Okay, I am one of the least likely people on the planet to utter a racial slur. I fully understand that perception can be everything, and that many of our children have a hard time disassociating themselves from modern culture when experiencing history. My seventeen year old son watched “Blazing Saddles” with us last year and was horrified by the same thing that bothers people (apparently) about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…that stupid “n” word.
But there is no excuse for watering down classic literature. Mark Twain didn’t write Native American or slave into his original text, and I don’t want my kids reading the book some new, less dynamic way just to shield them from what bastards their grandfathers and (in many cases) fathers) were. Why not just write into our textbooks that things didn’t really happen the way they did and …oh. Wait. They’re doing that too.
Listen up, you mooks. This is not just ridiculous, it’s dangerous. Throughout history the civilizations that allowed their history to be rewritten to political or social agenda were almost always the same ones reviled by future generations. If we change the way things were, we not only do a disservice to our own heritage, but we risk losing the truth in the shuffle…teach the kids why the language is the way it is in Mark Twain. Discuss it. Learn from it. Don’t change it so it’s just a nice little story about two boys…
God only knows what they’ll want to do to my books – but I can tell you – libraries across the country carry them currently – and now, along with the fear of dropping into obscurity – I can add the notion that I might become censored, or known for writing something in language that isn’t even my own.
In the words of Brittany’s defender on Youtube… “Leave Twain alone, man…”