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Classrooms grapple with racial slurs in classic American novels

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By Thomas Urbain

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Gonna have to ban Othello for sure.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Gonna have to ban Othello for sure.

Of course. It's not PC. Only racists play that game.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

My ears are pricked. Okay. Now…

Mark Twain’s depiction of the social condition of most aters in the time period of “Huckleberry Finn” was generally correct. Assigning such literary works is a way of saying “Never forget the desire of some to dehumanize and mistreat their fellow men.”He was definitely sympathetic to aters much more than fellow citizens of his home state of Missouri. And Twain wasn’t popular there because of it.

… No response so far. No screams. No scuffling of feet as mature university students flee to safe, racially self-segregated spaces. No “allies” throwing themselves in the path of the word to shelter their … their … ater friends.

I conclude from this little exercise that “ater”, one of two words common in Latin for black - with nuances of course, be substituted in texts where the other Latin based word was used.

Are you with me?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Grow a thicker skin" is my message to these students.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I remember an interview from a girl who escaped from North Korea and later became a student at a university in US, arguing that American universities are approaching NK in censorship, and especially non-native students have a hard time and struggle to avoid all the sensitive stuff.

And by the way, I remember I watch quite a lot of movies using the N word, they should be banned immediately and the actors arrested. I do remember that those actors were black, but justice must be done

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"There was no reason that I should have to go to my class and hear that slur," said Dylan Gilbert recalling the time in 2019 when her white English teacher at the University of Michigan uttered the term while reciting a passage from Faulkner.

I am very liberal, but this is getting ridiculous. Some people really need to be reminded of the very concept of context.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Never censor the arts. If you do, for whatever reason, you are aligning yourself with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao and their like.

No matter how good you think your reason is, never censor the arts.

And the old adage is correct - 'sticks and stone will break my bones, but names will never hurt me'.

This hypersensitivity and desire to ban things is toxic. A part of cancel culture.

If a word is used as verbal abuse, it is verbal abuse and actionable. Get angry about it. If it is in a text or a song, you read it or listen to it and critique it.

And to say that a white person (or an Asian person?) can't say a word but a black person can, is the very definition of racism.

Best grab an MP3 of 'Oliver's Army' before they ban that too, completely missing the point of the song.

I despise racists - vile people. Just as I despise anyone who censors the arts.

The standing of American universities will decline further if they embrace censorship and start silencing and sacking academics in such a manner. Avoid them. There are better universities elsewhere in the world, that still respect academic freedom and the importance of protecting our cultural heritage. Places that assume anyone intelligent enough to undertake a degree can understand that people lived differently in the past, and are able to deal with it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You can’t change at all the history and the past with all those discussions, but you will have less time to discuss present and future.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Banned for all or banned for none. Anything else is discrimination.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is going to all backfire badly on the left. This is just nuts and now thankfully you are seeing people that are calling this garbage out.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I don't see the problem. Explain that books written generations ago used language differently than it is used today ...... by most people, that is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Last year's news. So what's your agenda?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

of a white New York professor 

.

then her white English teacher at the University of Michigan

.

after another professor, also white,

Sheesh! Stopped reading after the third “white”.

Of course they’re white. Most of the teachers/professors are in the US.

Anyone else getting tired of this racist anti white MSM?

Classrooms grapple with racial slurs in classic American novels

Black Americans seem not to care when racial slurs are used in Rap music.

FIXED

0 ( +4 / -4 )

That's right, ideas that you don't have the historical text to understand, the intellectual resources to counter logically and can only interpret from your own self-regarding perspective need to be crushed like bugs. God forbid that we shouldn't be able to make the present better by erasing the past... I wonder if the woke have ever even heard of Farenheit 451.... I myself can feel it getting warmer already.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AnonymousJuly 1  08:41 am JST

My ears are pricked. Okay. Now…

Mark Twain’s depiction of the social condition of most aters in the time period of “Huckleberry Finn” was generally correct. Assigning such literary works is a way of saying “Never forget the desire of some to dehumanize and mistreat their fellow men.”He was definitely sympathetic to aters much more than fellow citizens of his home state of Missouri. And Twain wasn’t popular there because of it.

When I was in the 5th grade our teacher (married to a Ukrainian Holocaust survivor) wrote a whole slew of bad epithets and slurs on the board - incl. ones degrading white folks. She explained what they were, what they mean, their context and why we shouldn't be going around using them in our everyday speech. Beings her own husband was victimized by the Nazis, she knew.

There are excellent books I've read in school and beyond by Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and others that have characters who use racist and/or sexist language. The author isn't being racist, he's creating characters that are so despicable and their hateful language is a plot device to show that. It shows to the reader what boorish A-holes these characters are, and they often get what's coming to them later in the book.

That's character developing and that is part of good novel writing, 'making it real' to the reader.

God forbid that we shouldn't be able to make the present better by erasing the past... I wonder if the woke have ever even heard of Farenheit 451.... I myself can feel it getting warmer already.

We need to know the past - good, bad, ugly so we can move forward. And ensure we don't repeat it again. Look at the examples of the 4 major Axis powers of WW2 - Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain. They were fascist, but now are democracies. And America needs to come to terms with its history, the past few ugly years show that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

GBR48Today  10:02 am JST

Never censor the arts. If you do, for whatever reason, you are aligning yourself with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao and their like.

The standing of American universities will decline further if they embrace censorship and start silencing and sacking academics in such a manner. Avoid them. There are better universities elsewhere in the world, that still respect academic freedom and the importance of protecting our cultural heritage. Places that assume anyone intelligent enough to undertake a degree can understand that people lived differently in the past, and are able to deal with it.

I would agree totally. Watch what happens fifty years from now after such words are banned, statues taken down, etc..  When someone then claims that there was racism in America but has no proof because the N word and associated books, statues of the Confederacy, etc. no longer exist, there would be nothing to support such an assertion. Don’t erase history, face it, deal with it and make it so it does not happen again. By the way, if anyone thinks that blacks don’t have disparaging terms for whites or other people, even other blacks (Uncle Tom), then they don’t live in reality. It is always easier and more convenient to live in a fantasy world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The woke, cancel culture is ruining American culture.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

asiafriend When someone then claims that there was racism in America but has no proof because the N word and associated books, statues of the Confederacy, etc. no longer exist, there would be nothing to support such an assertion. Don’t erase history, face it, deal with it and make it so it does not happen again. By the way, if anyone thinks that blacks don’t have disparaging terms for whites or other people, even other blacks (Uncle Tom), then they don’t live in reality. It is always easier and more convenient to live in a fantasy world.

In Germany the Nazi Blutfahnen, insignia, etc. are allowed as academic props only. They are forbidden for use by the citizens but are in the museums and are used in academic settings to instruct German youth the shame that ugly ideology did to Germany and to teach them how to not get fooled by such things again.

It's like a few years ago when the last Confederate flag was taken down from the south Carolina state capitol- Pres. Obama said that the Dixie flag should be in a museum. That's where it belongs, in a history museum. Never forget but move on. In an USAF base museum in Dayton there are dress uniforms, battle flags, guns, helmets, gear of soldiers from the four major fascist Axis powers - Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Falangist Spain, fascist Japan. Those fascist regimes are gone, they are history. We can't erase the uglypast but we must learn from it.

And there are racist anti-white terms used by some blacks as well. And those people are just as stupid. All racists of any color are stupid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She thinks the United States, where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, is moving towards a more western European approach to the regulation of what people can and can't say.

That is the wrong direction in which to move.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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