Friday, November 30, 2007

More PC Crap in High Schools

Via La Shawn Barber. A Cincinannati high school canceled the performance of a play based on an Agatha Christie novel because the original publication of Christie's novel was under the title Ten Little Niggers (in 1939). The book has since been republished under the titles of Ten Little Indians and now And Then There Were None:
A widely performed school play has been canceled by Lakota officials after a recent meeting with a local NAACP official.

The internationally acclaimed play - Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians" - was to be performed by students at Lakota East High School this weekend.

But Gary Hines, president of the local NAACP branch, recently complained to Lakota officials that the play, based on Christie's 1939 mystery novel, was inappropriate for a school production.
Hines said the book's original title and cover illustration used for its initial publishing that year in England was a racial slur toward blacks and included a cover illustration of a black person and a hangman's noose.

"The original title was 'Ten Little (N - - - - - -),' and it is important to say that because that was the actual title," Hines said Monday.

The title of the international bestseller was widely changed after 1939, and school theater productions in America have performed the murder mystery play as either "Ten Little Indians" or "And Then There Were None" for decades since.

Hines claims that a lack of racial diversity among Lakota's students and teachers allowed the play to be chosen despite the history surrounding its original title.

"It's a lack of diversity knowledge on their part. Diversity is not a way of life in Lakota," Hines said.
Give me a break!! Look, we have enough of a problem getting kids to understand you know actual history for them to worry about the history of a particular publication. The "diversity" of which Hines speaks of is rediculous. He criticizes a community that he probably has never been to and I certainly have not visited.

Barber writes: T
wo points here. First, Christie was a product of her times. When she chose the title Ten Little Niggers, the term nigger was in common usage, at least in the U.S. In due time, the title was changed. That doesn’t make it any less offensive, but the book’s original title doesn’t detract from the intricately plotted story she wove together. The book itself isn’t racist in the least. I’d recommend her books to anyone who wants to enjoy a good, old-fashioned, “cozy” English murder mystery.

Second, I think it was ridiculous of the school to cancel the play. But you already know what I think. If Hines is bored with his day job to the point of complaining about a high school play (free advertising for his skin color-based business?), I’d recommend he give it up and travel the country researching racist intent behind everything from local laws to historical landmarks to gun control (I wonder if he believes in the right to bear arms…) to works of art to church traditions. If he looks hard enough, he’ll find it.

The very concepts of dialogue, discussion, and debate have deteriorated in this country, thanks to that odious practice called political correctness, let alone actually engaging in these things. It saddens me that individuals and institutions prostrate themselves before the PC god, deathly afraid of appearing insensitive at best or racist at worst.

Both Christie’s book and play have inherent value worth discussing, and discussing “offensive” things would help those high school students hone their intellect. Engaging in debate - learning how to formulate and support arguments, cross-examine opponents, etc. - is a stimulating exercise that shouldn’t be stifled because the subject might be controversial or offensive. Canceling the play, no matter how trivial it may seem to have done so, sends the wrong (albeit PC) message.
But Barber forgets, the PC crowd and people like Hines don't actually want kids to be educated and capable of rational discourse and discernment, they want PC spouting puppets who will toe the line of what is defined (by the PC liberal left) as "proper thinking."

I am sure La Shawn knows that, but I thought I would make sure we all know it as well.

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