Thursday, January 6, 2011

What the HUCK ??

In an upcoming edition of the Mark Twain classic novel "Huckleberry Finn" , publishers have decided to censor the use of "the N-Word" (not "nice", "nylon", "neighbor", or "nightfall" ) and replace it with the word "slave". Publishers say that this is not an attempt to "censor" a classic novel or to inject a dose of the "S-word" (steroids) into the notion of "Political Correctness". Rather, they claim that this is just their way of updating the novel to represent our 21st century world (apparently they don't have the latest Lil Wayne CD) .

Though I can certainly appreciate a publisher not wanting to offend the modern day reader by spewing "N-Words" all over the 293 pages of this classic novel, the truth is that in a novel that represents tales from the mid-1800s in American society, there was A WHOLE LOT that was offensive at that moment in American History. This was a time when owning "your very own priceless black slave" was probably about as common place as owning a house with a 2-car garage is today. In those days, referring to a black man or woman with the use of "the N-Word" was very likely the least of their concerns in comparison to the numerous beatings and inhumane treatment that they endured for hundreds of years.

There is a WHOLE LOT about American History that we may not like, but "it is what it was (and in many ways still is)". To attempt to sweep these ugly aspects of American history under the rug in an attempt to be "politically correct" is to deny a modern generation a brief look into the past from which we have evolved and fails to give them a deeper appreciation and understanding of the prism through which we view race and society today.

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