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Vern Crisler <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 19:54:40 -0700
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At 04:00 PM 12/11/98 -0800, David S. Barber wrote:

>Back to Vern:  it may be that Arac is one of those "modern day philistines
>of political correctness," a "dimwit" and a "bozo."  This is a less polite
>way of reducing people to "opponents."  It seems to me singularly
>Even John Wallace, that easiest of targets, began his campaign against
>Adventures of HF as "racist trash" (he's a true opponent) because of an
>emotional trauma suffered by his son when the book was taught in his class.
>Real people with real sensitivities care about this issue.
>There's political correctness, perhaps, on both sides of the fence.

Thanks for your interesting comments, David.

First, on the question of philistines, dimwits, and bozos, let me say right
off that I was not referring to *serious* literary criticism of Twain or of
Huck Finn.  Rather, I was referring to those who would ban books.

Such as John Wallace.

Second, the quality of sensitivity is a fine quality to have: it is basic to
the golden rule.  But this most basic of virtues cannot serve as the
foundation for the banning of books, or for the de-education of America.  A
wise man counsels his son, educates him, uses inevitable schoolday trauma to
show him (or her) a better way.  He does not campaign against literature.

Despite your comments about politeness, I don't see why civility should be
extended to book banners.  They neither deserve our politeness, nor do they
deserve *Huck Finn* for that matter.

In any case, thanks for your comments on this subject.