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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Cost of education

There is a push to change the wording in several now-classic books ... Because the phrases and wording is offensive.

In particular they are talking of changing "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain (pen name of Samuel Clemens) to replace the n-word with the word 'slave' ... Now while I would not have an issue with this in a child's version of the book, I have a big issue with it in the high schoolers version of the same text - and it would be used as a text for reading assignments.

The issue with removing the word from the text is that kids hear this word all the time in their music ... And they use it with each other ... Then they can't understand why people are so upset by hearing it in that same music.

That is because they are not being taught the historical background of the word. Sure they know that it's a 'bad word' ... But it's been reduced to the level of the f-word, the s-word, the c-word ... And they use it anyways just like those other words.

Maybe by teaching the hatred, the bigotry, the venom behind the word we can teach children how to really be sensitive to why so many people are upset by all the music that is out there.

Twain didn't just throw the word in the story to be mean or to simply show the vernacular of the time - he did it so that even Huckleberry could see the dirt that clings to the word and THAT is what we need to teach the children today.

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