Biloxi School District administrators announced that the Pulitzer Prize winning novel would be removed from the 8th-grade curriculum after parents complained that the book’s language “makes people uncomfortable,” AL.com reports. Most notably for author, Harper Lee's use of “the n word” which appears 48 times in the book.
To Kill a Mockingbird is no stranger to controversy. School districts across the country have often been criticized for making the novel required reading, since the 60s. It was first banned in Hanover, Virginia in 1966 after a parent complained about the use of rape as a plot device.
The irony about banning it over racial slurs is that it's literally about how racism is wrong. The main plot centers around a rape trial, in which an innocent black man was framed and convicted. Attorney, Atticus Finch represents the wrongfully accused man (Tom Robinson), despite being harassed by the other locals. In doing so he teaches his children, Scout and Jem, the importance of acceptance and standing up for what you believe in. “The n word” is never glorified and is only spoken by the racists in the story to show their ugly side. Context matters.
Yet again political correctness proves itself to be a cancer. How can we address racial diversity without talking about race? Better yet, how can students be prepared for the future if they aren't presented with real world scenarios? To think we can just sweep such things under the rug and expect things to change is asinine.