Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So Let Just Not Talk About It?

This is an old example of censorship, but illustrates previous points I have made on the issue of censorship of books like Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. It seems to me that the teacher led an excellent discussion of the book and the use of racial language. Yet a student wants to take this discussion out of the classroom and never be able to talk about it. How is anyone (particularly Caucasians) ever supposed to learn when you censor the hard truths of the not-so-glorious past? And if 1/3 of their school is African American, they must hear racial slurs over and over again in the hallway and in their community. Shouldn't they know the history of those words?

I'm sure I have many ideas that are offensive to other people on the issue of race and ethnicity... maybe even just the fact that I'm white. But why can't we push forward with open, un-censored talks so that we can all learn what's offensive, why, and take the fear out of the issue? How can we move on from where we are now to something better without these talks? How is this desire controversial? It's a sincere question that begs for comments from any readers who have more experience than I do.

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