Two things have been in my proverbial crawl this week regarding the use the editorial pen to seemingly not acknowledge our own history. In fact, the two matters I am thinking of not only do not seem to acknowledge the history, but in fact seem bent on the rewrite of our history, in which the ugly parts of it are white-washed under the rug so to speak. The two issues, briefly are the newest version of Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which the n-word has been replaced or eliminated. And of course, the reading of our most revered constitution on the house floor, but with things that reference the 3/5 counting of slaves and even the repelled prohibition of liquor were left out.
In regards to Mark Twain’s epic and classic work, I fail to see how changing the word makes the situation presented in the book any more palatable to anyone that would be reading it. In fact, one can argue that in his own way and as near as would have been appropriate for a man from the mid-south at the time, Twain was questioning the institution of slavery itself. I think, in my own mind Twain clearly was doing just that. I think also, just as Huck as the thought at some point that in reality, according to the letter of the law, Jim is just property, so to did Twain himself think at times.