Rantings from a Person of Faith; Why the “N” word really is a big deal to people like me.

January 19, 2011 § 5 Comments

I normally don’t like to step up on my soapbox, and not just on my blog, either.  I don’t usually share my opinions out loud for several reasons:  I’m too “liberal” for all my Christian “fans” and I’m way too “conservative” for all the liberal fans.  Mostly I think I’m just misunderstood and hardly ever given the benefit of the doubt, either because people have known me too long and can’t comprehend how I’ve changed intellectually, or because people hardly know me at all and can only see the Christian side of me, and to them I’m a terrible stereotype.  So, usually I don’t say anything.

But, I cannot let this one slide by.  Especially when I read this article on the subject.

They’re taking the “N” word out of Huck Finn and replacing it with “slave.”  Or, what SNL’s weekend update host said, “They’re replacing the N word with the word, ‘Homie.'”

No, this is not the worst thing in the world.  Replacing the word is not the worst thing that could happen in literature.  But I think what most people need to understand is that though we censor songs that come on the radio, the “F” word on public TV, and we have those rating guidelines for movies, we cannot deny that fact that books and literature (mostly) are representative of history, not just a way to spend the afternoon.   Twain’s book isn’t just a “good read,” it’s an historical document that details the everyday living for not only blacks, but whites as well.  To replace the “N” word–which, so many people of color call themselves in the 21st century, and by using it themselves they, in actuality, make it okay for everyone to use it–with any word deemed “less degrading” may make the book more politically correct in today’s time, but it takes away the historical representation of when the book was written.

But more than the benefits of the literary history that Huck Finn represents does it anger me that we’re changing a single word to make a minority group feel better about themselves as a race.

No, I’m not racist, even if I am from the south.  However, if it’s okay to publish the book excluding the word “nigger” then as a Person of Faith, I would like every instance of “Godd***d” taken out of books, music, and movies, because if nigger printed in a book written in the 19th century is still offensive to people in the 21st, then how do you think I feel as a Person of Faith when I not only have to see but hear when my Lord’s name is taken in vain in every form of media.

And yeah, I am white.  And being white certainly does make me a part of the majority.  But you have to remember that because of my religious beliefs–beliefs that don’t label me a mere “Christian” which can mean absolutely anything, but beliefs that label me a Person of Faith, meaning I truly believe the words in the Bible, that Jesus is the way, and that I trust Him whole-heartedly–because of my religious beliefs I am immediately put into a minority category.  And let me tell you, as a Person of Faith, we are most definitely, by far, the absolute smallest minority of them all, and we are the ones that have to endure the most and sometimes worst forms of “racist” slurs that you’ll ever hear.

Disagree with me if you want, but it’s true.  There is evidence from the beginning of time that supports these statements–and I don’t say this lightly.

As annoyed and frustrated as I am that taking the “N” word out of Twain’s book ruins a piece of art as well as a piece of history, I am sincerely ticked off that race discussions revolve around finding ways to make it more comfortable for people of any color to live today, and it’s only Christian people who are aware of the discrimination against Christian people.  I.E. As a white person, I’m made to respect MLKJr day, I had to sit through Black History Month in school, I also know what NAACP stands for, and I’ve learned the history of the hardships of the people.  But hardly any person–of any color–understands what I also go through on a daily basis because of my religious beliefs.

And Christianity is the only religion that gets dumped on.  Say goodbye to “Christmas” and hello to the Holidays.  We can’t have Christmas trees, but we can have Holiday trees.  We can’t say Merry Christmas, but we can say Season’s Greetings.

Well my question is, why isn’t a Menorah called a Holiday candlestick? And so on and so forth.

I also recognize the hardships of those with other religious beliefs:  Muslims, who can hardly get on planes because people are assume they’re terrorists; and Jewish people, who are even criticized by those of the Christian faith for not being “real.”  But as the world gives these groups more leeway, Persons of Faith get more taken away from them.

Leave Huck Finn alone.  He didn’t do anything wrong.  But if there has to be a ginormous deal made about what to do with the “N” word, then in turn, I want a ginormous deal to be made about “GD.”

That’s really what it boils down to.

And I think I am done with my soapbox.

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§ 5 Responses to Rantings from a Person of Faith; Why the “N” word really is a big deal to people like me.

  • christine says:

    I love how you use Huck Finn as your springboard as you dive into other issues. I, too, was upset when I saw that publishers were planning to produce copies of Huck Finn without the “N” word. Glad I’m not the only one out there with this opinion :)

  • I love this. I really love this. Also, I totally get what you’re saying, because it happens to all of us Christians. My least favorite word (rather hearing it or reading it) is GD. I hate it. The “N” word should stay in Twain’s novel. Slave is not quite the same. Good job, cousin.

  • Kevin says:

    I agree completely. I think it is about time we, as Christians, make a big deal out of it. It is time we stand for what we belive in and start screaming that “their” tolerance is not all inclusive. I am behind you completly on this.

  • I might not agree with everything in this entry, but I do agree with your comments on the Huck Finn story. Books can serve as snapshots of a particular moment in time. As much as we might want to rewrite history we can’t. Instead we must learn from our mistakes in order to not repeat them. Lest we forget…

    Ive found your blog recently but this is my first time commenting.
    Siobhan
    The Miss Adventure Journals

  • Shelly says:

    I agree totally about Huck Finn and Christianity.
    Great job!
    Shelly

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