17 January 2011
(Homemade vegan sausage, lemony yellow finns, and baby arugula)
On Slate's Culture Gabfest last week, they discussed the announced revision of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which replaces the "n-word" with "slave."
The discussion brought to mind a conversation I had with the Kid, when he read Huck Finn at age 10. At that point, I was not sure he had ever heard the word. The only real possibility would have been if he'd heard it in a hip hop song or in a comedy routine when listening to internet radio. I'm not sure, but I think when we talked, he had not heard the word, so I tried my best to lay out its history, and the hateful ways in which it has been used. I wanted him to understand its historical and current use, and I wanted to make sure he wouldn't use it naively, accidentally unleashing a negative power he didn't realize it had. Because absent of context, it's just a word.
And I new he'd understood when he became all teary-eyed, and fiercely said to me, "It's like when Draco calls Hermione a mudblood! I hate him!"
Yes, my darling, that is quite exactly what it is like.