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To Kill a Mockingbird - Censorship Rears its Ugly Head Again
Be prepared for a book censorshiop rant! Once again, To Kill a Mockingbird has been removed from a classroom due to a complaint by a parent. The parent of a child going into Grade 10 has complained about the use of the "n" word in the novel and it has been removed from the class curriculum. The Dufferin-Peel Catholic Schoolboard in Brampton, Ontario accepted the complaint of one parent of a soon-to-be Grade 10 student at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School, and removed the book from the class.I think that 15 and 16 year-old children are at a level where they should understand the theme and plot of this novel. Obviously, the parent in question has not read the entire book and does not understand what this classic novel is trying to say.
To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee. It was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. In 1962, it was made into a very successful movie with Gregory Peck. The story is one of rape and racial inequality. As someone said, "only the bad people use that word in the novel." And this is true. You cannot just erase words out of the vocabulary because someone actually has used them and continue to use today. It is not giving people a license to use this sort of language by having a novel that features the word. The aim of this great novel is to promote racial harmony, not to endorse racism. I challenge anyone to read the novel from cover to cover and tell me that it is racist in any way.
I have heard the argument that if you are not black you can't understand why people would get upset. However, as quoted in the Toronto Star "But at a school with a significant black population, teachers say the book is a relevant and favoured tool for discussion on racism." That is the point of the novel in the first place.
Now I don't want this to disintegrate into a discussion by some that racism does not exist and some people are over sensitive because that is not what I am saying. Racism does exist and it is books like this that can help to eliminate it.
My main point of this rant is that the complaint of one parent should not be enough to have a classic removed from study. Don't the other parents with children in the class have any say in whether or not their child should have a right to read it and study it?
The fact that this is one of my favorite novels of all time makes it worse and more maddening. I even named my cat Boo Radley.