Alan Gribben is a Mark Twain scholar. He is determined to change Mark Twain's most famous works "the Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to what he believes is correct for today's society. He will erase all racial slurs from both of those classics. He will replace all debatable words with "slave" I see a problem with that.
Not because I approve of said slurs. Quite the opposite. But what Mr. Gribben is doing, is rewriting history. Let me show you an example of what I mean:
A man buys a lot of property in- let's say Sacramento. On a piece of his property he has a mineshaft hole that drops straight down. It's quite an ugly looking feature to the otherwise beautiful property. He looks at the cost of filling it in and agrees that it would be easier to cover it with a tarp. So he buys the tarp, puts it over the mineshaft and covers the bright blue tarp with the leaves and dirt so it blends in with the scenery. But one day someone approaches the mineshaft without knowing it's there. He walks to it and falls to his gruesom death. The property owner is heavily fined and imprisoned for human endangerment and involuntary manslaughter.
Wouldn't it have been easier for the man to put a fence around it? That way, people would know it's there and be forewarned that where there are mines there is danger.
In a way Mr. Gribben is covering his mineshaft with the tarp. He aims to cover the eyesore, look out into the horizon and forget it was ever there. He could easily just set up a warning fence.
To pretend the words were never there would be wrong. Mark Twain did not intend for his works to be played with like a toy. He intended for his works to stand as an example of the era in which he grew up.
Now, there is another problem with replacing every racial term with slave. There were 'free men of color' in Mississippi before Mississippi was even a state. Their slave masters could free them or they could buy their freedom. It would be awful to know that your great-something-or-other grandfather was free but addressed as 'slave.' Not only is Mr. Gribben replacing words, he is changing context. Not every black person was a slave. Why is he trying to make it that way?
Did you know? That one year after its publication, in the year 1876, society wanted it banned because it was too racially tolerant? It was not banned. So why should we be banned now for being too racially discriminative? Society changes daily, it is carried by the wind and sometimes by the most superficial people. What is acceptable today would not have been accepted in the 1800s. And what was acceptable in the 1800s is not acceptable today. How would you feel if in the year 2200 people never said 9/11 happened? Today we tell ourselves there is no way that could happen, it was such a big event and it affected too many lives. We say that there is no way they could cover up something that big, but guess what? There wasn't a person alive then that was unaffected by the black people of the 1800s. Look what society is trying to do: cover it up. Is it an attempt to make more sales? Is it an attempt to paint a picture of a perfect society? Why do that when nothing is perfect?
What's next mr. Gribben? Are you going to make Edgar Allen Poe's poetry positive?