Huckleberry Finn under attack, again

Yes, here we go—yet, again. Instead of exposing America’s students to the differences of our society and helping them understand the history of those differences (in essence, teaching them what makes America America), another attempt is under way to just remove a topic from the table and ignore it. Who knew, of course, that Mark Twain used the “n-word” (as this St. Paul Pioneer Press author so safely puts it) two-hundred times in the classic adventure novel? Then, again, who really needed to know? That wasn’t the point of the book then, I don’t think, and, while the point has admittedly changed through the years, it shouldn’t be the point now!

During discussion of the book, [one student] said she was uncomfortable with views she said students expressed—that blacks should go to hell and interracial marriage was immoral, for instance. (see “District may drop ‘Huck Finn’ from required reading list” by Bao Ong; posted online Friday, February 2, 2007)

It’s good that she was uncomfortable, isn’t it? Isn’t that part of the point of educating our youth? To let them know that people are different, that controversies exist and can be debated in a healthy fashion, that times have changed, that we shouldn’t “let history repeat itself?”

No, I should know by now that’s an outdated concept of public education, that such lessons are not on any of the tests today’s students have to pass, so there’s not enough time in the schedule; but, that’s another disturbing story! I guess it could be worse . . . at least they’re not specifically trying to ban The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—this time . . .

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