My Huck Finn Rant

The greatest crime of political correctness is that it destroys open discussion in favor of ignorant silence. In an effort not to offend we stop talking. Lack of dialogue does not increase acceptance, in fact it has the opposite effect. I’m sure the conversation a teacher will have to have about the N word will be uncomfortable, but its better than pretending that era in history never happened.

I am a published poet who has also written several plays that have been performed on stage. As an artist I abhor censorship in any form. While copyright law may allow for this to be done it certainly violates the ethics of copyright law. When a school or company purchases a play to be performed they purchase the right to perform that play as written. They cannot change a line because they don’t like it. If someone has issues with a scene or the language they probably shouldn’t do the play. There are movies, TV shows, and songs that offend me all the time, but I will stand up for their right to produce their art. I will however, choose not to support what they do financially. That is how a free society works.

It may only seem like 1 word, and its a word I hate, but where does it stop? Maybe we should take the Song of Solomon out of the Bible. Maybe delete some of the “naughtier” parts of the The Canterbury Tales. How about that sex scene in Romeo & Juliet or the one in Much Ado about Nothing? Why not paint over the nudes? Maybe Art Museums should repaint old paintings to make them more multicultural. How about a black Mona Lisa or a Hispanic Andy Warhol so that it will make people feel better? An artist should never have there work altered for any reason, least of all because it offends modern sensibilities.

It may only be one word, but that word is a part of our history. And its not a history we should deny or pretend didn’t exist. Mark Twain gives the modern reader a chance to peer directly into that world and talk about it and learn from it.


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