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(Des Moines Register)   Teacher aide fired for telling students that "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a 'racist' novel   (desmoinesregister.com) divider line 208
    More: Silly, Dubuque, Iowa, Iowa Department of Education, administrative law judge, private schools, cell disruption, teachers  
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9824 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jul 2012 at 2:03 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-16 04:21:47 PM

Kazrath: EnviroDude: If a fiction author uses the "nword" repeatedly in his/her works, does that make the work racist? The author? If the author records an audiobook and reads the word, does that make him/her racist?

Envirodude "I seen that coming.".

Republican shill is still a shill.


huh?
 
2012-07-16 04:30:02 PM

deadcrickets: Rule #1 taught in Anthropology classes:

Never apply modern morals or beliefs to past cultures.


And history as well -

"Never judge the past by the mores of today" was a constant refrain in my undergrad days.
 
2012-07-16 04:33:08 PM

Kit Fister: On the topic of the thread, I'll simply state that it is racist, in the same way that vintage blackface posters, colloquial sayings such as "Calling a spade a spade", and other such period items are racist: based on a modern context, sure, it's racist (Nigg*r Joe, etc.), but given the time period it was written in, and the context of the usage of such, it's simply a historical artifact with no malicious intent.


Sorry, but that particular phrase has been around quite a bit longer than the use of "spade" as a racial epithet.
 
2012-07-16 04:34:59 PM

Kazrath: Booo, could not draw a line between envirodude and "I seen that coming".


Boo? Err wrong book, right topic though.
 
2012-07-16 04:42:22 PM
i486.photobucket.com
Certain things can't be said these days.
 
2012-07-16 04:46:45 PM

poot_rootbeer: TsarTom: Timberland noted during the hearing that he has a master's degree in English literature.
"So when I hear that 'Huck Finn' is racist, my immediate response - having studied literature and having studied that particular piece of literature and theory about it - is, 'Of course it's racist,' " Timberland said at the hearing.
"Part of the idea was to point out, through that book, that it was racist. It's about racism."

Is it also racist if you're a famous African-American music producer and you plagiarize beats from unknown white European chiptune programmers?


Soulja boy up in dat....... Oh.... Idk probably.
 
2012-07-16 04:49:46 PM
Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".
 
2012-07-16 04:52:44 PM
NOTICE

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative
will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral
in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in
it will be shot. Teachers accusing it of being racial prejudicial
will be fired and mocked on the Internets.

BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR,
Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
 
2012-07-16 04:55:50 PM
I think it was pretty progressive for the time.
 
2012-07-16 04:56:37 PM

jshine: Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".


what about "gay novel" does that make sense
 
2012-07-16 04:59:01 PM

Teufelaffe: Kit Fister: On the topic of the thread, I'll simply state that it is racist, in the same way that vintage blackface posters, colloquial sayings such as "Calling a spade a spade", and other such period items are racist: based on a modern context, sure, it's racist (Nigg*r Joe, etc.), but given the time period it was written in, and the context of the usage of such, it's simply a historical artifact with no malicious intent.

Sorry, but that particular phrase has been around quite a bit longer than the use of "spade" as a racial epithet.


Yes, that's true, and nothing to be sorry about. I was iffy about its inclusion, however I have seen its racial connotations being brought up in a few cases where it is used in common american vernacular, especially when the term 'Spade' was common slang for a person of color.
 
2012-07-16 05:04:59 PM

Jon iz teh kewl: what about "gay novel" does that make sense


oyster.ignimgs.com
 
2012-07-16 05:09:12 PM

varmitydog: noting that she's both black and Japanese. blackanese.

I thought blackanese was what you got when you gave blowjobs in the dirt.


In Italy.
 
2012-07-16 05:09:44 PM

Kit Fister: Teufelaffe: Kit Fister: On the topic of the thread, I'll simply state that it is racist, in the same way that vintage blackface posters, colloquial sayings such as "Calling a spade a spade", and other such period items are racist: based on a modern context, sure, it's racist (Nigg*r Joe, etc.), but given the time period it was written in, and the context of the usage of such, it's simply a historical artifact with no malicious intent.

Sorry, but that particular phrase has been around quite a bit longer than the use of "spade" as a racial epithet.

Yes, that's true, and nothing to be sorry about. I was iffy about its inclusion, however I have seen its racial connotations being brought up in a few cases where it is used in common american vernacular, especially when the term 'Spade' was common slang for a person of color.


Does it excuse nubianrdly behavior?
 
2012-07-16 05:10:19 PM

brap: I played Jim in my second grade production of Huck Finn. It was my crowning theatrical achievment. I even brought in the realistic element of eating beef jerky by our campfire chat, which I thought was a brilliant piece of improvisation.

I still remember one of my lines.

"Naw he wouldn't double cross us, 'cause Huck's true blue.

I'm not saying I deserved a Tony Award but I deserved a Tony Award.


You did, too? We did Tom Sawyer in 2nd grade, and Jim was described as "a local work boy who helps Tom's Aunt Polly". I got two whole lines, and put on a fake southern accent that got lots of laughs.
 
2012-07-16 05:10:27 PM

Jon iz teh kewl: jshine: Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".

what about "gay novel" does that make sense



I don't know if it makes sense, but one time, I left my copy of The Book of Salt next to my copy of Three Junes, and when I came home, there was a Subaru parked in front of the bookshelf.
 
2012-07-16 05:11:04 PM

AngryJailhouseFistfark: Kit Fister: Teufelaffe: Kit Fister: On the topic of the thread, I'll simply state that it is racist, in the same way that vintage blackface posters, colloquial sayings such as "Calling a spade a spade", and other such period items are racist: based on a modern context, sure, it's racist (Nigg*r Joe, etc.), but given the time period it was written in, and the context of the usage of such, it's simply a historical artifact with no malicious intent.

Sorry, but that particular phrase has been around quite a bit longer than the use of "spade" as a racial epithet.

Yes, that's true, and nothing to be sorry about. I was iffy about its inclusion, however I have seen its racial connotations being brought up in a few cases where it is used in common american vernacular, especially when the term 'Spade' was common slang for a person of color.

Does it excuse nubianrdly behavior?


Oh for flavin' out loud, it got auto-fellated.
 
2012-07-16 05:26:41 PM
Huckleberry Finn is a coming of age novel about a young boy in the Slave South who niavely accepts the social conditions and values of his society until he goes on a quest in the company of a slave and has his eyes opened to the adult world of cruelty, hypocrisy, cant, and exploitation. Its author, Samuel Clemens, was himself born in that very society, in a two room "duplex" cabin that was no better than the average slave shack. Like Huckleberry Finn he was born in Original Sin and poverty, but overcame the natural ignorance of his time and his class.

Now there are two kinds of censors--the niave or stupid censor, who wants to ban depictions of things that distrub or are immoral or contain certain proscribed actions or words. This type of censor will crush a masterpiece unread because it contains a "naughty" word. Such a word is the "N-word", but books have been banned for a tinker's damn.

Twain's work is on the list of books banned by these naff censors because of words like the N-word. So is Who Has Seen the Wind? by Canadian author W.O. Mitchell. In this case, it is "damn" that gets the books banned.

On the other hand there is a higher class of Censor who knows perfectly well that the book is socially relevant and responsible, and who hate it for that reason. These censors may even recognize good writing or great writing or truth when they see it. They just don't like it.

Mark Twain's works have been collectively banned--even the most harmless of them--by this second class of censors, who are not concerned with "naughty" words but with ideas. Ideas that they don't like much.

Among these "Higher" Critics of books, are those who think that morality is the only thing that should be depicted. Plato was one of these. But there are also a dangerous class of hypocrites who do not want vice and viciousness depected because they approve of it.

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn was a great book. It was the first to use the American vernacular, a touch of realism that had already been added to literature in Europe but which was new in America where people were more worried about what the neighbours think.

It was also an attack on the values of the Slave South.

Sometimes the "Higher" critics hide behind morality. They claim that books like HF teach disobedience and doubt and fear and so forth. Sometimes they hide behind the stupid critics who fear naughty words and unpleasantness to the point of not distinguishing between moral writing which exposes evil for the sake of good, or mature writing which might not appeal to the intellect or morals of a five year old, but might nonetheless be suitable for those ages for which it is not deemed suitable.

The hypocrites hate literature precisely because it is good, true, beautiful and dangerous to evil. The hypocrites will assume the guise of angels, but they hate books because books expose them and their ilk to understanding and judgment and light.

This is why Huckleberry Finn has been widely banned in the South but less so in the North or Canada or the United Kingdom. Not that there aren't racists in these places, but the racists were not directly menaced by anti-slavery writing. They did not own $4.5 billion worth of slaves at a time when the North had $14-15 billion of capital goods and the south had somewhat less, a large minority of it in the form of two-legged mahogany as they were called in the trade.

I mentioned that W.O. Mitchell's novel, Who Has Seen the Wind? was banned because of the word "damn". This was, so to speak, damning it with faint praise, because in the novel an elderly Chinese man commits suicide because of the dishonour when the self-righteous, xenophobic and racist Church Lady manages to make sure nobody comes to the birthday party thrown in honour of the Chinese man's grandson.

You'd think that critics might mention this sort of thing, but it is usually the Lower Criticism that gets the press because it looks less foolish to ban the word "damn" in a book for youth than it does to ban the teaching of morality to youth.

The title is borrowed from a poem by Christina Rossetti:

Who has seen the wind
Neither you nor I
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

It is about the reality of the "unseen", to wit, the soul, God, love, etc., in much the same way as Emily Dickenson's poem on the same subject

I Never Saw a Moor

I never saw a moor;
I never saw the sea,
Yet know I how the heather looks
And what a billow be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven.
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the checks were given.

Emily Dickinson

"Checks" here means tickets or chits or checks as in "rain checks".

Honest critics can not condemn a book unread. They might condemn it misread, but not unread.

They can not condemn a book based on a few words any more than you can condemn a house based on a few nails or bricks.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and metaphor, metonymy and even irony can radically change the meaning of words. In fact, it takes only a slight difference of attitude to turn an entire work of art into a satire or parody of itself. Some people are parodies of themselves, I suspect.
 
2012-07-16 05:27:52 PM

AngryJailhouseFistfark: AngryJailhouseFistfark: Kit Fister: Teufelaffe: Kit Fister: On the topic of the thread, I'll simply state that it is racist, in the same way that vintage blackface posters, colloquial sayings such as "Calling a spade a spade", and other such period items are racist: based on a modern context, sure, it's racist (Nigg*r Joe, etc.), but given the time period it was written in, and the context of the usage of such, it's simply a historical artifact with no malicious intent.

Sorry, but that particular phrase has been around quite a bit longer than the use of "spade" as a racial epithet.

Yes, that's true, and nothing to be sorry about. I was iffy about its inclusion, however I have seen its racial connotations being brought up in a few cases where it is used in common american vernacular, especially when the term 'Spade' was common slang for a person of color.

Does it excuse nubianrdly behavior?

Oh for flavin' out loud, it got auto-fellated.


Like the point made by the gentlemen vis a vis the saying "calling a spade a spade", the term you are referncing has been around quite a bit longer than the slang form of negro.
 
2012-07-16 05:28:43 PM

Cup_O_Jo: WAIT WAIT WAIT---This is a private school for special needs children. Meaning a few things. #1 Do they have the capability to understand the book without someone explaining it is racist to them? I know special needs children can be higher functioning but.. still.


Special needs could be kids who have physical handicaps that could not be handled in a regular classroom. They are fine mentally.
 
2012-07-16 05:33:24 PM

Lsherm: According to school officials, Galloway allegedly announced to a classroom full of students in October that Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was a racist book and should not be taught in schools. The next day, she was on a school bus with students when she allegedly renewed her criticism of the book as "racist," forcing the bus driver to intervene, according to state records. School officials alleged she voiced objections to the book on numerous other occasions.

She also allegedly tried to derail a math teacher's presentation by telling the students how she had once been the victim of racism. In addition, she was accused of suggesting to at least one of the students that the math teacher was a racist.

Sounds like this woman has issues beyond just the book. Unfortunately, this court case is just going to further her paranoia about being oppressed.


I liked this one best:

At a public hearing dealing with her subsequent request for unemployment benefits, Galloway denied all of the allegations that she had questioned the school's use of the book. She acknowledged that she had disrupted a classroom discussion of the Ku Klux Klan because it had triggered "flashbacks," noting that she's both black and Japanese.

This woman is batshiat insane, and needs a lot of help. She should not be teaching if her method of combatting racism is to prevent discussion of it.
 
2012-07-16 05:39:00 PM

Gyrfalcon: Lsherm: According to school officials, Galloway allegedly announced to a classroom full of students in October that Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was a racist book and should not be taught in schools. The next day, she was on a school bus with students when she allegedly renewed her criticism of the book as "racist," forcing the bus driver to intervene, according to state records. School officials alleged she voiced objections to the book on numerous other occasions.

She also allegedly tried to derail a math teacher's presentation by telling the students how she had once been the victim of racism. In addition, she was accused of suggesting to at least one of the students that the math teacher was a racist.

Sounds like this woman has issues beyond just the book. Unfortunately, this court case is just going to further her paranoia about being oppressed.

I liked this one best:

At a public hearing dealing with her subsequent request for unemployment benefits, Galloway denied all of the allegations that she had questioned the school's use of the book. She acknowledged that she had disrupted a classroom discussion of the Ku Klux Klan because it had triggered "flashbacks," noting that she's both black and Japanese.

This woman is batshiat insane, and needs a lot of help. She should not be teaching if her method of combatting racism is to prevent discussion of it.



I'm not sure she's insane, or even very serious about her complaints. From the sound of it, she was ready to quit, but figured that if she could get the school to fire her, she could collect unemployment while looking for her next job.
 
2012-07-16 05:39:26 PM

Biness: Bermuda59: Godscrack: TsarTom: he has a master 's degree

[i1.kym-cdn.com image 150x134]

She acknowledged that she had disrupted a classroom discussion of the Ku Klux Klan because it had triggered "flashbacks," noting that she's both black and Japanese.

So shouldn't the "That's Wacist" Kid be in here too?

Is the klan really coming after Japanese people?


It was a misunderstanding, Klahn is coming after her, not the Klan.

"We are building a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude. We forge our tradition in the spirit of our ancestors. You have our gratitude."
 
2012-07-16 05:54:13 PM

Cup_O_Jo: WAIT WAIT WAIT---This is a private school for special needs children. Meaning a few things. #1 Do they have the capability to understand the book without someone explaining it is racist to them? I know special needs children can be higher functioning but.. still.


Are you retarded or something?

Seriously, I've seen some dumb things written here, but if you're at all serious, this may take the cake. There's a difference between "special needs" and "vegetative coma" you know.
 
2012-07-16 05:54:35 PM

wxboy: what_now: She acknowledged that she had disrupted a classroom discussion of the Ku Klux Klan because it had triggered "flashbacks," noting that she's both black and Japanese.

...what?

Blackanese. Insert bullet train joke here.



Jigga, please.

www.xmfan.com
 
2012-07-16 05:54:55 PM

FloydA: Jon iz teh kewl: jshine: Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".

what about "gay novel" does that make sense


I don't know if it makes sense, but one time, I left my copy of The Book of Salt next to my copy of Three Junes, and when I came home, there was a Subaru parked in front of the bookshelf.


i drive a Honda

www.anvari.org
 
2012-07-16 05:56:13 PM

squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today


IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".
 
2012-07-16 06:00:48 PM

FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".


And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"
 
2012-07-16 06:02:09 PM

Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".

And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"


Did you read the article, or did you just guess correctly?
 
2012-07-16 06:12:16 PM

FirstNationalBastard: Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".

And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"

Did you read the article, or did you just guess correctly?


I wasn't serious. Holy shiat, is that for real?!?
 
2012-07-16 06:20:07 PM

Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".

And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"

Did you read the article, or did you just guess correctly?

I wasn't serious. Holy shiat, is that for real?!?


It's real. Google NewSouth Huck Finn, and you'll find links to the censored version.

Apparently, it was done so schools would actually let kids read the damn book. It leaves me torn... I can't stand censorship and PC bullshiat, but the PC bullshiat overrides common sense and keeps kids from being able to read classic books like this.
 
2012-07-16 06:22:56 PM

Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".

And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"

Did you read the article, or did you just guess correctly?

I wasn't serious. Holy shiat, is that for real?!?


It was changed to "Indian Joe" in the sanitized version.
 
2012-07-16 06:28:06 PM
Good. If you think Huck Finn advocates racism you're clearly not competent to teach English or literature of any sort.
If you can quit foaming at the mouth over the n-word for a few moments, you might notice that Jim was portrayed as practically the only compassionate and worthwhile adult in the whole book, and served as a friend and healthy adult role model for Huck. If this chick really believes that a racist novel would portray a black man in such an positive light, especially as compared to all the reprehensible white people in the novel, she's even stupider than she sounds.
 
2012-07-16 06:32:37 PM

TsarTom: Gwendolyn:Well this thread is over.

Wait. Can't we still make fun of the crazy lady?


She sounds like a real pain in the ass to me
 
2012-07-16 06:48:50 PM

Godscrack: TsarTom: he has a master 's degree



i.imgur.com

So does this guy.
 
2012-07-16 07:12:11 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: TsarTom: Wait. Can't we still make fun of the crazy lady?

Yeah, she seems to be a couple klansmen short of a rally.



I'm stealing that and using it as my own.
 
2012-07-16 07:18:22 PM

jshine: Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".


So The Turner Diaries isn't racist?

/books speak, it may be with the voice of the author or with the voice of the reader but they speak
 
2012-07-16 07:51:15 PM

squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today


H.N.I.J. - Head N!@r Is Jim?
 
2012-07-16 07:54:06 PM
img20.imageshack.us

Problem Solved.
 
2012-07-16 07:58:41 PM
tom sawyer is a kid's adventure story

huck finn is the best example american literature

after all, if there was no huck finn there would have been no apocalypse now. remember that, people.
 
2012-07-16 08:00:32 PM
And she is an Obama voter, go figure.
 
2012-07-16 08:05:55 PM

Voiceofreason01: jshine: Racism describes attitudes or actions: people can be racist, inanimate objects cannot. A "racist novel" makes about as much sense as a "frightened lamp" or an "excited stone".

So The Turner Diaries isn't racist?

/books speak, it may be with the voice of the author or with the voice of the reader but they speak



Even if I accept your slashy that inanimate objects can form opinions, I've never read the book and would therefore be unable to comment intelligently.
 
2012-07-16 08:09:25 PM

Al_Ed: I heard that book uses the "n-word".


Nepotism?
 
2012-07-16 08:13:58 PM

Dirtybird971: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

Jim
James
J-Rock
Jizzle
J-dizzle
N-word Jim

If they ever re-make this movie, I hope Flavor Flav! plays him.


I met that Flav guy in a grocery store in Las Vegas las year. He still wears that big-ass clock around his neck. It was weird... Who the hell wears that going to the store for Cheeze-Its and a can of olives?
 
2012-07-16 08:19:19 PM

DVDave: Grables'Daughter: Sigh.

Fine.

I'll do it:

[i1.kym-cdn.com image 150x134]

Gs' D, you're gettin' busy in the most unusual of threads today. First the Sports tab, and now this?


I'm branching out.
 
2012-07-16 09:07:39 PM

Thunderpipes: And she is an Obama voter, go figure.


That's a shock. He's the President of the United States of the Offended.
 
2012-07-16 09:17:56 PM

FloydA: Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: Gyrfalcon: FirstNationalBastard: squrt: Iwonder what they would call niger jim today

IIRC, in the edited and sanitized version of the book that has been produced (or at least proposed), he is referred to as "Slave Jim".

And "Injun Joe" is now "Native American Joe?"

Did you read the article, or did you just guess correctly?

I wasn't serious. Holy shiat, is that for real?!?

It was changed to "Indian Joe" in the sanitized version.


Mother of god.
 
2012-07-16 09:48:36 PM
Actually, the name "Galloway" comes from Ireland and means "The Path (or 'way') to the Gallows".

Many Irish immigrants changed theirs to the similar-meaning but less Irish-sounding "Lynch".
 
2012-07-16 09:53:29 PM

Biness: Thunderpipes: And she is an Obama voter, go figure.

That's a shock. He's the President of the United States of the Offended.


Don't you think you two are being rather disingenuous?
 
2012-07-16 10:06:22 PM

Hickory-smoked: Biness: Thunderpipes: And she is an Obama voter, go figure.

That's a shock. He's the President of the United States of the Offended.

Don't you think you two are being rather disingenuous?


No.
 
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