A new edition of Huckleberry Finn has been published that replaces the word nigger with the word slave.
The book would be for use in schools. The reason given is that Huck has often been banned and some teachers find it difficult to teach with the word there. Take it out and more people will be introduced to maybe the most famous book in American Literature.
On the other hand, Twain hated slavery and racism and was using the word to make a point that would be lost if the word were changed.
What I find interesting is that in most of the articles/editorials that criticize this censorship, the writers themselves use N-word instead of nigger in effect censoring themselves while criticizing the censorship. One example from the Wall Street Journal.
Now for sure there are words that should not be used in certain situations. But is repeating a word wrong? Is reading what somebody else said wrong? if i were writing a novel with a neo-Nazi character and I wanted to make him realistic, would it be wrong to have him say “nigger.”
I know it is uncomfortable to hear some words or see those words in print. But sometimes good literature is good because it makes us uncomfortable.
My initial reaction is to leave the book alone. Thoughts.