“Reading comprehension” is a skill that is taught in school to help children in the US understand what is being talked about in a passage, and dissuade them from making false impressions about what a passage is talking about. Here’s an example:
“Did you hear what Ned said? He said the buffalo are eating all the straw,” whispered Gary.
Based on the above passage, can you tell me who is making the claim that buffalo are eating all the straw? If you answered Ned, you have at least some reading comprehension. If you said Gary, then you lack reading comprehension to some degree.
The writer of this Illinois Review article apparently lacks reading comprehension, by writing an article about a fourth grade textbook as if it claimed that white voters rejected Obama based on his race, whereas the book is actually only saying what ‘others’ made such claims and offering no credibility to what they said.
If I were to say, “Among the list of offenses I supposedly committed, according to Jeffrey, I stole my mother’s car, punched my brother’s baby, and ran over my neighbor’s mailbox,” I would not be making the claim that I did any of those things. I would be saying what things Jeffrey is accusing me of, and that Jeffrey is accusing me of those things, and putting the weight of whether they are true upon Jeffrey’s credibility.
Now, let’s look at the textbook excerpt in question:
Quoted from the above text, first 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.
The headline for the article, however, reads:
Case closed, wouldn’t you say? I would.