I attended schools in the Bronx where I grew up that had very few Blacks and whole lot of prejudice white kids who used our required reading of Mark Twain as an excuse to utter those hurtful words. On more than a few occasions I had fights. But in retrospect those fights would’ve occurred anyway. On those days Huckleberry Finn was the justification..
‘Mark Twain says nigger so why can’t I’, was the asinine line of reasoning.
If we hadn’t read the book it would’ve been and was other incidents that sparked racially charged fights. As I’m writing I’m recalling how the TV series Roots sparked a bunch of fist fights and we were required to watch and discuss that in class.
Personally I think it needs to be conveyed that the use of the word Nigger and injun are bad.. and it should be done so in the very pages students are asked to read.
Replacing the word Nigger with the word Slave is not the best way to go about doing this… I would keep the word and not spell it out.. i.e. Nigger would become N%$#er. That’s done all the time in newspapers and other popular materials that print offensive words..
On a side note what’s gonna happen with the Huckleberry Finn books in Texas? for people who don’t know, the state of Texas is switching up their text books and one of the major changes is they are removing the word ‘slavery’ and replacing it with ‘Atlantic Triangular Trade‘. So will we see that long word used in the Texas books? I’m just saying..