Virginia’s Accomack County Public Schools have banned “Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” for a shocking reason. Bad parenting.
Let me explain why.
Growing up in the south, there was always racism around, but being white, I didn’t really notice it until other classmates verbally assaulted my black friends. I wasn’t sure what racism was, but I didn’t like it. My heroes growing up were Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Eddie Murphy, so the idea of being racist never connected to me.
I also didn’t really understand it until I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” in middle school. I didn’t really learn how hard black people had it in America until I read Harper Lee’s classic.
Atticus Finch’s defense of Tom Robinson is honorable and his strength to stand up against racism defined my own personal sense of justice for all. We are all equal in the eyes of God, but we have to deal with the hands of man.
A parent is the reason that “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” were temporarily banned. She said her bi-racial son couldn’t handle the racist language used in the books.
“So what are we teaching our children? We’re validating that these words are acceptable, and they are not acceptable by (any) means. There is other literature they can use.”
In “To Kill A Mockingbird”, the N-word appears 48 times, and that seems to be what the parent is most upset about. The use of the word in historical context is still bad in her eyes.
I disagree 100%. We can tell our kids not to do things and not to be racist, but at the end of the day we have to teach them why it is wrong. Teaching kids and helping them understand racism and the history of this country is difficult. Harper Lee does that for us. She did it for me.
My parents stressed to me that we are all equal and to treat everyone one the same, but it wasn’t until I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” that I understood how bad it was and how wrong racism really is.
One of the beautiful parts about “To Kill A Mockingbird” is that all the evil portrayed and the search for righteous justice were done by white characters. The book shows the best and the worst of how white people handled racism during that time. We would still have slaves today if it wasn’t for white people fighting with black people to end slavery.
Harper Lee’s classic shows race does not define us, but our actions do. That is a message that is needed right now. Maybe it is needed now more than ever.
I feel for the parent that stood up in the school board meeting to fight for what they think is right, but in my opinion, she is the problem. –
She is trying to remove a piece of American literature that explains why racism is bad and what people, just a 100 years ago had to do to fight against racism. After all, if Atticus Finch can stand up against a mob of armed men then we can have the courage to stand up to it today.
Should we ban American classics from schools just, because they have the N-word in them?