Apparently, this Spring, a new edition of the classic novel Huckleberry Finn that removes all examples of the n word and replaces it with the word “slave.” This is so that it may be taught and read again without fear of repercussions of being labeled a racist.
This is a great idea, I say. It is not as though there may be a deeper point behind the use of the word, or that Mark Twain was trying to call attention to the continuing persecution that black people were facing immediately following the end of the Civil War. But why stop with that one novel? Art throughout American history has shown some rather racist ideas. They must be corrected to be accessible – without the director’s consent, of course. Below, I suggest some rather offensive films and some ways to change them. I hope that the more forward thinking people in this nation are able to take action
Birth of a Nation-A film that is beyond redemption and is far too old to have any value whatsoever, it must be destroyed. No editing can salvage it. Publicly, if at all possible. I suggest a giant fire be lit in the center of towns across America, in which all extant prints of the film would then be thrown. Marshmallows would only add to the fun.
Gone with the Wind-Most references to Scarlett O’Hara’s slaves would have to be eliminated. Hattie McDaniel should retroactively lose the Oscar she won. After all, how can such a racist caricature be important? The “birthing no babies” scene would have to be recreated so that it makes Mammy sound more erudite (ie – please, forgive me miss, but I am currently unaware of the exact procedure to perform the episiotomy and complete the birth). This will take some work, but it can be done.
Song of the South-It must be withdrawn from home video circulation in the U.S. Oh wait, this has already happened? Way to be proactive, Disney! Also, James Baskett’s Oscar (the first to be awarded to a black man) would have to be retroactively taken away. Such racist figures do not deserve accolades.
Blazing Saddles-This is a film that makes light of racism and says the n word as though it is being paid to do so. As with this new version of Huckleberry Finn, it should be replaced with the word “slave.” Never mind that slavery was no longer in effect when the film takes place – it is for the children. In addition, scenes should be reshot so that the towns people welcome sheriff Bart immediately. Any comedy at his expense must be removed.
Do the Right Thing-The film takes place in a Harlem neighborhood and centers around race relations. But it is far too tense a film – the minorities act as though they do not always get along. That should be eliminated. In addition, the end of the film, in which a white police officer kills a black youth, is far too racially charged. Better to edit the film and make the police officer black as well – that way, it is a comment on police brutality, but not about racial tension. This version of the film would be more acceptable for all.
Crash (2005)-This silly little film that supposedly “explores” racism in Los Angeles actually ends up promoting it instead. It has no redeeming value; it must be destroyed. Publicly, if at all possible. As with Birth of a Nation, I suggest a giant fire be lit in the center of towns across America, in which all extant prints of the film would then be thrown. Marshmallows would only add to the fun. (Actually, I kind of already wish this would happen).
Note: I hope that no one reading this thinks that I am being serious. Obviously, all of these films should not be touched. They may be offensive to our modern eyes, but they are also a part of our history. We cannot deny it or try to change it. Doing so is just a cheap ploy to make ourselves feel better.