Posted by: Meagan | February 21, 2011

Politically Correct to the “N”th Degree

If you haven’t heard about Alan Gribben changing Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn then you must have been hiding under a rock. Gribben will change the “n” word to slave throughout the book, he is also changing out the word “Injun” to make the book more politically correct, and hoping that this version will not be banned by libraries. Some libraries have banned the book because of the negative light it sheds on people of color. This surprises me. Can we not talk in schools or even within our families honestly about the past? I think it is absurd to change to book because racism and slavery really is part of our history, however ugly it may be. I think that reading this book as it was written opens dialogue within our communities about where our country was, how far we have come, and also why people believed as they did in the past. I think by replacing those names with PC versions robs us of this important opportunity! I think that many Americans don’t want to talk about the past because slavery is sad, and it is wrong, however where would our country be without it? It is an intrinsic part of our history, we shouldn’t shun it or shield it from our children, we should embrace our past, and learn from it.

I think others agree that it is silly to change it, a few are much more humorous than I am, and a group of them have decided to change the “n” word to “robot”, yes, to robot, in a limited edition publishing (even you can get a copy). They are raising money for the publishing, so if you want you can donate and get your own copy. Here is a picture incentive of Huck with Robot Jim:

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Responses

  1. What’s that saying about history repeating itself if you don’t learn from it? Why would you change it, when you should be embracing how far we have come as a culture and celebrating unity as human beings not by skin color and race.

  2. I guess I’ll crawl back out from under my rock now that you have enlightened me;) I really am in my own little world I guess. I didn’t even hear about the miners in Chille until the day they got out of the mine *blush*.
    Anyway, this is an interesting topic. I agree with you that it doesn’t need to be chagned, but then again, I’m not black and I’m not sure how black people feel about that kind of stuff. I remember reading in a parenting book that we unintentionaly teach our kids to be racist by not talking about and acknowledging other races. I say we as in white people. Other races tend to talk openly about it, but we are so afraid to offend or say the wrong thing, we just don’t talk about it at all! So, this is a good conversation. I would be curious to hear how black people feel about all this.

  3. The thing with this book in particular is that the whole point of it is Huck’s discovery that slavery and racism is wrong. So you kind of have to paint it in a wrong light for Huck to figure that out, right?

    I think these changes are SO counterintuitive, especially in this book. Maybe other books would be different, but it ruins the whole moral of this story.


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