Racial Slurs In To Kill A Mockingbird

1200 Words5 Pages
Censorship is an extremely debated topic in America, with people saying it contradicts with what the Bill of Rights has allowed the American people and how it may deny people use the Freedom of Speech. Yet, the censorship of books in American public schools is one of the most controversial topics today because of the use of racial slurs in classic literature, this is the case with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Opinions on this topic vary, with some of them being: schools should have the right to censor books because they have racial slurs in them, schools should have teachers open up a conversation about race and the use of racial slurs with these books, or schools should not have the right to censor any book. I firmly believe that schools…show more content…
To prove this point, I will be using the book in question, To Kill a Mockingbird, and an article by Pam Louwagie, “After dropping two books with racial slurs, a painful turning of the page in Duluth”.
Schools being able to have the right to ban books based on the fact that these books make children of color uncomfortable because of the use of racial slurs is a sound and safe opinion. It brings comfort to anyone who finds the use of racial slurs disgusting. While all this is true, not teaching these controversial books is tiptoeing around the issue of race. Instead of ignoring the matter or pushing it
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In this case, it teaches students about racism, how it’s still a part of society today, and how it’s so deeply rooted in our country’s history. It’s necessary to talk to our students about slavery’s roots in the United States and how recent African-Americans only got their equal rights and treatment with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Act of 1965. John Schwetman, an assistant professor teaching American literature at the University of Minnesota Duluth, explained about a “conversation about literature… acknowledging changing reading tastes, changing values, changing concerns of readers.” (Louwagie) Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, wrote of her experience with racism in mind. It teaches the importance of morality and resonates with the white students. Scout herself learns from Atticus, her father, that “[y]ou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” (Lee 39) Throughout the novel, Scouts truly learns about racism, how it affects everyone, and how unfair it was toward the African community. We still have much to learn because there is very much still racism in today’s society. By using books like To
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