I was watching 60 minutes last Sunday...
perhaps you caught it.
The subject was the use of the word "nigger"
in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
A publishing company has released a version of Huck Finn sans the word... replaced instead by "slave".
The man responsible for producing the books says his reasoning is that the word offends people.
If you are interested, you can watch the video clip here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/60minutes/
The video article is called " The N Word".
I'm betting it would offend Mark Twain if he heard that "nigger" had been removed from his book!
Yes the word is offensive. That's a fact.
However, it also contains a true view of that era in the south
(and many other places).
The entire point of the book is Huck's discovery that Jim is a good man and Huck's coming to understand that it is wrong to view him as being less worthy of respect than any other person.
Huck learns that Jim is not a piece of property or a lower form of man... called "nigger".
Jim begins the journey as a nigger in Huck's head... but ends it with Huck calling him friend.
Mark Twain wanted us to be offended and see a different point of view.
The video article goes on to speak with teachers in high school class rooms.
One teacher will not say the word "nigger" out loud.
They speak as well to a college professor from my beloved U of O...
(He's a Duck!)
who lectures on the subject of why the word "nigger" needs to remain in literature.
"Nigger." he says.
"Get over it."
The teacher who refuses to say anything but "the N word" when she teaches Huck Finn says that it is an alarming and upsetting thing for high school students.
I say "So what?"
Shock the monkeys!
Students need to see what things were like.
There is nothing wrong with feeling uncomfortable or being shocked.
We don't want them to hide their heads in the sand.
Life is a shock ride.
Get over it and get used to it...
being shocked shows they are on the right track.
You see how I feel about it.
What do you think?
Should books be sanitized for the sake of not making students uncomfortable?
(I wonder if the "n" word teacher also uses
"Lord of the Flies"? Talk about a shocking and uncomfortable book! Or is murder okay and not so shocking?)
Go ahead... toss me a carrot and tell me what you think.