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Outrage Over New Edition of "Huckleberry Finn"

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posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by TXRabbit
does this mean we can rewrite the volumes of hip-hop songs out there that use this word?

please be true
edit on 4-1-2011 by TXRabbit because: spelling


Absolutely not!
Have you no respect for rhyme schemes?
I aint sayin she's a gold digger...




posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:20 PM
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A sign of the times.

And with a Black president no less.

I wonder if the day comes to remake apocolypse now, they change the n-word in that too.... and the whole film itself.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:21 PM
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I assume the rewriting of the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and the Bhagavadgita are in the works.

Apparently, some screwballs with "moral" issues have never read the contents of these salacious books.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:34 PM
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As a Junior in High School Essay Assignment, my class had to write an addendum chapter to Huck Finn. Not only did I try and stay true to some of the 'slang expressions', I did indeed submit a paper that used the n word...

98/100...the highest grade of the class...and the entire theme of the chapter was against racism.

I disagree with this move/censorship...
edit on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:35:28 -0600 by MemoryShock because: Clarity.

edit on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 10:18:31 -0600 by MemoryShock because: Spelling.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:45 PM
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Is it just me or does this thread seem all too ironic in a place where we are not permitted to use the very word in question, even in referential context?
edit on 4-1-2011 by Sinnthia because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by Sinnthia
 




Mark Twain would have thought us so vain as to hide from our children what we so blatantly flaunted so many years ago, and he would see it as a lame attempt at washing a horror from our memory that we should never forget.

Here was his feelings on the matter... "Our Civil War was a blot on our history, but not as great a blot as the buying and selling of Negro souls."

I recommend you take a look at what Mark Twain thought about Negroes.

For example... Let's see what ATS auto-censor does with this

He even gets around the censors when he tries to sound like the way it sounds with the southern drawl. Hah... Twain wins over ATS from the grave, 100 years hence!



And at the fag-end of the procession was a long double file of the proudest, happiest scoundrels I saw yesterday--'n-word's. Or perhaps I should say "them damned 'n-word's," which is the other name they go by now. They did all it was in their power to do, poor devils, to modify the prominence of the contrast between black and white faces which seems so hateful to their white fellow-creatures, by putting their lightest colored darkies in the front rank, then glooming down by some unaggravating and nicely graduated shades of darkness to the fell and dismal blackness of undefiled and unalloyed 'n-word'dom in the remote extremity of the procession. It was a fine stroke of strategy--the day was dusty and no man could tell where the white folks left off and the 'n-word's began. The "damned naygurs"--this is another descriptive title which has been conferred upon them by a class of our fellow-citizens who persist, in the most short-sighted manner, in being on bad terms with them in the face of the fact that they have got to sing with them in heaven or scorch with them in hell some day in the most familiar and sociable way, and on a footing of most perfect equality. - "Mark Twain on the Colored Man," Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, July 1865

edit on 4-1-2011 by HunkaHunka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


Thanks I think? It seems like you are trying to enlighten me on what Twain thought about black people as if you think I said otherwise? Maybe I missunderstand?



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Sinnthia
 


See.. I thought you meant ATS when you said we couldn't say the word in referential context... but I now take your meaning to mean the greater world at large.

Sorry about that...

I was actually agreeing with you how ironic it was and showing a passage of Twain just talking to underline exactly how ironic it is.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


No, I did indeed mean ATS but I am still confused as to what you are trying to tell me.
I find it ironic that for the most part it seems ATS members agree that censoring this word in and of itself without regard to context is not a good thing, yet here at ATS where we all agree on that, it is censored.


Originally posted by HunkaHunka

I was actually agreeing with you how ironic it was and showing a passage of Twain just talking to underline exactly how ironic it is.



This part I get. The fact that you had no problem providing text that conveyed the word just fine does certainly make sense to that irony. It seems to me that words have power in how they are used, not spelled and what you seem to point out is that this kind of censorship does a great job catching spelling while not being so good at sussing out intent?

I really think we agree but your first post seemed to me like maybe you thought I had something to the notion that Twain was a racist or something.
This part here

Originally posted by HunkaHunka
Here was his feelings on the matter... "Our Civil War was a blot on our history, but not as great a blot as the buying and selling of Negro souls."

I recommend you take a look at what Mark Twain thought about Negroes.

I was not sure if you were just suggesting I look at some things for the heck of it or if you felt I needed to learn something about Twain and black people. If I took that wrong, my bad. I just wanted to make sure it was clear I was not saying anything derrogotory about Twain.
edit on 5-1-2011 by Sinnthia because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 01:10 AM
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reply to post by Sinnthia
 

Yep... I understand...

I was trying to say that, to me... the irony is that Twain pulled no punches, because he was like a journalist of the times... not quite a historian... not exactly a reporter... but he said it like it was...

He didn't try to soften the blow when speaking of how disgraceful the "southern whites" treated the "negroes".

yet today we act as if this time never happened... and censoring this book is the first step at intentional amnesia...

Just to clear it up... I was vague, but I always was in total agreement with you.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 01:15 AM
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This thread is a good reminder for me, of how easily we may be willing to compromise something small that in the long run could be extremely damaging.
My first thought when I read the OP was that if it was just a special edition used for primary school aged children, I don't see the harm. After reading the reply's, I was forced to take a good look at myself. A tad bit frighting for someone who claims to be opposed to censorship or the banning of any book. It makes me wonder now, what caused me be so accepting of this instead of outraged.
I think part of it was I was thinking as a mother in terms of protecting my children from profanity to the best of my ability. (No, we don't have a television in our home in case anyone was wondering)
This is why I love ATS thanks for the wake up call. Time to beak out my copy of Fahrenheit 451, to remind myself why it is important not sensor any book and even allow and encourage my children to read it as it was written.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


Ok thanks. I appreciate all offers to provide me with new information. I just really wanted to make sure you were clear that I was not derriding Twain in any way. Yes, it does seem that we would agree.

I felt as thought Twain used words quite deliberately and I applaud the intentions behind that. To see a thread full of people also supportive of his use of words while not being able to write the word in question just kind of tickled my funny bone a bit.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 01:36 AM
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This reminds me a lot of the movie "The Breakfast Club." I have never seen another movie so butchered for television. There are about 5 different "tv-safe" versions of that movie floating around. While I was quite young when it first came on HBO, my parents let me watch it. As a kid I just thought that movie was great.

Fast forward to about 5 years ago. A friend of mine that is about 6 years my junior was over and we were bored so I put that movie in. After it was over this is pretty much what my friend said to me.

"I have seen 'The Breakfast Club' more times than I could count. I thought I knew it backward and forward, even slightly different versions of it. I have never seen this movie though. This is a completely different movie."

I had to ask what the big deal was. She told me that she had been watching the "tv-safe" version whenever it aired for years and years but never bothered to see the R-rated version. So what was the big deal?

According to her it was like a completely different story. The story she knew was a goofy comedy about bad kids. The one she watched with me was about characters with flaws, problems, feelings, and even some passion. Yeah, I know it is not the best movie or the greatest story but it really stood out to me how changing the original words of a story can do so much to change the experience to the reader/watcher.

Maybe that is just me. Maybe it shows my age. I do know that my 7th grade Catholic school teacher introduced me to Edgar Allen Poe and for that I will forever be thankful. If trends such as pointed out here were to continue, I see Poe being edited to be less violent, dark, graphic, etc. That might have completely altered my life, honestly. I cannot help but think that if I had read a version of "The Fall of the House of Usher" that was changed to include a scene where a box full of playfull, declawed kittens is lowered onto a fully clothed man's lap (instead of the scenario actually in the book)- my interest in reading further and exploring deeper ideas would have probably fallen by the wayside.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 02:36 AM
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The problem with this, beyond the obvious, is that by allowing this to happen even once opens the floodgates.

Not just for books mind you, but everything anyone feels offended by.

Heck, as a white dude, I say we start with this product called 'Cracker Jacks'!

How about 'Honky Jacks' instead?

Oh, wait...



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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"Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it"

Don't know who said that, but it seems appropriate.

Here in South Africa the "new" govt has been erasing history as fast as the can reprint maps and history books. Soon there'll be nothing left except their propaganda



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 03:50 AM
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To the OP..

I find this censored re-release of Mark Twains books ridiculous. Its insulting to his works.
The books were written as they were intended to be told. Taking the 'n-word' out can lead to other books being changed and edited over time, by whomever deems it necessary. Im a Black man, and I take no offence to the 'n-word'. I dont associate myself with that word, so it doesnt apply to me. But even if Mark Twain himself wrote me a personal letter, calling me the 'n-word', i would like to read that letter unedited, as I respect everyones right to express themselves however they deem fit. Though I am aware Mark Twain is long deceased and wasnt a racist. He was an author. Thats like calling Edward Norton a racist because he called black people the 'n-word' on the movie "American History X".



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by calstorm
This thread is a good reminder for me, of how easily we may be willing to compromise something small that in the long run could be extremely damaging.
My first thought when I read the OP was that if it was just a special edition used for primary school aged children, I don't see the harm. After reading the reply's, I was forced to take a good look at myself. A tad bit frighting for someone who claims to be opposed to censorship or the banning of any book. It makes me wonder now, what caused me be so accepting of this instead of outraged.
I think part of it was I was thinking as a mother in terms of protecting my children from profanity to the best of my ability. (No, we don't have a television in our home in case anyone was wondering)
This is why I love ATS thanks for the wake up call. Time to beak out my copy of Fahrenheit 451, to remind myself why it is important not sensor any book and even allow and encourage my children to read it as it was written.


You know what? I admire this greatly. A star for you, for blunt honesty and integrity.

We are all so conditioned to fear this word (non black) that we are made to feel like we don't have the right to ask that the word stay. We are aware of how offensive and hurtful it is to others and give it a wide berth.

I imagine that the government banked on this and that is why revisionism will continue.

Again your honesty was awesome.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 06:38 AM
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edit on 5-1-2011 by Roguesheep because: Irrelevant to the topic



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 08:46 AM
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This is PC extremism, censorship, and I'd even say racism in itself. First we have to realize this is a work of historical literature, and the context of it all has to be taken into account. This is like if the powers that be, felt classic paintings that depicted nudity was offensive, and had clothes painted over them. Of all the old movies, and TV shows, had the cigarettes blurred out. And if the "n-word" is censored, yet honky and cracker is not, then that is a bias, and racism against people of European ethnicity. So, this is all really an attack on whites. And as someone else said, look at the "n-word" laden rap crap, which you know those school kids have on the ipods all day. This country is worse than China, because we pretend and proclaim we are the "land of the free", "leader of the free world", and it's all a pack of lies.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 09:11 AM
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I am going to go against the crowd here. I have not seen the movie so have to take that into consideration.

It may not be Twain's words but movies are most often not. Read the book! That said, I don't think it is such a bad change. I grew up in the 50's and that is the way we talked then but that has changed and most people think that is for the better. In the 50's we were a bunch of bigoted idiots not so much because it was in our hearts but that it was in our speech and therefore in our minds.

I am quite sure the movie, though I have not seen it yet, can still tell this epic story quite well without the the use of racial epitaphs. The speech in the movie can reflect the times and feelings of those days without speaking verbatim words used but words that reflect the feeling. As a kid in the 50's I used the n-word as did most of us but that was without feeling animosity toward the people it was referring to. We can drop the use of the word today and still reflect what was in the hearts and minds of the people then. Most of us now can speak our hearts and still be kind. Those words mean something different today than they did then.

The media is a reflection of our times. If you want Twain's words, read the book.


edit on 5-1-2011 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)



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