Virginia school district suspends Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, internet blames PC culture
Lee Harper’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are considered classics of American literature, but the use of racial slurs in these books has made them the subject of much controversy. On Thursday, Accomack County Public School Superintendent Chris Holland confirmed that the use of the books had been suspended after Marie Rothstein-Williams, a white parent of a biracial high school student, complained.
“I keep hearing ‘This is a classic, this is a classic.' I understand this is a literature classic but at some point I feel the children will not or do not truly get the classic part, the literature part — which I’m not disputing this is great literature,” Rothstein-Williams explained to Delmarva Now. “But there are so many racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can’t get past that.”
The suspension of the books is a part of the standard procedure outlined in the district’s policy manual which says that after a formal complaint is filed, the principal, the library media specialist, complainant and teacher should gather to discuss the materials.
The use of racial slurs in both books has made them the targets for many years. In fact, they’ve been on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books list since 1990.
The scrutiny both books face has been subject to bipartisan revile. A number of Conservatives took to Twitter to share how banning these books is a sign of rampant political correctness.
To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn are banned from Virginia schools. Do you still think PC culture hasn't gone too far?— Tim Bowdoin (@theothertbow) December 2, 2016
Welcome to communist Russia in the US. VIRGINIA school bans Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. https://t.co/Rrepgdoaec— Todd Griffith (@c5hardtop1999) December 1, 2016
Political correctness SUCKS. Virginia schools ban ‘To Kill a MockingBird’ and ‘Huck Finn’ for racial slurs https://t.co/vtPTm9eo26— God Bless America! (@therayban) December 3, 2016
Those on the left also pushed back against what they see as censorship.
Seriously?? It's people like this that give liberals a bad name. Huck Finn , To Kill A Mockingbird are classics #savetheseclassics— Don Yeager (@liberalguy53) December 1, 2016
ONE PARENT is mad that “To Kill a Mockingbird” has a racial slur in it. BUT HAS SHE READ THE BOOK? I mean, Jesus fucking Christ. https://t.co/bMUfoSgque— Dan L (@KnicksFanBlog) December 3, 2016
To Kill A Mockingbird I'll give you...but Huck Finn had some real issues with it. But truthfully no book should be banned https://t.co/PFv0toCjGA— Da Bear (@ayahnaaragon) December 3, 2016
Virginia school pulls To Kill a Mockingbird and Huck Finn because ONE parent complained. Censorship should be more difficult than that.— Nisreen Eadeh (@NisreenEadeh) December 2, 2016
Both books are suspended pending further review. While many bemoan the banning of books, the protagonists of both novels would likely have been delighted to not attend school.