Skip to main content

View Diary: What the Huck? (116 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Do They? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Adept2u

    I think you and your child should judge Huck Finn for yourselves.

    But a sanitized version is a disgrace to history and to the literature of America's past.

    •  I would be happy to and have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, blindyone

      I don't want it mandated that a southern school district hand my child nigger Jim and tell him to write a good essay on it or they get an F.  The simple fact is if they handed one in discussing how the school board is racist for making them read it they'd be suspended.  Why in the year 2011 must my child be subjected to that in the public school system.  When are they gonna put the autobiography of Nat Turner on the syllabus.

      "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

      by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 08:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, You Are Going... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, Adept2u

        ...to teach about America without discussing race?

        Nat Turner is taught, on many syllabi where one finds Huck Finn.

        We can't sanitize the past, and we can't hide it from students.

        They aren't subjected to the past as much in the classroom as they are in life.  Only if they understand it, however, can they turn it around, becoming citizens and not subjects.

        •  ROFLMAO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, blindyone

          Find a syllabus where Nat Turner is taught and Black people get the requisite lessons on American racism everyday.  They get to go to Daily Kos and hear all the nice white progressives defending calling us nigger in a book over 150 years old.  When does it ever stop.

          "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

          by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 08:13:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not only Nat Turner... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            plf515, Adept2u

            ...is taught, but Douglass and much, much more.

            If you want, email me, and I can show you dozens of syllabi dealing head on with the topic of race.

            No one here is defending calling anyone anything, but are discussing changing the words in a book.

            The two things are quite different.

            •  No its not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              plf515, blindyone

              Back it up with a link.  Find a public high school with the autobiography of Nat Turner on the reading list.

              "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

              by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 08:18:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You are defending it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              plf515

              Mark Twain was making a point about how niggers were treated it was an important point when it was written, why is it important now?

              "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

              by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 08:19:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How We Live Now... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                plf515

                ...Results from how they lived then.

              •  Because the past is important (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mayim, Adept2u

                It's important to learn how Blacks were treated in the South, how Jews (and many others) were treated in Nazi Germany; how women have been treated just about everywhere; and so on.

                •  I see (0+ / 0-)

                  Can you name a book that teaches about Jewish of female oppression by so grossly illustrating it, and then that gross illustration fall through the years to modern children?  Is it treated as a classic, does it cause the children to run to the playground in order to find some black boy to call nigger jim?  

                  "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

                  by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 08:33:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not that meets all those criteria (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adept2u

                    at once, no.

                    But almost any novel written more than (say) 50 years ago shows women as oppressed.  But I don't know of any that use a derogatory term for women (not sure what it would be).  

                    The Bible is used by some misogynists to justify oppression of women and GLBT people. But, again, no derogatory term.

                    There are fewer American novels about Jews, probably because there are many fewer Jews than Blacks in America.  Offhand, I can't think of a classic novel that insults Jews, but I bet they are out there (I don't read that much classic literature).

                    •  It wouldn't be considered a classic (0+ / 0-)

                      If it insulted jews.  Jewish people protect themselves very well, ask Rick Sanchez.  I've often thought if Black Americans would want to consider a Big Brother mentor race we would look to the Jews.   A slave race that has not forgotten it's roots in slavery and are able to be proud of it.  No one ever thinks that the Romans were good guys.  No one is still walking around doing balls celebrating Nazism like they do the confederacy.  All those things pile up on a Black American.  Then when we say ouch this hurts, the overwhelming reaction seems to be, yeah well no one solved anything by making it less ugly.  That's real easy when the ugliness isn't at you.

                      "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

                      by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 09:03:45 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  One classic that insults Jews (0+ / 0-)

                        is Merchant of Venice.  Not American, true, but widely taught, and a classic.  

                      •  Oliver Twist (0+ / 0-)

                        Fagin is NOT a nice person, and is a stereotype of nasty Jew.  

                      •  There are quite a few classics (0+ / 0-)

                        which offend gays, jews, blacks or women.  As was mentioned, Merchant of Venice is one.  Here's a poem by John Donne:

                        Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side,
                        Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
                        For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he
                        Who could do no iniquity hath died:
                        But by my death can not be satisfied
                        My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety:
                        They killed once an inglorious man, but I
                        Crucify him daily, being now glorified.
                        Oh let me, then, his strange love still admire:
                        Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment.
                        And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire
                        But to supplant, and with gainful intent:
                        God clothed himself in vile man's flesh, that so
                        He might be weak enough to suffer woe.

                        The Maltese Falcon has a fairly weak and ineffectual villain in it referred to as a "gunsel," which was hostile slang term for effete gay men.

                        The Fountainhead and Gone With the Wind are both classic works of literature which glorify rape.

                        I'm not qualified to judge the offensiveness of Huck Finn and its use of the word "nigger" but I don't think it's right for you to make false claims to support your argument.

                        "Part of activism is simply being known as a human being" --Kyril

                        by juliewolf on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 03:48:55 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm sorry to say that I disagree strongly here (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        plf515, indubitably

                        There are numerous, numerous works of literary fiction which are troublesome for us Jews (and I know we're strong, solid survivors, coming from a Holocaust family, but I also know where the pain lies). The ones that come to mind are not only The Merchant of Venice, but also parts of the Canterbury Tales, esp. the Prioresses Tale, Proust, Oliver Twist, and many, many others which depict stereotypical Jews as greedy, deceitful, and so on.

                        This removal of the N-word is akin to rewriting The Diary of Anne Frank -- taught to young readers too -- and renaming the Nazis. We could call them "Bad Guys." That would work. Right?

                        "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

                        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 09:55:35 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  I am pretty sure I was assigned (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mayim, Adept2u

            to read Nat Turner.  Also one of Richard Wright's books (I think it was Native Son, but I am not sure).

            •  If you had read the autobiography of Nat Turner (0+ / 0-)

              You would have remembered it.

              "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

              by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 09:04:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I defnitely READ it. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mayim, Adept2u

                I forget if it was assigned.  I think it was.  But it might have been optional.  

                As with Wright - I know I read both Black Boy and Native Son, but I forget when.  

                Happens to me all the time, with all sorts of things - not just books or assignments.  I just don't remember when things happened in my life.

                •  The N word is profanity (0+ / 0-)

                  Nastier to me than the word fuck.  I use the word fuck, but I would have real issues if public schools were offering up literature that contained the word 200 times.

                  "The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American." Ida B. Wells

                  by Adept2u on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 09:23:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm trying to think of a book (0+ / 0-)

                    that uses fuck that much.  Maybe something by Lenny Bruce?  George Carlin uses it a lot too.  IIRC, so does Hunter Thompson.

                    In high school, I could see assigning Lenny Bruce.  Carlin probably not.  Thompson certainly.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (132)
  • Community (62)
  • Elections (39)
  • 2016 (37)
  • Environment (36)
  • Bernie Sanders (35)
  • Culture (30)
  • Hillary Clinton (30)
  • Republicans (29)
  • Media (29)
  • Climate Change (27)
  • Spam (23)
  • Congress (23)
  • Education (23)
  • Civil Rights (22)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (21)
  • Barack Obama (21)
  • Labor (21)
  • Law (20)
  • Texas (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site