoluted and disjointed, and the author doesn’t know his history. In In addition the book uses language that is insulting to Jews, Blacks, nuns, and Germans. “I suspect that nobody would give five stars to any book that referred to its only African-American character as “The N—–.” Yeah, right. But this author — and a zillion reviewers, apparently — have no problem with references to The Jew, among other distancing, classically anti-Semitic/racist tactics. Personally, I was appalled. I don’t know how this rather thin piece of drivel managed to pass all the PC tests, but to me, a Jewish American, I got through half of this book before the gall choked me. And nowadays, when anti-Semitism is on the rise, when streets cannot be named after a person named Lynch anymore (sorry, Jane), I’m beside myself when reading this handbook on Nazi tactics. It’s a how-to, complete with countless negative epithets for Hitler’s innocent victims. I do not want my grandchildren to read this garbage, even if it’s written with some suave literary touches. No, I grew up with Europeans whose parents were brainwashed by Nazis.”

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (quoting material):


When I came to his room that night, with a little scratch like a shy little mouse at his door, he made that pitiful ineffectual little attempt to prove that what I had said wasn’t true…. (I.59.1121-1124)

Maggie goes to Skipper to sleep with him to both feel closer to Brick and to see if her supposition is right. She is jealous of Brick and Skipper’s love.


Yes, boy. I’ll tell you something that you might not guess. I still have desire for women and this is my sixty-fifth birthday. (II.93.683-685)

In this moment, we see Big Daddy’s highly sexual nature, especially with (falsely) restored life. Here also we are reminded that Big Daddy is the patriarch and thus a representation of potency. His potency is meant to reflect the strength and fertility of the farmland, as well as the continuation of his lineage. However, the lust he expresses here is only a mirage, as the knowledge of his impending death will immobilize him.


Now, hold on, hold on a minute, son. — I knocked around in my time. (II.115.1155-1156)

Here is the only instance in which Big Daddy alludes to his days of sexual experimentation with men, as brief and ambiguous as it is. At this moment, Big Daddy does not seem as much the misogynistic, ultra-macho man we know him to be. He reveals his own shifting sexual identity. At this moment, Brick and Big Daddy do not seem so vastly different or so far apart, but we see how both have interpreted their gender roles differently.


You think so, too? You think so, too? You think me an’ Skipper did, did, did!—sodomy! —together? (II.117.1208-1209)

Brick uses the word, “sodomy,” which evokes biblical and legal language. He is deeply concerned with violating any societal codes or values. Brick is outraged at Big Daddy’s questions and insinuations and wants to know who exactly is perpetrating such gossip. He is almost obsessed with discovering who exactly believes him to be gay.


[…] Why, at Ole Miss when it was discovered a pledge to our fraternity, Skipper’s and mine, did a, attempted to do a, unnatural thing with—

We not only dropped him like a hot rock — We told him to git off the campus, and he did, he got! — All the way to—


– Where?


– North Africa, last I heard! (II.119.1240-1248)

As Brick relates the hazing and intolerance of a gay fraternity brother, he speaks in vague, fractured sentences and has a hard time getting the words out. This moment is seared into his memory, and it has become almost an allegory for himself. When Big Daddy wants to know where that fraternity brother is now, Brick seems to choose at random the farthest place on earth that he can come up with. The way in which he says, “last I heard,” evokes the image of a wandering man, constantly moving away from the intolerance of others. In this moment, we peek into Brick’s imagination and see his understanding of the consequences of admitting one’s sexual orientation.


No!—It was too rare to be normal, any true thing between two people is too rare to be normal. (II.121.1271-1273)

Brick indicts society here, saying that conformity involves lies. His relationship with Skipper was true because it did not obey societal designations of appropriate, normal behavior. At this moment he distances himself from the norms of a society that once loved him so much and that he loves so dearly.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Review: “The historical, social economic, and gender inequality lessons are very valuable; they are grossly and overwhelmingly overshadowed by the graphic pornographic language and tone. The pervasive sex scenes throughout this book ruins the book. We live in a world that is rich with good literature; which also abounds with dozens of other works; which artfully, skillfully, and scholarly provide valuable life lessons and easily communicate and describe these lessons without using vulgarity and pornography. Very badly done!”

American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Style: comic book. Review: “While American Born Chinese attempts to use satire and overt racism to dismantle stereotypes about Asians, it was entirely ineffective. The book not only utilizes common stereotypes about Chinese people, but it also introduces stereotypes to my class that we, as a group of college students, had never even encountered. The story simplifies Chin-Kee’s entire personality into a Chinese racist caricature, which is honestly difficult to read and wildly uncomfortable. I understand that the purpose of the story was to utilize stereotypes and racist tropes in order to dismantle them while providing a wholesome message about accepting all of the aspects of one’s identity. However, this is not shown obviously enough, making the novel really dangerous as a YA book. Children who read this may not pick up on the satirical aspects of Chin-Kee’s character in particular, and may instead only leave the novel with reaffirmed stereotypes, and even new racist jokes that they may never have learned. If the author had been more clear at the conclusion of the story about his intended message in regards to Chinese culture, the novel may have been passable. Because it is not made abundantly clear, children and many educators may find its satire and racial commentary hard to both identify and teach on. Therefore, this book should not be read by children unsupervised, and educators should approach the incorporation of it into their curriculum with caution. One useful application of this book could be to teach students about modern satire, but if the point of the lesson is not surrounding the satire and therefore the problematic aspects of this book, it should be omitted from the canon.”

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10 responses to “Hudson, Hold My Beer”

  1. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Thanks for publishing the salacious parts… saves a lot of reading.

    There was a pastor in Texas, who having stumbled upon porn sites on the internet, published copies of the photos on the church website to show his parishioners how evil the internet was. Not a joke.

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    The Fairfax County School Board has pulled the two books that were at the center of the latest controversy. From what I saw, I would agree that they are not appropriate for elementary school libraries. I also have some reservations about graphic novels in school libraries (to me, they are just souped up comic books).

    But the rest of this list that his woman objects to? Toni Morrison? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,? Invisible Man? Give me a break. Scythe sounds a lot like The Hunger Games, which my grandchildren have read and liked (they are home schooled, by the way). This woman’s daughters must live a sheltered life (although probably not as sheltered as she imagines).

    By the way, the Bible contains a lot of sex and violence–rape, incest, adultery, bigamy, mass murder, etc.

    1. Paul Sweet Avatar

      But the Bible doesn’t glorify sex and go into such pornographic detail, and most who indulge in it don’t end up well.

      Violence is another matter. Although the 6th commandment says “Thou shalt not murder”, violence against idol worshipers so the Israelites can take the promised land is OK, and some of the descriptions are fairly graphic.

      1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        How about this story about the revenge of Jaacob’s sons over the rape of their sister (Genesis 34):

        On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of
        Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came
        against the city unawares, and killed all the males.
        26They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
        27And the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled.
        28They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field.
        29All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and made their prey.

        I would daresay that the story of David and Bathsheba, told in modern terms, would draw the wrath and censorship of Ms. Hommer.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        The central function of imaginative literature is to make you realize that other people act on moral convictions different from your own. -William Empson, literary critic and poet (27 Sep 1906-1984)

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    I sense a purge coming….

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      I had that feeling after just one cup of coffee this morning.

  4. Terry Nyhous Avatar
    Terry Nyhous

    What are they teaching in our Schools of Education that makes teachers think that exposing minors to salacious material is okay?

  5. 642 604 576 Things to Write About”

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