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Author Topic: "Mockingbird" shot down  (Read 106 times)

Curelom

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"Mockingbird" shot down
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:54:08 pm »
I actually think this is more of a "Current Event" topic than a "Book Club" one, but I'll follow the rules & start it here. But it is not really about the book itself.

We live in an era when microaggression has become a major issue, professors & students must analyze every word before saying something that could cause psychic injury to a classmate, workplace HR directors write policies & memos about every possible way someone could be offended, & the overwhelming objective in any public action or statement (outside the political arena, anyway) is to avoid causing offense. Here is encouraging news for people who are afraid of having young people exposed to things that make them uncomfortable. To Kill A Mockingbird, a modern American classic, has been pulled from a Mississippi school district’s 8th grade curriculum. The reason given: it “makes people uncomfortable.”

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/10/14/to-kill-a-mockingbird-removed-from-mississippi-school-district-curriculum-twitter-enraged/23243534/

Yes, it is a disturbing story of a time in our country when things happened that still burn our national conscience today. In many ways & for many reasons, the U.S. is a more complicated country today in the matter of race relations. Some of the issues the novel confronts are still not resolved to the satisfaction of anyone or any group represented in the story. Are 8th graders too young to learn about bigotry, justice delayed or denied, & the unspeakable atrocities of rape & lynching? Are their ears & minds too fragile to withstand the n-word without being cushioned by asterisks? In the world we live in, is it safe to presume most 8th graders are not new to any of those?

Other questions worth considering: if people are to regard themselves as educated, doesn’t that require being uncomfortable sometimes? How can anyone learn if they never see or hear anything outside their experience, personal or family belief system, or comfort level?

Is age 13 or 14 too soon for kids to start learning that the world is not entirely as it should be, that it has things in it that need changing, that not everyone in it is good & honorable & it needs more people who are, & the more they learn about it & everyone & everything in it, the better equipped they will be to make it the kind of place it should be?

 
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ketchupqueen

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Re: "Mockingbird" shot down
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 10:46:28 pm »
At that age my class was reading Farewell to Manzanar and the Diary of Anne Frank and The Crucible; Mockingbird was the next year. We also took our first of what would over the course of  Jr high and HS be 3 trips to the Museum of Tolerance where we walked through a simulated round up, cattle car ride, concentration camp barracks and gas chamber.

I remember very good discussions, and yes some crying and other discomfort.

It was formative, not harmful.
 

dyany

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Re: "Mockingbird" shot down
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 12:12:50 am »
Unfortunately, To Kill a Mockingbird has been banned in various places every moment of its existence.  Not great, but not really news to me, either. 

One thing that is somewhat unusual to me, though, is other news I heard today.  We know of the Harvey Weinstein debacle hitting the newsfeeds the last couple of weeks.  He is a scumbag that is finally, FINALLY being stopped.  Unfortunately, though, Hollywood's hypocrisy ruling everything, there is some fallout.  While they looked the other way and buried the reports of his sexual misconduct for decades, now that it is public and he is a pariah, everything he has touched is tainted, too.  Which means that the Current War movie that was quite a big production about the war between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse for control of electricity networks, which was due to be out very soon and has actually already been marketed and some of the stars out on press junkets (Benedict Cumberbatch had an appearance on the Tonight Show 2 weeks ago for this movie), has been pulled from release because he was involved with the production.  Yes, that's punishing him.  But it will more be punishing all of the 'little people' involved in the production, which is sad to me.  If Hollywood really gave a flying flip about Weinstein's deplorable behavior, he would have been thrown in jail DECADES ago.  But instead it's a 'act contrite if you get caught, in a way that really doesn't punish the evil person but looks like we're sorry' action.  Ugh.
 

pnr

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Re: "Mockingbird" shot down
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 08:25:43 am »
It was pulled from release because it is a current important asset, and no one is going to vote for them to get an Oscar for  it now, and people will refuse to see it in the theaters.  So they are waiting until things cool off when it (and the little guys that you wonder about punishment) will get the attention it apparently deserves without the cloud that would tank it in todays world.
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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dyany

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Re: "Mockingbird" shot down
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 01:55:32 pm »
I can see that, but it is still just a money-saving measure, not a solution or mea culpa for turning a blind eye to him for years and the decades of misogyny and exploitation they have committed. It's all empty rhetoric.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:23:08 am by dyany »
 

 

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