Monday, May 30, 2011

"To Kill a Mockingbird" Cancelled... [older news]

To say I'm disappointed is really just the simplest way to put it.  I don't want to turn this into another rant because I've already talked about To Kill a Mockingbird before, and to argue and posit theories would be a waste of breath on this matter.  So today I'm just going to show a few clips from two articles from the, dated May 13, 2011:
Students at Morgan High School will not get to see the play "To Kill A Mockingbird" after the superintendent decided to cancel a planned performance. 
Lori Snyder-Lowe, superintendent for Morgan Local School District, said she received several calls from parents concerned about the play because it contains a racial slur. The play was scheduled to be performed for students this week. 
Snyder-Lowe said she made her decision after calling other school districts and learning they had not allowed the play at school either.
Oh, I get it!  One school didn't let the performance happen, so NO school should.  Right?  *sigh*
Bruce Revennaugh, secretary for the Zane Trace Players, said he was disappointed after he learned he would not be producing the play for the students. 
Revennaugh said he contacted the publishing company for permission to exchange the word for another, and he was refused. 
The company receives requests "every once in a while" to remove the word, said Chris Sergel, vice president of Dramatic Publishing, but making someone uncomfortable is not a sufficient reason to change a vital piece of American literature. 
"Being uncomfortable with history is not means to change it," Sergel said. "We've always denied these requests. People need to figure out how to confront issues." 
Revennaugh said he thinks an opportunity to have an open dialogue about issues was lost.
Mr. Revennaugh, how right you are... in a way.  Granted the opportunity for dialogue about the actual issue of race is now obscured, but the issue of censorship is not a discussion taking place, so at least something is coming out of all this.  Maybe.  If nothing else, the ACLU got involved, according to the second article from the same site:
The book is an acclaimed piece of American literature, Hardiman [legal director for the Ohio ACLU] said, which has for decades created opportunities for youth and adults to discuss the history of racism and injustice. 
Censoring it deprives students the ability to think critically about these issues, form their own opinions and understand the evolution of human rights, Hardiman said. 
“Today, racism is hidden in the closest,” Hardiman said. “In the 1960s, it was in your face. Now it’s more subtle. Banning this topic, the school officials are denying students the opportunity to understand the history of intolerance and injustice in our country and how it may be relevant to their lives today.”
My thoughts exactly, Mr. Hardiman.  My thoughts exactly.  But apparently what we've come to do so well in the modern society of ours, is forget all about this thing called context.  It would save us a lot of grief if people could learn to understand the concept of context.  And I would love to be able to make people see that.  But what is a poor blogger to do but blog and hope.  And so that is what I do.  I blog, and I hope.

Ciao for now!  (and a fun little play with context below...)

Don't they know Trojans are a brand of condoms?  They might want 
to change that before someone thinks their school promotes sex...  
Oh wait, context!!

1 comment:

  1. Good for the publishing company!

    but ROB, ROB, Rob... did I not drill into you sufficiently? CanceLLed, not canceLed.... despite what the article says! (Unless you add quotation marks, which points out that the error is theirs...)