Last night, on 60 Minutes, they re-ran a piece on the new efforts to ban or censor Mark Twain's masterpiece novel Huckleberry Finn. Some including some book publishers have tried to hit what they think is a "middle ground" by simply replacing the word "nigger" everywhere Twain used it with the word "slave". That seems a reasonable "compromise", right?
Except for a couple of key things:
- That kind of change bastardizes Twain's greatest novel. Twain chose his words very carefully and specifically.
- The replacement is entirely innacurate. Jim describes himself as a nigger, and Jim is a free black man, not a slave.