Liberal political correctness is running amok again. The latest example is the move to censor Mark Twain's Huck Finn. As the Los Angeles Times editorial page observes,
Alan Gribben, an English professor at Auburn University, is working with NewSouth Books in Alabama to publish a joint edition of Mark Twain's classics, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer," in which the word "nigger" — used 219 times in "Huck Finn" alone — is replaced by the word "slave." Other politically correct alterations include a name change for menacing villain Injun Joe (now he's "Indian Joe"). Frankly, Scarlett, we give a darn about this kind of bowdlerism.
So do I. So, apparently, does much of America, to judge by the widespread indignation triggered by Gribben's move. The blunt fact is that in effacing the "n" word from Twain's text, the editors are countermanding his own repudiation of slavery as well as rewriting America's past. Anyone who thinks Twain was a racist--a charge sometimes hurled at him--fundamentally misunderstands the novel. The novel is, at bottom, about Huck's own struggle to reconcile his racist impulses with his affection for Nigger Jim.