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Removing the forbidden word removes the power of truth......

I am infuriated, disgusted, distraught and more than dismayed that there will shortly be a "new" version of Huckleberry Finn releasing on shelves. Apparently, it has become so difficult to read because of its inclusion of the hateful word, nigger, that a certain Auburn university professor, Alan Gribben, will release a NewSouth edition---- sans the N-word.

Never-mind the fact that the sole purpose of including the word was to make people feel exactly the way they are feeling. The word itself holds so much emotion that it is difficult for most people to read, let alone speak or hear.
Illustration of Jim and Huckleberry Finn, by E...


The point of the story was to illustrate conflicting moral issues within the context of racism--- the book itself is NOT racist. We can't teach our children how horrible slavery was if we "band-aid" and "clean-up" the truth of our past. This book was meant to be difficult to read. It was meant to make you feel disgusted. It was meant to show what horrors we could easily inflict on our fellow man. 


We, as humans, have a tremendous ability to make other people something less than ourselves. And once we let that happen, we can justify a helluva lot of awfulness. This is what Mark Twain was trying to point out--- how it is so easy to get caught up in the idea of something being right and something else being wrong just because that's what we've allowed ourselves to believe. Slaves were made something less than ourselves because they were given a name that allowed them to be redefined as something less than human. 


Take away that word and you take away the truth of what they endured.


Mark Twain even addressed the idea of the power of words and it most definitely applies to this attempt at censorship----- "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

Don't censor a book because it's hard to read. Don't turn away from the horror because it's hard to see. Don't belittle the memory of those that endured by glossing over the truth so it's more palatable.

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