From the ALA:
"Challenged in Eden Valley, Minn. (1977) and temporarily banned due to words "damn" and "whore lady" used in the novel. "Give me a break.
"Challenged in the Vernon Verona Sherill, N.Y School District (1980) as a "filthy, trashy novel:"
"Challenged at the Warren, Ind.Township schools (1981) because the book ... "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature:"
"[Challenged, unsuccessfully] in the Casa Grande, Ariz. Elementary School District (1985), despite the protests by black parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who charged the book was unfit for junior high use."
If you've read the novel you know the context of the "bad" words. As with the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the "n" word usage is taken out of context in this challenge. Banning the word "nigger" is futile anyway, the kind of freedom of speech infringement that comes with good, but deadly,intentions. How can you ban a word when you haven't treated the thoughts behind the word?
If one decides that writing about institutionalized racism "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature" (?) then how will students learn about it?
Answer: they won't.
This explains the number of brutally ignorant people walking around. It explains some of my own ignorance. Probably some of yours, too. There is so much that we were never taught because of decorum, complaisance & the emphasis on 'good (i.e conformed, unoriginal) behavior'.
If something evil came for my books in the middle of the night, this is one of the ones it would have to pry from my cold dead fingers.
I first read To Kill A Mockingbird when I was 12. It was recommended to me by my Great Grandmother and became part of my mental awakening, sparking social consciousness and opening my mind to what literature could be. It teaches the fallacy of prejudice, the false premise & flawed conclusions of prejudice.
Prejudice is wrong because with it society can devalue men like Tom Robinson & Boo Radley for the sake of animals like Bob Ewell.
I understand why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Maybe the NAACP can learn this, too.