Whenever I see something like an edited version of Huckleberry Finn that removes the n-word I can’t help but wonder who is this being done for. I guess the easy thing to say is that it’s racially insensitive to black people. That argument would have a lot of weight if I didn’t hear the n-word while listening to music all day or read it 10,000 times on Twitter. Maybe the editors of the revised version of the book decided to do something we can’t do for ourselves and remove the word. That’s a nice gesture but we didn’t need it. Maybe I would be for removing the word if the book was set in modern times where we should be passed that. Huckleberry Finn was set in the early 1800’s. Not only did they call black guys the n-word but there wasn’t that many who would even admit they knew how to read in order to be offended by Mark Twain’s words. Things were different back then and the words in the book fit the time period.
I guess they are doing it for the kids but taking out the words that fit the times weakens the understanding of life and history for the kids who read it. If your child asks you why they keep using the n-word then explain it to them. Stop trying to change how history happened or how real life works. One day I was reading Little Red Riding Hood to the kids and was waiting for the part where the big bad wolf gets busy and takes out grandma. I was going to use it to teach a lesson there’s some shady characters just like the wolf so you have to be careful. My only problem was that in the version I had grandma wasn’t even home when the wolf got to the house. He put grandma’s clothes on and all that but he didn’t really try to mess with Little Red Riding Hood either. They ended up hanging out or something at the end of the book. Instead of my great speech about being careful around strangers or hairy men the only thing I could say at the end of the story was “Who bought this fake ass version of Little Red Riding Hood?”
I’m going find me an old version of the story where the wolf eats grandma and gets his ass chopped up for it. While I am there I am buying an old version of Huckleberry Finn with all its n-words on display. Maybe they will read it and realize just how far we have come in a relatively short amount of time. I would rather have the kids have to put up with that uncomfortable word while reading a book then have them read a watered down version of the same story and be misinformed about what was really going on in those times Mark Twain wrote about.