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Huckleberry Finn is a story about a particular time when social attitudes differed from today's acceptable standards. The "n word" was commonly used by society at the time of this story, but he does not write it to be slandering a race of people. His character Jim is presented as a fine friend to Huckleberry. To use any form of the word other than what was true of that time period would make the rest of the story dishonest. In fact, in some of Mark Twain's earlier newspaper articles from Virginia City, Nevada mining days, he describes a 4th of July parade:
"At the far end of the procession was a long double file of the proudest, happiest scoundrels I saw yesterday. ...They did all it was in their power do, poor devils, to modify the prominence of the contrast between black and white faces, which seems so fateful to their white fellow creatures, by putting their lightest colored darkies in the front rank, then glooming down by some unaggavating and nice graduated shades of darkness to the fell and dismal blackness of undefiled and unalloyed (n--) at the remote extremity of the procession.
"It was a fine stroke of strategy--the day was dusty and no man could tell where the white folks left off and the n--s began. ... Through this vast, drifting cloud of smiles their white teeth glimmered fitfully like heat lightning on a summer's night. If a white man honored them with a smile in return, they were utterly overcome and fell to bowing like Oriental devotees, and attempting the most extravagant and impossible smiles, reckless of lockjaw.
"I was rather irritated at the idea of letting these fellows march in the procession myself, at first, but I would have scorned to harbor so small a thought if I had known the privilege was going to do them so much good. There seemed to be a religious-benevolent society among them with a banner--the only one in the colored ranks, I believe--and all hands seemed to take boundless pride in it. The banner had a picture on it, but I could not exactly get the hang of its significance. It presented a very black and uncommonly sick-looking n-- in bed attended by 2 other n-s--one reading the Bible to him and the other one handing him a plate of oysters, but what the very mischief of this blending of contraband dissolution, raw oysters, and Christian consolation could possibly be symbolical of was more than I could make out."
Mark Twain was just reflecting the social thinking of 1865. That is historical fact. Rewriting it to appease 2011 social thinking terms would be dishonest.Jan 11, 2011
Sometimes I feel like someone has one foot nailed to the floor the way any news article is used in these blogs to rehash the same old lines of vitriolic banter. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but I feel insulted when they don't address the issue and perpetuate the same old attacks against those they disagree with. I was taught to be aware that when you point a finger of criticism at someone else, the rest of the fingers of the hands are also pointing back at you. So maybe we all ought to take a deeper breath of fresh air before jumping onto these blogs so hatefully and look at ourselves first? "Let he who is spotless cast the first stone."Jan 11, 2011
"He was considered by all to be very wise...until he opened his mouth and spoke."Jan 11, 2011
It has become obvious that relying upon systems of procedure are not infallible. People fall through the cracks every day. Perhaps a bigger problem is in too much reliance upon our agencies to solve our problems and protect citizens. Perhaps the real problem is the individual's failure to pay attention to those around him and do whatever he can to deter unacceptable behavior. This nation is undergoing a major re-education of its foundational values, hopefully to gain a truer perspective of how to deal with that more peaceably than ranting and raving like a 2 year old or shooting someone else. It is time to restore some sense and dignity in how we relate to each other.Jan 11, 2011
I am certain the President is relating to this incident as a parent, having daughters of his own. His appearances and comments on television are reflecting genuine sympathy on behalf of the nation, as they should. I commend him for that. I just wonder why it took something as tragic as this to get him to relate to us average Americans and the ongoing turmoils of daily living these days? However, though I concur with former comments personally, this is not the time nor place to be discussing it. This is about a travesty that occurred in Tucson, AZ. Other issues have no place in our comments. Jan 11, 2011
This sheriff's comments in response to the tragic incident shows a lack of discrimination in regard to his position of authority in choosing to express his own agenda rather than the matter at hand to the media. Law enforcement has been stressed to the max this past year, but it does not excuse the poor timing to express his personal opinions to the nation using his position. On behalf of most Arizonans, I apologize for his guffaw and the furror that it has ignited. Perhaps he feels too burned out and ought to retire?Jan 11, 2011
I've watched society's victimization of killers' families before and how their lives became further devastated. They, too, are grieving heavier than the rest of us, in many ways. Unless they had a direct part in a killer's misguided decisions, they should be included in our prayers for support to live through the coming years with our blessings, not curses. We all are feeling hurt and saddened, and in America we all pull together to surmount these kinds of incidents, don't we?Jan 11, 2011
CHILD OF HOPE
This child of hope, so young and wise
was born 'mid tragedy
that day of 9/11 in '01.
She birthed with other babes like her
as rays of hope from travesty.
And in her few short years she grew
deep interest in helping all.
Her death so suddenly today
has sparked mankind to prayer en masse,
and in the hours as we respond
her life rebirths as Hope fulfilled
to rise above our politics,
our creeds and -isms and our greed
to live high-minded once again.
Thank you, Christina Taylor Green
Jan 11, 2011
From Homeland Security's office Oct. 14: "...a meeting was held in Puerto Penasco in which every smuggling organization who utilized the Vekol Valley was told to attend. This included rival groups within the Guzman cartel. It was decided that the cartel would send a group of 15 very well equipped and armed sicarios complete with bullet proof vests into the Vekol Valley. The group will walk into the valley taking 4 days to get into LPOP positions and communicate back to Penasco. Penasco will then send groups of simulated backpakers carrying empty boxes covered with burlap into the Vekol Valley to draw out the bandits. Once the bandits have been identified, the sicarios will take out the bandits. Incidentally, the night of the Vekol Valley shooting [April 30-Deputy Puroll] we received information from a source who reported that the scouts in the valley (the cartel has 23 scout locations with rolling encryption) were reporting that bandits had shot 2 sheriff's deputies and the area was covered with cops." There is your factual proof that the drug cartel is fighting its wars in Pinal County, not all south of the border. Still think the deputy's ambush was a hoax?Oct 15, 2010
When we watch too much CSI and Rambo versions of Hollywoodized cops, we tend to get a lot of false impressions about the reality of life and the job, making fantasy mountains out of ordinary molehills. What appears out of place in this whole matter is the insertion of SB1070 comments and swipes at Sheriff Babeu, which had nothing to do with the incident when it happened while the deputy was on duty doing his usual job. I think the sheriff described it well when he said the deputy was the victim in this matter, period.
And as far as the two "experts" quoted so often, if they were so expert beyond textbook teaching they would know how unethical and unprofessional it is to make a conclusive judgment off of a photograph without considering ALL of the evidence in the matter firsthand. Surely their "expert" testimony would get thrown out of a courtroom. Guess we'll all human, huh?
Though no one else will say it, I wish to extend my gratitude to Deputy Puroll for his service to protect us citizens from the vicious drug smuggling that has invaded this state. And I'd like to say, "Keep up the good work. Thank you. You're my kind of guy!"Oct 9, 2010