Re-editing Huck Finn

There’s a new group out there offering an edited version of Huck Finn, Which is already one of the most censored book in history. This edited version cleans up the racist problems revealed in the book and through that erases the history of the United States’ foundation. The fact that the US was established as a nation that allowed the owning of other people.

All I have to say is, hands off my Twain, got it?

Haven’t we learned by now that removing books from the curriculum just deprives children of exposure to classic works of literature? Worse, it relieves teachers of the fundamental responsibility of putting such books in context — of helping students understand that “Huckleberry Finn” actually stands as a powerful indictment of slavery (with Nigger Jim its most noble character), of using its contested language as an opportunity to explore the painful complexities of race relations in this country. To censor or redact books on school reading lists is a form of denial: shutting the door on harsh historical realities — whitewashing them or pretending they do not exist.

New York Times Light Out, Huck, They Still Want to Sivilize You

I’ll let Larry Wilmore elaborate more on the problem.


3/5th’s of a person couldn’t be mentioned either? Next thing you know they’ll pretend we never had slaves at all. Look, I get it. It’s uncomfortable admitting that you are a racist. That your country was founded on racism, that black people were less than white people. That any person of color was and frequently is still seen as less than white folks, socially. We have a black man as president, and somehow that makes racism a thing of the past.

But the United States is still racist. You are still a racist. Yes, I mean you. Hell, I’m a racist and I try every day not to be. But it’s still there. The common social othering of people who look different than you. You can alleviate this by mixing with people that don’t look like you. Fat people if you are skinny. Brown people if you think of yourself as white.

I don’t think of myself as white, as I go into here. But there is little point of denying the paleness of my skin. I simply refuse to identify as white. I don’t want to be, and don’t have to be, white. If only that was true for everyone. If only.

I refused to read Huckleberry Finn to my children as a bedtime story even though I have a deep and abiding love for the book. I refused, as their father, to utter the epithet nigger 219 times, thereby making the word sound normal to them. I encouraged them to read it to themselves, so that they could absorb the meaning of the name for themselves. To see the racism inherent in our society for themselves, in their own voices. To embrace that past and move beyond it if they can. I hope they have better luck at it than I have.

“The people whom Huck and Jim encounter on the Mississippi are drunkards, murderers, bullies, swindlers, lynchers, thieves, liars, mows, frauds, child abusers, numbskulls, hypocrites, windbags and traders in human flesh. All are white. The one man of honor in this phantasmagoria is ‘Nigger Jim,’ as Twain called him to emphasize the irony of a society in which the only true gentleman was held beneath contempt.”[2]

Russell Baker from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Feb. 14,2019 – Edited and expanded for clarity while attempting to maintain the original sentiment. I watched every episode of the Nightly Show.