Thursday, November 02, 2006

For the Fear of a Word

Mark Twain intended a little controversy when he wrote Huckleberry Finn but I don't think the controversy that followed was quite what he had in mind.

The book was originally an anti-racist statement when Huck truly realized that Jim was not just a step above an animal, but was a true and genuine man and human. It is one of the best peices of anti-racist literature ever written.

When Mark Twain wrote it, and during the time period it covered, the N-word was part of peoples' everyday language, and it is a true reflection of the times that it portrayed.

Alas. Some people must never hear that word (except in rap music which seems to be exempt.)

Another school has banned it.

But we can't ban Heather has two Mommies even if it offends people. It offends the people that it are perfectly alright to offend.

The right decision is this: Teach the book in its historical context, letting those troubled by the word understand that the world was once like that. It should make them appreciate the world that is just a little more and see how far they have come.

5 Comments:

Blogger Skip said...

Does the same ring true for "Gone with the Wind"?? What do Heathers Moms think of that?? Hmmm, and did the student complain or was it someone else who "complained on his behalf"?
People need to suck it up and realize that that tag, dodgeball and keeping score as well as a little discomfort is a part of life, I mean we all dealt with it and MOST of us, haven't shot up a WalMart (that they can prove anyway)

10:55 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I absolutely looooooove Huckleberry Finn. I'm reading it to my kids for the 2nd time right now. This is beyond absurd!! The politically correct police strike again! Yet another reason I homeschool.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Gunz said...

No the book shouldn't of been banned for reasons you indicated, but that teacher that allowed it to be read aloud knowing there was a black student present was insane...

That had to be shocking to the kid and feelings hurt because kids mimick what they hear and probably got called ( the 'N' word ) the rest of the day and beyond.

That was very irresponsible of the teacher; yeah it's history and needs preserved, but so do feelings. The right approach would be to check with the kids parent about the book first, its historical significance and back ground. That kid's parents might of been okay with it if first informed and kept in the proper context. That's called planning. Some people aren't very observant though, if I was a teacher I'd been aware of that. Maybe it's just the Marine in me because I had to know just about everything about each of my Marines in my squads and platoons as a leader.

If the NAACP isn't raising a fuss then keep it on the shelves and accessible... they too know where Twain was coming from...

That teacher was wrong, but to ban was extreme and overboard. S/F!

11:51 PM  
Blogger The Oneonta Teletype said...

In the movie "Coming to America", which was one of Eddy Murphy's funnier films (although I am not by any means a Murphy fan), Murphy played several roles--one which really cracked me up was the part of an elderly Jewish man who frequented the barbershop.

Having grown up in New York, and having many friends, then and now, of the Jewish faith, Murphy's portrayal of the old gent was right on and funny as hell.

My Point: It's okay for a black man to make fun of Jews, use the N word in a joking way, etc. but not the other way around!

When Jackie Mason was running his one man show on Broadway, the packed theatre was picketed every night by liberal black groups.

Mason's stuff is a scream, and barely mentions blacks. People have to take perspective of the context and grow a thicker hide.

The Borat character,(who I find unfunny and not original) is a Jew from Canada. I don't hold that against him, though, but I will hold his writers against him.

Shucks, gimme Triumph the Insult Dog any day. And Rickels. And Dangerfield. And Yakov Smirnov.

What a country!

6:12 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Government run schools are the bane of real civilization...

10:28 PM  

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