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Unread 12-01-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
Nique
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Books Virgina Schools Ban 'Finn' and 'Mockingbird'

I realize most of you probably saw this on reddit's front page but just in case - Books banned in Virginia schools

Also, I don't post on reddit, so here we are.

So, I find the use/mention distinction helpful in these situations. It is definitely preferable from an ethical standpoint to avoid using slurs for the most part, but if mentioning them, or, in this case, utilizing them in literature, has a message contrary to the intention of the slur, that's actually better, isn't it?

To me, this reads like the tendency to ignore or re-write history so that white people don't have to deal with the fact that we benefit from some shitty stuff. But maybe I'm on the wrong side of this? Is there a middle ground where kids get taught a realistic portrayal of history but aren't necessarily forced into confronting ALL of the ugly truths and gory details?
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Unread 12-01-2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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I haven't read Finn, but if you ban books with racial slurs in them despite the fact they have anti racism messages then you're kind of excluding a huge amount of really important American literature? Teachers should just inform the students that the slurs appear in a certain context and you shouldn't utter them IRL.

One of the most important books I read was The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. It wasn't part of our school curriculum- my mother was a book collector/dealer so I had access to a lot of literature. Anyways, it is a pretty horrifying read in that it depicts child rape and racism, and some of it probably went over my head because I read it when I was 13. But the thing is, besides being some of the best prose I've ever read, it was educational in ways that my school would never have educated me on.

And like although the two authors mentioned are white there is A LOT of black american literature that is really important that has slurs in them and I just can't imagine barring those books from students. Now obviously while you don't wanna give a book that depicts hangings or child rape to a second grader it is important that kids are educated about racism. Cause if you wait till they're adults then... Well then we're gonna be where we're at now with a fuckload of people who won't even admit that racism is a thing.

Literature is a tool to fight ignorance and we need every tool we can get.

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Unread 12-01-2016, 08:36 PM   #3
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They're both excellent books and its pretty imperative that young people read them in order to gain exposure to racial issues, since its incredibly pressing right now. To ban them because of racially charged language while ignoring the message/content just shields kids from the idea that racism is a problem. Really hope this gets reversed or that teachers teach the books anyways.
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Unread 12-01-2016, 11:58 PM   #4
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No joke, Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird are my two favorite classics in American literature I read in high school. Both were extremely influential for me (pre-awful sequel Atticus Finch along with Phoenix Wright were my inspirations for law school, and my favorite book report I wrote was on Finn.)

They were also two of the only classics pre-1950 I really enjoyed reading back then. Most other American literature is pretty dull. C'mon, what's the true worth of Moby Dick?

This would be a terrible decision. (Just made by one school district though, not the state as a whole.)
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Unread 12-02-2016, 03:16 AM   #5
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Yeah, like, basically I'm deciding that there is a simple truth to this which is that the risk of being disturbed by learning that bad stuff happens is worth that burden if it aids in preventing the bad stuff from happening in the first place.
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Unread 12-02-2016, 10:01 AM   #6
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I think Finn is especially important in this day and age since its a book about a young man realizing that the people who are in charge of his society are all pretty fucked up and that maybe you should disregard the opinions of the crowd/your elders at times.
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Unread 12-02-2016, 12:42 PM   #7
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...you mean the novels "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" correct?

Shit, give some respect guys, and don't assume I'll know something by <I>just one word from its title</I>





Anyways, I'm guessing the rationale for this is a whole lot of "States Rights" this and "wah, stop blaming everything on straight able bodied Christian White males" that. And I guess we can't do anything about it without becoming "self hating tumblr dick-taters".

So its just the bsame 'ol same 'ol.


Btw, To Kill A Mockingbird is a little bit overrated. You know it was originally supposed to be a collection of short stories, which accounts for the problems in its writing, such as introducing a bunch of minor characters that don't really show up later, Scout's teacher in particular comes to mind.
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Unread 12-02-2016, 01:58 PM   #8
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Btw, To Kill A Mockingbird is a little bit overrated.
Them's fightin' words.
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Unread 12-02-2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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*looks at Snek's title*

Buddy this place ain't sacred. Have you seen the shit posted here?

But yeah, censoring and outright banning books is terrible. Both books were written in the 19th and early 20th century and while I find that word abhorrent, it is simply a product of the times. Same with the old Warner brothers cartoons and them not censoring them. Instead of acting like it didn't happen, they simply add a titlecard stating of the what and why.
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Unread 12-02-2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Snek View Post

They were also two of the only classics pre-1950 I really enjoyed reading back then. Most other American literature is pretty dull. C'mon, what's the true worth of Moby Dick?
While we're at it: William Faulkner is awful.
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