Readers Write: Dec. 20

‘Huck Finn’ teaches our ugly history

Maureen Downey reports Dec. 12 (“Should N-word take ‘Huck Finn’ out of classroom?”) on a concerned mother in Virginia who has asked her local school board to ban Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” solely because her son is offended by the language of the novel.

Excising the work is not the answer. The book must be appreciated for what it is – an accurate depiction of its time, however misguided and unattractive that time happened to be. It is undisputed that the objectionable term in the book was the norm for that era. What’s next? Does Jim become a good-natured handyman? Disgruntled at his pay? Are his wife and children to be depicted as on a long vacation? None of this is accurate, nor is it healthy.

That period is one of the ugliest in our history and should be taught and treated as just that, a time when millions of black people were held in bondage and treated as commodities upon which great profit was enjoyed–a clear wrong.


Trump fans continue to drink Kool-Aid

The “bigly” fatuous malapropism of Mr. Trump while disquieting is sadly symptomatic of the coming reality in a post-Trump world, where “critical dissent “ is “cowardly treason;” “environmental policies” are “anti-growth regulation;” “preemptive military strikes” are “diplomacy;” “tax cuts accompanied by massive defense spending increases” are “steps towards economic recovery;” and “sound moral character” is an “equivalent substitute for intelligence.” The most amazing aspect of this wonderland is that so many of our fellow citizens are rushing in to drink the Kool-Aid.