Saturday, January 8, 2011

The "N" Word. . .


2011 is going to be my YEAR, and I couldn't be more excited with what this new year and new decade holds for me, as well as what it may hold for all of us.  I'm interested to hear how many of you are Doing More Reading and leaving those reality shows behind?

As you know, my latest novel, SILENT KNIGHT, will be hitting the bookstores soon, and available for electronic downloads and I couldn't be more happier about that!  What's not to be happy about?  I can't wait for you to read the new book and tell me what you think about it.

However, with all my excitement, comes a little sorrow, and unfortunately, since becoming an author in 2009, a lot has changed in the game of publishing.  Why with public libraries in jeopardy of going under--certain books being pulled off the shelves because some don't agree with the content, is cause for great concern!

And not only is there a great concern for me, but this should raise an alarm for the reading audience as well.  This week, I got some pretty bad news concerning the creative world.  Yes, this news scares me half to death, as it should, because it is going to change the writing world as I once knew it. 

What has terrified me so, you ask?  Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is in jeopardy of being rewritten.  Yeah, you heard me, REWRITTEN!  And as a writer myself, this I cannot stand for, nor will I tolerate, and I will fight, fight, fight, until I cannot fight anymore, to keep this terrible injustice from happening!

So let me get this straight!  Some educators got together and decided that Huck Finn is offensive and degrading to African-Americans because of Mr. Twain's use of the "N" word throughout the book.  Some believe that this book, which was written in the 1880s and is one of the best, if not greatest literary books written in American history, conveys the wrong message to our children. 

WOW!  Are you Serious?  Can you hear me SCREAMING right now!!!!  There are so many things wrong with this picture, I don't even know where to begin.  Aah, correction, yes I know exactly where to begin.  First of all, Huck Finn was written for the time period in which he belonged.  In those days~~let me write the words a little larger for you~~IN THOSE DAYS, that's the way people talked, that's the way people behaved and that's what people did!  We're talking, PEOPLE, in the 1800s now!

I'm an African-American woman and I don't take offense to Mr. Twain's book.  My God, have YOU all gone mad?!!!!  Some teachers say they want the words to be rewritten because they don't want to discuss nor explain the use of the word nigger.  Yeah, I wrote it out, so the hell what!!!!  What some of you would have me suggest is to sugar coat what is, and I'm sorry, I will never do that for YOU nor anyone else.  Let's get real here, folks, many of these people demanding this literary work be rewritten are some of the BIGGEST hypocrites ever to walk the planet!

Why do I say that?  Let's examine the facts here:  My new campaign DO MORE READING is about abandoning reality shows so that you can broaden your minds.  My campaign is designed so that you educate yourselves with stimulating information and opening your worlds to better things than watching mindless, stupid, idiotic UN-reality shows.  Let's face it, there are NO edit buttons in real life!  There are NO delete keys in real life!  Oooh I guarantee you, we all wish we could do that in real life, but the fact of the matter is, when shit happens, it happens, and there isn't any DO OVERS!

These are the same people that let their children watch shows like, and I might remind you, these shows were intended for adults: South Park, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and American Dad.  Or old/new Reality shows like:  Flavor of Love, I Love NY, Rock of Love, Real Chance, Basketball Housewives, Pawn Stars, Bridezillas, etc., the list goes on for miles.  And the language, not to mention, the actions in which these scripted reality stars commit, you let your little Johnny's and Suzie's watch.  REALLY?

And YOU want to remove words from Huck Finn like nigger to become "slave," and Injun Joe to become "Indian Joe," and half-breed to become "half-blood."  WHATTTTT?  Are you Kidding me?  Most of these children today use the "N" word about a hundred times.  How many of you parents let your children listen to hard core rap music?  How many times do you hear the word nigger or bitch throughout it?  Teachers find it difficult to explain.  REALLY?  I think we're not giving enough credit to our kids.  I believe children today can give us a lesson in quite a few things, with what you, the parents, permit them to view on television and in movies, but some of you have the audacity to say you don't want your children to read Huck Finn!

How many of your kids ever read Stephen King or John Grisham?  Do you know how many "N" words appears in some of their books?  Are you demanding words from those novels be rewritten or be removed from public libraries or school libraries?  Do any of you plan on banning their books or burning them?  Look, writing gets me through everything, and if people start telling me what I can and cannot say, what the hell is the damn point?

Fans, where does it end?  Seriously, where does it End!  I'm petrified that this is even being considered.  Huck Finn is a necessary book because it taught our children something important.  That book is needed because it opens debate and discussion and helps our children to learn.  If you must ban the book from schools, as much as I am totally against that, then I say do it, but to remove words and change them to something else, I can't agree with nor will I stand for it!

To me, changing the "N" word to slave is more offensive and doesn't even sound right.  And what better way to teach your children than to be honest with them.  Why don't you read the book together and promote discussion with your kids?  Explain to them that the reason the book has those words in it is because it was the time period in which they lived and those were the attitudes of the people.  Be honest and talk to them.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that they won't die or be harmed by the discussion.  In fact, the opposite will be true.  They will be more enriched by the experience, and so will you.

This is the problem with people today.  Some want the easy way out, and that's just not possible in this case.  Many of you are so into your reality shows, then why don't you start taking a look at your own reality?  Our children are in danger of missing out on one of the greatest American stories ever written.  Many of our public libraries across this country are slated to close their doors forever.  And if you allow this to happen, you are committing a great disservice to our children and our communities.

People, you better start waking up and get your face out of television and take a good hard look on what is real around you!  The world is changing and not for the better.  Much like the reality shows, the People are being voted out.  Cutbacks are all around us starting from education on down.  I think in this matter, the "N" word is much needed.  I say 'NO' to rewriting the words to Mark Twain's book and any other book thereof.   

It doesn't get more REAL than this!  What is it going to take for YOU to get involved in your own Reality?