Mark Twain used the N-word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Should it be censored?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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Racially insensitive words in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be changed when it's being taught in school.

  • Without censoring offensive words, students will be more likely to adopt racially insensitive words and/or attitudes.

  • The language of Twain is inaccessible to children and should therefore be modified.

  • Pretending that racial tensions never existed is preferable to having to expend the effort needed to explain that racially charged language was common.

  • Teachers feel uncomfortable and overburdened by teaching it unaltered. The quality of education is seriously affected by that.

  • Schools have a duty to protect their students who are still minors from distressing content.

  • Studying texts in the curriculum which repeatedly include racist language nullifies important humanistic achievements in education.

  • African-American students reading the text could suffer harm or feel intimidated.

  • To avoid racially insensitive words means to avoid a discussion about racism.

  • Twain's use of the N-word accurately depicts the culture and national conflict at the time. Changing that language would misrepresent history and the meaning of the text.

  • Students are actively harmed by exposure to Bowdlerized texts, hamstringing them in future academic discussions of the works in college and setting them up for embarrassment when discussing these well known works of literature with others who read the uncensored text, putting them at social disadvantage.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, considered as a piece of literature, does not merit inclusion in canonical American literature, taught in the public schools. Thus, there is no need to produce a censored version of it.

  • It is important to preserve the artistic integrity of great works of art like Huckleberry Finn. As such, none of its language should be modified.

  • Intentionally removing specific words from a text for political reasons is functionally similar to censorship, which is contrary to the values of liberal democracies and should, therefore, be rejected.