Opinion: Holy Fahrenheit 451 – NJ Eyes Banning ‘Huck Finn’
As political correctness leads us ever closer to the cliff's edge, it just had a big push from a couple of liberal lawmakers in Trenton who now want to ban books.
Assemblyman Jamal Holley (D-Union) and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer) think it's a good idea to pass a resolution sending notice to our schools that they should ban Adventures of Huckelberry Finn from their curriculum.
“The inclusion of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the school curriculum in effect requires adolescents to read and discuss a book containing hurtful, oppressive, and highly offensive language directed toward African Americans,” the resolution reads. “The list of required reading in schools should be inclusive and considerate of all students, without content likely to cause students to feel uncomfortable and marginalized.”
While it would be a hard request, it would not be binding on the schools. Still, it is a move towards book banning that is wrong on several levels. First, these two have never worked in education. They are liberal political insiders from the get-go. If a school district on their own, led by people who actually know what they are doing, want to include or exclude a classic by Mark Twain they can make that decision without interference and a good hard shove from Trenton.
Second, this resolution seems to say required reading in schools should be inclusive and "considerate of all students." In other words considerate of their feelings. Nothing that could make them "uncomfortable." Give me a break! Racism SHOULD make you uncomfortable! Should The Diary of Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl) be banned because it may be emotionally upsetting to Jews? Should A Long Walk To Water be banned because it may be upsetting to a Sudanese student or any student that was once a refugee?
These books are meant to evoke emotion. Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was one of the first literary works that actually tackled racism. He's not condoning it. He's exposing it. He's trying to shine a Klieg lamp on Jim Crow laws. This book is meant to show the ugliness of racism. Yes, the n-word is used repeatedly throughout the book. Mark Twain was one of the first authors to write dialogue as people actually spoke. While racism still sadly exists today, Twain wrote this about 20 years after the Civil War when racism was far uglier and more entrenched. Do you want kids to learn from history or not? If you want them to only learn in a sanitized way, then you're not truly exposing racism for the scourge that it is and you are actually part of the problem.
If we start banning classic literature over hurt feelings then we lose the opportunity to examine the societal wrongs that caused those hurt feelings. I have no respect for a couple of career politicians who are playing the role of the firemen in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Why don't you clowns work on property taxes and affordability instead of advancing a politically correct agenda and let professional educators be the ones to decide?