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A School District Has Dropped Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn From Reading Lists Over Racial Slurs

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A Minnesota school district is removing To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from its required reading list because they contain racial slurs.

Both books have been staples on school reading lists in the U.S. for decades, but school leaders in Duluth, Minn., said the use of racial slurs in both books has made many students uncomfortable. While the books will still be available in Duluth schools as an option for students to read individually, they won’t be required next school year.

“We felt that we could still teach the same standards and expectations through other novels that didn’t require students to feel humiliated or marginalized by the use of racial slurs,” Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. He said teachers are working on selecting different books for the reading list that will teach similar lessons without using racial slurs.


“Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The decision was praised by the local chapter of the NAACP. “Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter, told the Star Tribune. “They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.”

But the choice is likely to spark criticism from others. A school district in Biloxi, Miss., sparked a debate about censorship last year when it removed To Kill a Mockingbird from its reading list over language, drawing criticism from a former U.S. Education Secretary and at least one U.S. Senator.

Both To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn have been included on the American Library Association’s list of frequently banned or challenged books. Critics have often cited the books’ use of racial epithets as a reason, arguing they could upset black students.
by on Feb. 7, 2018 at 11:32 PM
Replies (131-140):
jpickens
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:21 PM
1 mom liked this
We aren’t “protesting” these books. Parents and schools are WORKING TOGETHER to find a compromise around racial challenges in the classroom to promote a better learning environment for ALL students.

That’s what Black and White people should be doing, instead wasting time spitting out ignorant bullshit like you are.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting jpickens: SMFH.

If you have read those books, it did not do a damn thing to help you or your bigot mouth.

So don’t worry about what “Blacks” do. That way you’ll get over your “sickness” and we don’t have to read your stank comments.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.

Blah blah blah. Is it not blacks who are protesting these books in the classroom, and now they are removed?

susannah2000
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:22 PM


Quoting jpickens: You are doing a suck ass job at arguing your stance on this. Your complete inability to have a conversation about this without being racist is a part of the problem and why decisions like this has to be made in the first place. No one said Black people are the only ones oppressed and if you feel that way, go do something aboit it so you won’t be so occupied with what we do.
Quoting susannah2000:


Quoting nononenever:

Few things I read on here leave me gobsmacked.    This comment has done it.   

Quoting susannah2000:


Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.


Why? Are blacks the only ones in history to ever have suffered oppression? No, yet they are the only ones that complain that a classic book of historical significance hurts their little feelings. No one ever mentions the other groups who have suffered, and whose histories are also in the books kids read. If you are gobsmacked by the lack of empathy for any other group, and social blindness, that is your problem.

I have stated my opinion very clearly, and only get insults in return. If you could converse like a rational human being, that would be fine. If not, and all you can do is insult people, oh well. Do you think that "what you do" affects only you? Aren't all the kids in the classroom affected by the removal of classic books?

jpickens
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:26 PM
1 mom liked this
The women who don’t agree with removing this book are from both liberal and conservative associations.

Although we all do not agree, I think both sides did a pretty good job of keeping the political generalizing out of this.

And here you come with bullshit.


Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Well Liberals want history eliminated right?  This way they can pretend everything is awesome. 

OMG, the truth may be too much... hugs

Quoting jpickens: WTF. What does Obama have to do with this?

Idk where some people come up with this shit.


Quoting ILovemyPaulie:

Eliminate all books written prior to Obama's Presidency. Then you can be sure to have future generations who will repeat the issues the Liberals are trying to hide.  Pretty Pathetic. And to the people here who never read these books and admit it, that is very embarrassing to admit. Seriously.

MissAndree
by on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:27 PM
You started your comments with insulting racist rhetoric. Nobody owes you shit.

Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting jpickens: You are doing a suck ass job at arguing your stance on this.

Your complete inability to have a conversation about this without being racist is a part of the problem and why decisions like this has to be made in the first place.

No one said Black people are the only ones oppressed and if you feel that way, go do something aboit it so you won’t be so occupied with what we do.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting nononenever:

Few things I read on here leave me gobsmacked.    This comment has done it.   

Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.

Why? Are blacks the only ones in history to ever have suffered oppression? No, yet they are the only ones that complain that a classic book of historical significance hurts their little feelings. No one ever mentions the other groups who have suffered, and whose histories are also in the books kids read. If you are gobsmacked by the lack of empathy for any other group, and social blindness, that is your problem.

I have stated my opinion very clearly, and only get insults in return. If you could converse like a rational human being, that would be fine. If not, and all you can do is insult people, oh well. Do you think that "what you do" affects only you? Aren't all the kids in the classroom affected by the removal of classic books?

susannah2000
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:27 PM


Quoting jpickens: We aren’t “protesting” these books. Parents and schools are WORKING TOGETHER to find a compromise around racial challenges in the classroom to promote a better learning environment for ALL students. That’s what Black and White people should be doing, instead wasting time spitting out ignorant bullshit like you are.
Quoting susannah2000:


Quoting jpickens: SMFH. If you have read those books, it did not do a damn thing to help you or your bigot mouth. So don’t worry about what “Blacks” do. That way you’ll get over your “sickness” and we don’t have to read your stank comments.
Quoting susannah2000:


Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.

Blah blah blah. Is it not blacks who are protesting these books in the classroom, and now they are removed?

Why does there need to be compromise? It is important to read these books, not avoid unpleasant realities. Will people turn into pumpkins if they read them? Ignoring historical reality doesn't help anyone. Also, in each book, it demonstrated opposition to those attitudes. But I see you are unable to have a civil conversation, being hateful, so oh well.

GrayDuck41
by on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:34 PM
It appears that many parents are quite often becoming overprotective. It wasn’t always like this.
They underestimate what their children can handle and prevent them from seeing reality.


Quoting meriana:

Quoting GrayDuck41: I read �The Diary if Anne Frank ��when I was 11. My parents gave it to me for my birthday. I asked for the book after reading a few excerpts in our paper.

This was in the early 1950�s .

I love that book. I read it several times .

It made me aware of what the Nazis did and the concentration camps and ,also, the wonderful people in Amsterdam who hid the Frank family and Van Dann family from the Nazis .

It didn�t traumatize me. It enriched my life.




Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting PamR:

Yes!  IF you raise them right and correct any racist crap they may pick up from their peers, or movies, or wherever, they will ultimately have the right attitude.

I understand that these books can be replaced with others, but I find it disturbing that we are so afraid that someone will be offended, schools even offer the choice.  These two books specifically, are classics that look at difficult issues (even more so at the times they were written) and don't shy away from using the language that conveys attitudes at those times.  It's important that children learn about this.  The language is a part of how the authors conveyed these things. 

Quoting GrayDuck41: I know.

But most kids will ignore the crap that others say if they have been raised right by parents who aren�t stupid racists.




Quoting zandhmom2:

You know not all racism is taught at home. Do you have any clue how kids talk to each other in school these days? They learn this through friends, movies, music and many outside sources. 

Quoting GrayDuck41: White kids in Biloxi laughed?

The little brats�I bet at home they hear their parents using racist terms and complaining about those �n-words�. Kids learn to be kind or they learn to be racist from their parents.




Quoting jpickens: Idk about Minnesota. Biloxi was because the White students were making offensive comments and laughing at the word in front of Black students. So a parent who did not ask them to ban the book understandably complained about it.





Quoting hotspice58:

It wasn't banned, it was dropped.  My bad.   But why drop them?  Let students have a dialogue so they have more awareness than their parents.

Quoting jpickens: The book wasn�¢ï¿½ï¿½t banned.



Quoting hotspice58:

Why not let these books be read and let the students have a dialouge about them?  Banning them won't make all racial slurs go away.

Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

Well said. I imagine Anne Frank's book is not assigned now as it might be too hard for the little snowflakes to handle. It's best to keep kids absolutely ignorant about all history, so no snowflakes get their feelings hurt.

I read The Diary of Ann Frank when I was about 9 or 10, so I was really surprised a couple of years ago that the book is now, apparently somewhat controversial in some places and some schools have had it removed, although I don't remember if it was removed from their libraries. If I remember correctly, it was some parents who objected to the content. 

I remember learning about the concentration camps in school in junior high. We were shown news reels of films that were taken of the survivors, pictures of people lined up in front of a pit and shot, and we learned about the times those in concentration camps were sent to showers where in stead of showering, they were gassed to death, among other atrocities committed. (no we didn't have to have parental permission).  What are kids learning these days about all that...it's difficult to tell but I was surprised, no, a bit shocked, that my High Schooler had to have parental permission to see the film Schindlers List. It's a good film but it's certainly very tame compared to what we were shown at a younger age. Kids actually see far, far worse than Schindlers List in almost any horror movie they watch.

jpickens
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:40 PM
1 mom liked this
Despite the fact that I have not agreed with everyone the feedback was respectful until you came in here with blantant racist insults, not “opinions”.

Your comments were disrespectful and uncalled for. You need to take you own advice and realize that the world doesn’t evolve around you.

Act like a decent human being if you want to be treated like one. We are not obligated to politely put up with your shit.



Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting jpickens: You are doing a suck ass job at arguing your stance on this.

Your complete inability to have a conversation about this without being racist is a part of the problem and why decisions like this has to be made in the first place.

No one said Black people are the only ones oppressed and if you feel that way, go do something aboit it so you won’t be so occupied with what we do.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting nononenever:

Few things I read on here leave me gobsmacked.    This comment has done it.   

Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.

Why? Are blacks the only ones in history to ever have suffered oppression? No, yet they are the only ones that complain that a classic book of historical significance hurts their little feelings. No one ever mentions the other groups who have suffered, and whose histories are also in the books kids read. If you are gobsmacked by the lack of empathy for any other group, and social blindness, that is your problem.

I have stated my opinion very clearly, and only get insults in return. If you could converse like a rational human being, that would be fine. If not, and all you can do is insult people, oh well. Do you think that "what you do" affects only you? Aren't all the kids in the classroom affected by the removal of classic books?

jpickens
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:43 PM
1 mom liked this
Passing off your hateful behavior and comments won’t work with me, as I clearly saw your racist and condescending comments.

I quoted you to check you about your offensive comments and attitude towards us. Not waste time debating with a brick wall.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting jpickens: We aren’t “protesting” these books. Parents and schools are WORKING TOGETHER to find a compromise around racial challenges in the classroom to promote a better learning environment for ALL students.

That’s what Black and White people should be doing, instead wasting time spitting out ignorant bullshit like you are.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting jpickens: SMFH.

If you have read those books, it did not do a damn thing to help you or your bigot mouth.

So don’t worry about what “Blacks” do. That way you’ll get over your “sickness” and we don’t have to read your stank comments.


Quoting susannah2000:

Quoting MissAndree: There are plenty of other books that can replace these two. They are not banning them, just replacing them. That's fair.

It's not fair. These books are classics, and kids should have to read them if they are assigned to read them.The books also are about the opposition to racist attitudes, but no one cares about that.  Oddly enough, I never have heard of one word of complaint about classic books that speak of the subjugation of women, as they were in the past. Why doesn't anyone care about girls that have to read that material? Pretty sick of blacks who think the world needs to revolve around them.

Blah blah blah. Is it not blacks who are protesting these books in the classroom, and now they are removed?

Why does there need to be compromise? It is important to read these books, not avoid unpleasant realities. Will people turn into pumpkins if they read them? Ignoring historical reality doesn't help anyone. Also, in each book, it demonstrated opposition to those attitudes. But I see you are unable to have a civil conversation, being hateful, so oh well.

LittleLizette
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:46 PM
2 moms liked this

Our schools didn’t use Huckleberry Finn.  There are tons of books out there including more current books that schools might choose.  Sometimes talented current authors are shut out because schools stick to the same old just because.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith: I remember reading these books in school which are classics. I also remember reading Catcher in the Rye in schiol. Are they gonna remove that too? SMH


LittleLizette
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2018 at 7:48 PM

Are they reading Night by Elie Wiesel?  Good book.  

Quoting Acornkeeper:

This makes me sad. Literature , good literature is to make the reader uncomfortable . It is okay to feel . This will allow the reader to think and ponder and reflect. And reading should spark discussion . Compare and contrast that point in time with current events. 


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