Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Ne'er the Twain Shall Meet, Nor Would He Want To

Oh America, you slay me!

Today’s episode of ranklement comes from the news that Alan Gribben of Auburn University wants to edit (read: “censor”) Mark Twain’s classic novel “Huckleberry Finn” to remove the word “nigger” and replace it with “slave” or some such nonsense. 

This doesn’t bug me. Re-writing literature is nothing new. As far back as the days of Jesus Christ, Hebrew scribes censored the Bible (or Torah, technically) so that God’s name “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”  wouldn’t appear out of superstition that it was too sacred to utter. More recently, people have downplayed the events of the Holocaust. How many businesses edit their accounting books for personal gain? Basically, people wanting to re-write history or literature is not surprising. I’m only surprised that it’s taken this long for the apologists to get around to Huck Finn.

My real point is this: the Internet is flaming with people up in arms about this new edition of the book. Thousands, if not millions, are outraged that they want to take the word “nigger” out of classic literature. What kills me is that these same people that are on their soapbox about censorship refuse to use the word “nigger” themselves, even though they’re only quoting Twain, not trying to use it as a slur.

Here are a couple of screen caps from Twitter showing what I mean:

Replacing the word “nigger” with “N word” does nothing to lessen the word’s impact. Instead, such folks are hiding behind a veil of hypocrisy. 

Are you censoring yourself and your own right of free speech while lambasting those who would censor? This is the very definition of hypocrisy. Further, you are only giving strength to the cause you are protesting. 

Where does it end? Will we censor every “offensive” word, picture, film and pamphlet, hiding behind the guise of not wanting to “offend?” Do you want to live in that monotone beige world? I don’t. America, quit being a bunch of pathetic crybabies and act the way those that fought for your right to say what needs to be said wanted you to. Mark Twain did.

PS- Here's a YouTube link where the comedian describes this quite succinctly (and hilariously): Credit to @dubtea on the Twitters.


will said...

As I said on the twitters, I think Louis C.K. sums up the "N-word" quite nicely:

Sean said...

Thanks Will! Added your link to the original post! Very worth watching!