Forum: Arts / Debates

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re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By sharra
On Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:54 AM
That comic is excellent! thank you!

I'll add my voice to the choir, hate hate hate hate the censorship. We all make mistakes, so does society. But do leave us something to compare ourselves with so that we know where to work on improvement. I can't see my candle if it's lit in daytime, either.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By plasticstarfish
On Thu Jan 20, 2011 01:17 PM
Coccinella wrote:

This is ridiculous. I guess we'll have to change every other book written to as to not offend people. And then 50 years from now, change them again, and again. To the kid who thinks it's "awkward" in class, I find that really sad. I mean, as a black person that is a part of the past of his ancestors and while I think we all strive to eradicate present and future racism, we can't pretend it never existed in the first place.


Unless you're black you don't get to tell someone else how they should feel about hearing a racial slur that has been used to oppress them and their ancestors.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jan 20, 2011 04:24 PM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2011-01-20 16:28:49
plasticstarfish wrote:

Coccinella wrote:

This is ridiculous. I guess we'll have to change every other book written to as to not offend people. And then 50 years from now, change them again, and again. To the kid who thinks it's "awkward" in class, I find that really sad. I mean, as a black person that is a part of the past of his ancestors and while I think we all strive to eradicate present and future racism, we can't pretend it never existed in the first place.


Unless you're black you don't get to tell someone else how they should feel about hearing a racial slur that has been used to oppress them and their ancestors.


Fallacy; ad hominem.

In no way is that statement saying what the kid should or should not feel. "It's sad that you think that" ≠ "you should think this." And white people get to have a say in this discussion. Tough nuggets.


P.S. A word is incapable of oppressing anyone. It's a word. By its very nature, it is incapable of doing.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By slice
On Thu Jan 20, 2011 05:21 PM
Heart wrote:

plasticstarfish wrote:

Coccinella wrote:

This is ridiculous. I guess we'll have to change every other book written to as to not offend people. And then 50 years from now, change them again, and again. To the kid who thinks it's "awkward" in class, I find that really sad. I mean, as a black person that is a part of the past of his ancestors and while I think we all strive to eradicate present and future racism, we can't pretend it never existed in the first place.


Unless you're black you don't get to tell someone else how they should feel about hearing a racial slur that has been used to oppress them and their ancestors.


Fallacy; ad hominem.

In no way is that statement saying what the kid should or should not feel. "It's sad that you think that" ≠ "you should think this." And white people get to have a say in this discussion. Tough nuggets.


P.S. A word is incapable of oppressing anyone. It's a word. By its very nature, it is incapable of doing.


Except it would be completely ignorant to ignore the fact that words have power and meaning behind them; words (more specifically the ways in which words are used) carry strong connotations that produce emotional and in some cases physical responses in those who read or hear them.

That's the whole reason for this controversy. If the word "Native American" and "Injun" were "just words" then they would be completely interchangeable, no? But Mark Twain used the words he used to make a statement about the prejudice and ignorance that ran rampant in the South at the time. Replacing his words with another set of words jeopardizes the integrity of the entire novel.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 01:00 AM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2011-01-21 01:12:54
*(apologies if this doesn't make sense/is repetitive, it's freaking late here)

By its very definition, a word can make a statement. It can even carry connotations. But a word cannot oppress. Nor can it cause emotional and/or physical responses - we choose how to respond to words.

Take, for example, the C-bomb. It is a so-called derogatory term for a woman. Many ladies consider this the ultimate offense and respond quite strongly when it is uttered, particularly at them. It doesn't bother me one bit, even when hurled in my direction. I use the term myself (most often towards inanimate objects), and find it pretty hilarious, because I am an extremely mature adult.

It goes without saying that many black people don't give a crap when the world "nigger" is used. Rap music provides a rousing example of its acceptance and migraine-inducing overuse. Just because one person is offended by a term does not mean everyone is, or that anyone should be. It certainly doesn't mean that it is necessary to make changes to a celebrated classic work of art.

A word is a word. Words don't mean anything until we, as humans, endow them with meaning. It's pretty darn silly to chose to be offended by a word. It sucks that people do that, but it is not cause for censorship.

Mark Twain's masterpiece is naught but a paperweight until I pick it up and decide to make something of it. I can read it and determine my own meaning from it. It's not going to be the same interpretation that you will come to, and it's going to be dramatically different from what Twain's contemporaries thought, and it will be different from what my mother thought when she read it in the 1970s.

That's why it should not be censored. Because meaning changes with the times. Words are a human invention and mean whatever we want them to mean. On their own, they don't mean anything at all.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By plasticstarfish
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 05:18 AM
Heart wrote:



A word is a word. Words don't mean anything until we, as humans, endow them with meaning. It's pretty darn silly to chose to be offended by a word. It sucks that people do that, but it is not cause for censorship.



Oh how silly of me, I forgot, words don't ~mean anything~ and we just CHOOSE to be offended. This would all be so easy if people would just lighten up and stop choosing to be offended, right?
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 09:41 AM
The politically correct are integrity challenged.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 09:46 AM
^^I'm not sure why you're getting so up-in-arms about this. Your responses to certain words are learned behaviors. They can even be un-learned if you decide you no longer want to respond to the words in the same way you have in the past, although I'm not denying that in some cases, this process can be very difficult. None of this is really up for debate. It is a fact that you choose to be offended or not offended by the words others use. Do you have the right to find certain words offensive? Of course you do. But should one person's right to be offended impede on others' rights to read classic works of literature in their original, uncensored form? No, in my opinion, it should not.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By plasticstarfish
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:01 AM
Jonelle wrote:

^^I'm not sure why you're getting so up-in-arms about this. Your responses to certain words are learned behaviors. They can even be un-learned if you decide you no longer want to respond to the words in the same way you have in the past, although I'm not denying that in some cases, this process can be very difficult. None of this is really up for debate. It is a fact that you choose to be offended or not offended by the words others use. Do you have the right to find certain words offensive? Of course you do. But should one person's right to be offended impede on others' rights to read classic works of literature in their original, uncensored form? No, in my opinion, it should not.


I don't think Huck Finn should be censored. I do think that saying people "choose" to be offended by certain words is a way for people to not take responsibility when they say something hurtful.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:26 AM
^I think it's a two-way street. If I say something for no other reason than to hurt your feelings, and you get offended, I need to take some responsibility, because my intentions were hurtful to start with. In that scenario, if I were to shrug it off and say, "Whatever, you CHOSE to be offended by that," it would be pretty douchetastic of me. But on the other hand, if you say something that you think is completely innocuous, and I get offended, I do think I need to take some responsibility for my reaction before I accuse you of deliberately trying to offend me, or make judgments about what kind of person you are, etc, etc.

I don't know, I'm having trouble expressing what I'm trying to say in an eloquent manner, so I'll just stop there and hope I'm making some sort of sense.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By plasticstarfish
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:54 AM
Jonelle wrote:

^I think it's a two-way street. If I say something for no other reason than to hurt your feelings, and you get offended, I need to take some responsibility, because my intentions were hurtful to start with. In that scenario, if I were to shrug it off and say, "Whatever, you CHOSE to be offended by that," it would be pretty douchetastic of me. But on the other hand, if you say something that you think is completely innocuous, and I get offended, I do think I need to take some responsibility for my reaction before I accuse you of deliberately trying to offend me, or make judgments about what kind of person you are, etc, etc.


I disagree. The person you offend has no way of knowing whether or not what you say was intended to be offensive, or just a joke- and whether or not it was a joke, if their feelings are hurt, they aren't choosing to be offended. I think people need to take more responsibility when they hurt someone, instead of just saying "well I didn't mean it that way, why are you so upset?"

If you step on someone's foot accidently, do you say "oh, sorry about that, didn't mean to" or do you say "well why are you so upset, it was an accident!"? And whether it was an accident or intentional, in the end, their foot still hurts from being stepped on.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:10 PM
Edited by Jonelle (199601) on 2011-01-21 12:12:19
Blah, I keep writing things and then deleting them before posting because I don't like how they sound. I think I am getting too caught up in my own personal experience of being on the side of unintentionally offending someone as well as being on the side of having someone unintentionally offend me.

I guess the bottom line is that I think that if George calls Sally a B-word as a joke, and Sally doesn't know it's a joke and it hurts her feelings, George does owe Sally an apology for (unintentionally) hurting her feelings, but then Sally needs to drop it and not get all butthurt about it.

Just like people need to not get all butthurt about seeing words they don't like in books. The words are there for a reason, and believe it or not, it's NOT to offend your delicate sensibilities. (Just trying to stay on topic so I don't get modded; not directing that last part toward anyone on this thread because I think we're all in agreement.)
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By plasticstarfish
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 01:27 PM
Jonelle wrote:

Blah, I keep writing things and then deleting them before posting because I don't like how they sound. I think I am getting too caught up in my own personal experience of being on the side of unintentionally offending someone as well as being on the side of having someone unintentionally offend me.

I guess the bottom line is that I think that if George calls Sally a B-word as a joke, and Sally doesn't know it's a joke and it hurts her feelings, George does owe Sally an apology for (unintentionally) hurting her feelings, but then Sally needs to drop it and not get all butthurt about it.

Just like people need to not get all butthurt about seeing words they don't like in books. The words are there for a reason, and believe it or not, it's NOT to offend your delicate sensibilities. (Just trying to stay on topic so I don't get modded; not directing that last part toward anyone on this thread because I think we're all in agreement.)


I agree with that to a point, although I think that if Sally is really hurt by what George says, she doesn't have to forgive him. I've had someone say something hurtful to me before, and even though they didn't intend to hurt me, it really stung and I've never really forgotten, and our relationship hasn't ever been quite the same. Most people are reasonable and forgiving, but if someone is truly hurt, they aren't obligated to forgive anyone, no matter what their intentions were.

But yes, to get back on topic, I don't think that someone not wanting to see the n-word is being butthurt, especially if that someone is black. I personally don't think the book should be censored, since I don't like the idea of whitewashing history and pretending racism never happened, but I think that black students feeling uncomfortable seeing/reading that word *is* a valid concern. The n word has been used to dehumanize and invalidate black people for centuries, and I completely understand if someone doesn't want to see it. I think calling them "butthurt" for that is pretty insensitive.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:08 PM
Well, since "nigger" isn't going anywhere, one can either (a) suck it up or (b) get offended whenever one comes across the term.

Seems like an easy choice to me, but hey, apparently I don't get a say in the matter; I'm just a wop, after all.



Oh how silly of me, I forgot, words don't ~mean anything~ and we just CHOOSE to be offended. This would all be so easy if people would just lighten up and stop choosing to be offended, right?

Bingo.




Basically, the way I see it is this: if a word offends you, you're a moron.

If you are offended because of the idea expressed wherein that word is a part - that's valid. But it is not the fault of the language used, and when an attempt to made to argue this, validity is lost and aforementioned moronic status kicks in.


P.S. SCREW THE PASSIVE VOICE. I'm going balls to the wall second person next time I tap in.
re: Huck Finn Gets Some Changes?
By Lev_Nougol
On Wed Jan 26, 2011 02:02 PM
plasticstarfish wrote:

Jonelle wrote:

Blah, I keep writing things and then deleting them before posting because I don't like how they sound. I think I am getting too caught up in my own personal experience of being on the side of unintentionally offending someone as well as being on the side of having someone unintentionally offend me.

I guess the bottom line is that I think that if George calls Sally a B-word as a joke, and Sally doesn't know it's a joke and it hurts her feelings, George does owe Sally an apology for (unintentionally) hurting her feelings, but then Sally needs to drop it and not get all butthurt about it.

Just like people need to not get all butthurt about seeing words they don't like in books. The words are there for a reason, and believe it or not, it's NOT to offend your delicate sensibilities. (Just trying to stay on topic so I don't get modded; not directing that last part toward anyone on this thread because I think we're all in agreement.)


I agree with that to a point, although I think that if Sally is really hurt by what George says, she doesn't have to forgive him. I've had someone say something hurtful to me before, and even though they didn't intend to hurt me, it really stung and I've never really forgotten, and our relationship hasn't ever been quite the same. Most people are reasonable and forgiving, but if someone is truly hurt, they aren't obligated to forgive anyone, no matter what their intentions were.

But yes, to get back on topic, I don't think that someone not wanting to see the n-word is being butthurt, especially if that someone is black. I personally don't think the book should be censored, since I don't like the idea of whitewashing history and pretending racism never happened, but I think that black students feeling uncomfortable seeing/reading that word *is* a valid concern. The n word has been used to dehumanize and invalidate black people for centuries, and I completely understand if someone doesn't want to see it. I think calling them "butthurt" for that is pretty insensitive.



If you're not obligated to forgive, it is equally true that I'm not obligated to apologize in the first place.
Which, again, proves that we choose our responses on both sides.
Kneejerk reactions included, we learn these reactions, and we can unlearn them.
It's neurological and psychological.

Further, I seem to remember Jonelle making several attempts at eloquence and politeness before eventually losing patience and resorting to the "butthurt" phrase.
I could be mistaken, but it seems you were also not obligated to consider this, though you felt obligated to take offense to the "butthurt" phrase itself?

*takes a breath*
Okay, I am not obligated to apologize for what appears to me to be a harsh manner of approach, but I will choose to.
Thus, I apologize.
My point is that it's a two-way street.
You can't expect that others MUST be responsible for their own words and actions, but that you can't be.

As for my opinion on the "cleansing" of our classic literature, I wonder how long before we simply strike Plato and Socrates from history, as they themselves lived in a slave society.
Yes, this is sarcasm.
I think that the relevance of the times should be left in tact, and let everyone decide for themselves what to take from it.

Find yourself offended by a book containing the "n-word?"
Stop reading it.
Feel like you'll be missing out on a wonderful piece of classic literature if you do?
Then suck it up and keep reading.
When you're all finished, then decide.

Again, this is only my humble opinion on the matter.
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