When Audre Lorde made that much quoted yet often misunderstood cautionary statement warning us that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” she was urging us to remember that we must engage in a process of visionary thinking that transcends the ways of knowing privileged by the oppressive powerful if we are to truly make revolutionary change. She was, in the deep structure of this statement, reminding us that it is easy for women and any exploited or oppressed group to become complicit in structures of domination, using power in ways that reinforce rather than challenge or change.
So number one, Reading Rainbow was not cancelled because it was not effective. Reading Rainbow was the most used television resource in our nation’s classroom. In 2009, it was [cancelled] due to No Child Left Behind. That government policy made a choice between teaching the rudiments of reading and fostering a love of reading. So the idea that I am trying to somehow revive a failed endeavor is bullshit. That’s right. I said it. Bullshit.