Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sanitising History

I read an article recently about how publishers are re-releasing classing novels with older words replaced my more politically correct ones. The novel at the centre of this particular article was Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. In it the publishers have seen fit to replace the word 'nigger' with slave. In all honesty I cannot remember seeing anyone being offended by the work of Mark Twain, has society become so fearful that it is willing to re-write history just to make it more palatable to themselves.
I once went to central Uganda where I was in the ethnic minority. People would chase our truck down the mud track tracks shouting, 'Mzungu, mzungu' after us. Mzungu is defined here on the Urban Dictionary however, when we asked the children what it meant they replied, 'White and angry' which I thought was a good description of the average Caucasian in Africa. Not once was any native person upset by being called 'black' or 'nigger' or anything else as they had no concept of racism. perhaps the problems in the world are simply our making. Do we use political correctness as an apology for our inherent racism rather than dealing with the issue within ourselves and accepting that in some measure we are all racist.
I lived in the north of England for nine years and frequently, because of my accent I was picked on for being a southerner. This is not called racism just regional banter. But what if we change north to white and south to nigger? How would our regional differences sound then?