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Censorship or recognising offensive langauge

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12126700

A new version of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been launched, causing controversy because it's taken the word 'nigger' out and replaced it with 'slave' which critics say wrecks the whole book.

Personally I think it's a dumb move, we can't rewrite the past - only learn from it (and probably not even that).
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a pathetic example of the child-like mental state much of the population seems to indulge in. As though people are unable to cope with the reality that the word 'nigger' was commonly used in the past simply because it is a term of abuse in the present.

    If you have qualms against Huck Finn being racist in nature there is an argument for that. But it lies in the way Jim's character is portrayed as somewhat childlike and unable to manage his own independence not in the use of a common word during the period.

    If you're unable to cope with a world which uses offensive language in particular contexts you might as well give up, life gets much tougher than that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This was on BBC breakfast this morning.

    There was a black/mixed race author and some literary guy talking about it. Near enough agreed with what the author said. She thinks that maybe edit certain text out for younger kids but have original versions for say 10 years old +. People need to see how we used to write and how it's evolved and why certain words etc are or can be offensive to certain people.

    I've always firmly believed it's not what's said but who and why they're saying it that counts. I've a black fuck bud and he loves using the word nigger and me using it too. Same for me with faggot and queer. Black people call each other nigger in a matey way and an offensive way. If people are going to get up in arms at the mention of a word out of any context, go get a fucking life.

    What did tickle me this morning was, that on the BBC show the author was using nigger, the other guest was using nigger but the author actually pointed out that the 2 presenters (BBC staff) couldn't. How fucking ridiculous when you're conducting an interview about the word nigger.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Edit, wrong link and I can't find the right one :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Context, timing.

    Use it to teach rather than censor it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It may be more to do with the US trying to rid itself of it's past. In much the same way as it's illegal to display Nazi symbols/uniforms in Germany perhaps?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It may be more to do with the US trying to rid itself of it's past. In much the same way as it's illegal to display Nazi symbols/uniforms in Germany perhaps?

    Except it's nothing to do with the Government - this is a private company rewriting the past (though one of the reasons probably is to get it in schools - I think its something like the fourth most banned book in US schools)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    14th i think they said on Breakfast

    Just behind

    Mommy Drinks Because You Cry

    and

    Strangers Have The Best Sweets
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are so many books, films and tv programs that have the word nigger in them, to good effect sometimes, others not. Not just nigger, other strong words also of course.

    This i think is a marketing strategy as its headline news bringing it much publicity and many sales of the new (as well as the old) book.

    Why are people afraid of words? :eek:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They will be banning shoe polish next, I was trying to find an example of kiwi boot polish, but this gets the point across as well.

    51qyP20wZYL._SS500_.jpg
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It has just emerged that the word "nigger" when read, renders the reader incapable of reading. It destroys the reader's mind. It induces a crippling insanity and sends the reader to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It has just emerged that the word "nigger" when read, renders the reader incapable of reading. It destroys the reader's mind. It induces a crippling insanity and sends the reader to the lake of fire upon hearing it.

    you've just doomed us all then.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's been awhile but isn't Huck Finn an anti-racism book? I remember the book being about Huck regretting calling Jim what he did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's been awhile but isn't Huck Finn an anti-racism book? I remember the book being about Huck regretting calling Jim what he did.

    There's an entire scene in the book that really stands out because it doesn't really have anything to do with the rest of the storyline where Twain has a character go on a several page rant against Southern lynch mobs and (in a veiled way) the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think there is an argument to censor offensive words when teaching in schools in that it could put off otherwise good students from taking to the material.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    An individual can be offended simply by me saying "hello" to them. It is not my responsibility to ensure that no one is offended by my language. Freedom of speech. Not freedom from speech.

    When people learn the age old sticks and stones law, they will get along with their lives much better. No matter what anyone tells you, a word cannot be offensive by itself. The respondant must actively choose to filter that word as a trigger toward incoherent babbling about being offended.

    By the way, the word "nigger" should not offend anyone anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    An individual can be offended simply by me saying "hello" to them. It is not my responsibility to ensure that no one is offended by my language. Freedom of speech. Not freedom from speech.

    When people learn the age old sticks and stones law, they will get along with their lives much better. No matter what anyone tells you, a word cannot be offensive by itself. The respondant must actively choose to filter that word as a trigger toward incoherent babbling about being offended.

    By the way, the word "nigger" should not offend anyone anyway.

    Yes but someone reacting weirdly to saying hello is probly reacting to you talking to them, not the words you used.

    Calling someone a cunt on the other hand, yes you have freedom of speech but you also have to have a lack of brain cells if you think you can justify saying it because words alone dont have a negative connotation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What's on the lips is irrelevant. What's in the heart is what matters. This is why men can do things like tease a girl and still love her. While, yes, one must realize the implications of being belligerent -- it should also be noted that they are not puppet masters. They can't force you to be offended.

    For example, I am of Italian descent. With scorn in their hearts and venom on their tongues, they can scream at me, "FUCK YOU, YOU DIRTY GINNY!" And I have the choice to either scream "FUCK YOU, YOU MONGREL" in retaliation, or I can smile and politely decline their offer. Which option do you think I take in everyday circumstances?

    Hint: It's not the first one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What's on the lips is irrelevant. What's in the heart is what matters. This is why men can do things like tease a girl and still love her. While, yes, one must realize the implications of being belligerent -- it should also be noted that they are not puppet masters. They can't force you to be offended.

    For example, I am of Italian descent. With scorn in their hearts and venom on their tongues, they can scream at me, "FUCK YOU, YOU DIRTY GINNY!" And I have the choice to either scream "FUCK YOU, YOU MONGREL" in retaliation, or I can smile and politely decline their offer. Which option do you think I take in everyday circumstances?

    Hint: It's not the first one.

    How you react to someone doesnt change what they have said.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it doesn't. But it changes how you receive it, thereby making offense subjective. Also, helpful tip: It pisses a belligerent person off more than anything else when they hit you with their best line and you aren't even phased. Being offended is so counterproductive to an individual.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it doesn't. But it changes how you receive it, thereby making offense subjective. Also, helpful tip: It pisses a belligerent person off more than anything else when they hit you with their best line and you aren't even phased. Being offended is so counterproductive to an individual.

    There's what you say, and putting up a front, which doesnt always change the way you feel inside.

    Truth is, as has been touched on elsewhere here just because you have freedom to say what you want, doesnt mean you have freedom to offend.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But it changes how you receive it

    No, it changes how you react to it.

    Like I have said, there is a difference between ignorance and indifference. Just because you can say whatever you like, doesn't mean that you should. That's where morality comes into play.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it's actually the way I feel inside. The opinion of someone going out of their way to offend me is not important enough for me to be offended.

    And sure it does. Where do you draw the line of offense, otherwise? Many Muslims are offended by women who don't wear hijab. Many Conservatives are offended by CNN. Many Liberals are offended by Fox News. Some cultures find a handshake offensive. Some people find the religious views of others offensive. I'm offended by Rosie O'Donnell's girth.

    That's not to say that we should go out of our way to offend. You will end up a very lonely person in doing so. But at the same time, that person has the right to die a lonely person.

    Story time.

    I'm in college and one of my past times in college is picking up as many girls in a day as I can and wooing them. One day, I was bagging two girls in one of the hallways and capturing their attention with vivacious conversation that captured their attention. In particular, I was talking about using my scrotal hairs to floss their teeth with. (I don't want to hear it about how I shouldn't talk to ladies like that.)

    Now, I was minding my own business with these two girls, who were cherry red from laughter. When all of a sudden, a woman interjects, spouting off, "Will you shut your filthy tongue?! I'm trying to do a test and you're distracting me! God!"

    I want you to take a moment to think about how you would react in this situation and how you think I reacted before continuing.

    My response was a smile and a polite, "I'm sorry, are we distracting you?" She snapped back with an abrasive "YEAH!" To which I maintained my smile I said "Okay, we'll try to keep it down. But, one thing. You know, in the future, you can be nicer in approaching someone."

    Now, this woman looked at me like I just told her that I was Lucifer and I was going to rape her children. In a wild tangent, she shot up out of her seat, screaming, "This is a public place! You have no right to carry on this way!" Yadda yadda yadda.

    Once again, I maintained my smile and said "Yes, this is a public place, ma'am. That's why you have to be tolerant of other people's conversations and expect that the world doesn't revolve around what you deem worthy of discussion. Freedom of speech, not freedom from speech."

    Apparently, I pissed her off so much that she went to report me to the office. At that point, another student politely told me that I was distracting him with all the fighting and I smiled, gave him a thumbs up and said "Not a problem, bro. I got'chu." And I left with one of the girls.

    Point is: That woman has no jurisdiction over what I can discuss with other people. She can certainly voice her objection toward me saying what I was saying and I would have even obliged her request had she been polite about it. But she cannot tell me what I am allowed or not allowed to say. That's how a free country works.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she cannot tell me what I am allowed or not allowed to say. That's how a free country works.

    We're not disagreeing on that point. Nor am I suggesting that freedom of speech should be limited by law - far from it.

    I am saying that with that right comes some personal, and moral, responsibility not to abuse it.

    As you say "That's not to say that we should go out of our way to offend. You will end up a very lonely person in doing so."
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Then we are in agreeance on that matter.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you would be a bit of an arsehole reacting to someone in that way if you had been having a conversation like that. If you think it is ok but other people dont, then how does your freedom of speech trump the rights of other people?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because the freedom to not hear me is not a right. They have the right to get up and walk away. They do not have the right to tell me what to say. That is them attempting to make their rights supersede mine.

    Ever hear the expression "This is an A and B conversation. C your way out"?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    By the way, I find it really offensive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Then that's something you need to analyze why.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know why, thanks.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Okay. So, why?
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