It's not a surprise that "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been banned in the Biloxi school district. That book and "Huck Finn" have been some of the most frequently challenged books.
"There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable", according to the superintendent.
That's the way I felt about it too.
My daughter read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in high school. I picked up her copy one day, because I needed something to read and thought it might be good to re-read it.
I was surprised to find notes written all through the book. She not only READ the book, but she THOUGHT ABOUT what she read. (And it wasn't just because it was a school assignment. Other books she was assigned didn't have a mark in them.)
She just texted me about this whole situation and I really liked what she had to say:
"Just went and reread some of To Kill a Mockingbird and noticed one of the things I underlined. This quote right here is what kills me about it being banned, it's towards the end, where Scout is talking to Jem and he starts saying that people are born rich or poor, smart or dumb and that that predetermined fate is what defines them.
She says, 'Naw Jem, I think there's just one type of folks. Folks.'
If everyone fully comprehended that line, how cool would our world be? If everyone took a second to lift the barrier between white or black, rich or poor, religious or atheistic, gay or straight, democrat or republican, there is only one type of folks, folks. While the book may have language that is offensive to some, I think the greater offense to a lot of people was the idea of accepting that very concept."
Something else to think about-- she kept that book. Through high school and college. And knew exactly where to find it in her apartment.
When was the last time a book meant that much to you?
I'm not crazy about words in a lot of things... the rap songs blaring from the car next to me (or my daughter's phone), the "R" rated movie or for that matter, the Netflix show about the football team at my son's junior college (he was appalled when we wanted to watch it, because of all the "F's").
But where do we draw these lines? Is Shakespeare next? "Out, damned spot"?
I hate the idea of banning this book, because it's the ONE book that really reached my daughter in high school.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)