The “Politically Correct,” Mark Twain?

Mark Twain (AP)

This article made me think a very common thing: “This is what is wrong with America!” I really, really hate that term. I would be much more accurate into saying, “This is one of the many small, pointless and fixable things that’s wrong with America.”

Mark Twain is one of my favorite literary heroes. He loved Northern Nevada, and he made it his home for some time. He was a man similar to my own thoughts on God, religion, politics and humor, had remarkably similar social misgivings, was a terrible house guest, was a wonderful performer, and has a huge brick or two (or ten) in the foundation of American literature.

Modernizing his books to reflect a perceived offense, such as using the “n-word,” (which ironically I don’t feel comfortable printing here) is ridiculous. As much as I am pretty sure many pieces of literature were wrongly edited to fit the times, appease a king, suit a commanding church, there’s no way I can justify reason behind it. Changing someone’s words or preventing them from saying something is paramount to evil in my mind, which is why I love living in a place like the United States, where we’re pretty much free to do and say as we like, provided it isn’t harming the well being of another.

Yeah, I realize how hypocritical this sounds. There’s words out there that “hurt people,” according to some. Well, I disagree. The “n-word,” has been too casually used by the folks offended by it, and vilified as a mark of unfettered racism in any one else. It is being wrangled for purposes of fear, so that even simple blogs (such as this one) cannot use it without personal or professional backlash. It’s much more acceptable to use “ni99a,” or “nukka,” as an alternative in text for just about anyone, too, proving that we aren’t getting rid of the word, when we should be getting rid of the concept.

It’s a very common debate these days. Being accused of “racism,” is almost paramount to child molestation. Racism, while socially distasteful, isn’t illegal, unless it’s coupled with job hirings/firings, threats, attacks or murders. I believe it to be in the sound mind of unanimity of the people of the United States to eradicate the concept and practice of racism where ever it may hide, however, censorship is just as wicked. Censorship is sneaky, it does damage silently, and without much notice. Racism, and I’m talking true, awful racism (not the socially-outcast-political-type racism), hurts right this moment.

Mark Twain was NOT a racist. He lived in a time when there was a huge gap between those who were equally recognized. At that point in history, women could not vote. Blacks were considered second-class citizens, Native Americans in line for third, and everyone else followed. It should be noted that the other races survived harsher times than they do now, and earned the right to be proud to show the true meaning of “All men are created equal.”

Mark Twain has earned the respect of the literary world, much more than deserves his writ twisted and views softened. He was a major historian and novel journalist of a sort in his time, and learning was of great importance to him. I’m not sure he’d recognize the world today, and I’m glad he’s resting in peace far away from it, at times.

Leave his books alone.

(photo courtesy AP file)

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3 responses to “The “Politically Correct,” Mark Twain?”

  1. Ken Manz says:

    Must read Twain autobiography!

  2. Twain’s autobiography is an amazing book. I’m slowly reading it and enjoying it. It is a must read.

  3. Kyle Weiss says:

    I haven’t read it or many books lately. The astigmatisms give me a really hard time with text, headaches and eyestrain. I miss reading terribly.

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