To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Why It’s Banned: For its racial slurs and positioning of a main character as a white savior.
My Take: I can absolutely empathize with the uncomfortable language and themes presented in this book about white supremacy and black oppression. I can understand why some would want to ban this kind of literature from schools.
However, being a white privileged woman, reading this only helped to make me understand yet another layer of historical prejudices and make me feel—truly feel—how horrible human nature can be.
I was so heartbroken to be reminded about how the trial against Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape, ended. I cringed every time the “n” word was said, and the ignorant comments made by white society. I know it was a time period piece, and so I kept putting it in perspective, but it was still uncomfortable.
And uncomfortable is exactly what we all need to be to even begin to understand the plight of our historic and ongoing actions against those of other races, creeds, sexual orientation, etc.
I know myself I have a lot to learn…and I think we owe it to younger generations to show them how it used to be (ugh, how it unfortunately STILL is) so they can pave the way for how it should never be again. Ignorance to history will not heal the world; awareness will—and that means being uncomfortable; all of us being uncomfortable enough to ensure the future is based on change.
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