Mark Twain – RACIST!

“You can’t depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus” ~ Mark Twain

I read somewhere that some school system had removed “Huckleberry Finn” from the library because it was “not politically correct” in that Huck’s companion on the raft down the Mississippi River is called Nigger Jim. I realize that America has become the non-offending capitol of the world. I accept that we must now have government-approved scripts with us in order to carry out normal social intercourse so as not to seriously damage some ethnic group’s self-esteem to the point of requiring continuous therapy, covered by Obamacare.

When I was a youngster the word “nigger” was as common as were the words “white trash” and they had the same connotation. Black people were generally referred to as “Colored” which was a pretty fair description since most Caucasians had not yet reached the point of sun-tanning themselves into leather.

I really don’t give a rat’s ass what other ethnic groups wish to call me, because I have better things to do than to worry about that. What does distress me is this: Huckleberry Finn is considered by most educated writers as the first real novel produced in the United States. I know for a fact that as a youngster I read it eleven times. Most non-readers of today don’t realize that Mark Twain wrote not just one “Tom Sawyer” but a whole series of books with young Tom as the protagonist. His “Life on the Mississippi” was a non-fiction and exciting account of Twain’s stint as a steam boat Captain on a treacherous river before the Corps of Engineers removed its sand bars.

Times change and the norms and mores of people also change. But must we deprive ourselves of a whole battery of literature because some minority (many of whom can’t even speak English, much less read it) might be offended by “words?” I can’t help but recall a childish litany we used when I was a youngster. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt me.” Out of the mouths of babes comes some wisdom the politically-correct librarians should take to heart.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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