Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. ~Mark Twain
I’ve never met a racist who cited Huckleberry Finn as her inspiration. Sanitizing the text by replacing “nigger” with “slave” won’t do much other than satisfy the skittish schools and parents who have made it one of the most controversial books in America. The thinking of the censorious publisher is curious. No doubt a high school class reading “nigger” aloud over and over is awkward. God forbid. By what measure then is it reduced to instead read “slave” in a story that takes place when black people were shackled and treated as sub-humans? And isn’t Huck Finn a satire of that society?
We’re having a talk about how language effects our society this week, after the mass shooting in Arizona. It is a violent and stupid world. Mark Twain is not the problem.
Tuesday: What Targets?”