Mark Twain defined a classic as "a book which people praise and don’t read." These days a lot of schools are not reading one of his classics, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," because it contains offensive language.
CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports a new sanitized version is coming out. It may not solve the problem.
Twain’s classic book still navigates America’s river of race relations. The book uses racial slurs, words customary for Twain’s time. Today those words are radioactive.
On one page of "Huck Finn," Twain wrote the n-word six times. Should each use be edited out and replaced with the word "slave"?
In the entire book, Twain uses the n-word 219 times, deliberately, to spotlight 19th century racism.
The issue I take with the edits is that of HOW can we possibly teach our children the impact and degree of racism in our world throughout time, if we keep erasing and editing history as if to provide a bubble wrapped sterile environment for our children to grow up in?
I think it’s important for our kids to see to what degree racism was accepted – to what extent people went to ensure segregation and so forth. Erasing the N-word from our literary classics won’t accomplish much besides create a world in which the very existence of such horrific times may be challenged.