One of the biggest reasons a book is banned or challenged, especially if it's a children's book or YA, is profanity. Recently, I came across this image (seen on the right), about an interview with Angie Thomas, the author ofThe Hate U Give, and thought it summed up the issue perfectly. I shared it on my Facebook page where a follower of my page commented with why she still felt language was an issue, including her fear that kids would start to say the words if they read them. I replied, that follower deleted her comment, which in turn deleted my reply. So, I figured, I'd share my reply here:
"I can certainly understand why wanting to be cautious of particular words, especially words that are extremely offensive to groups of people, such as the n-word or the c-word. That being said, I believe the author's point is the situations she wrote about, police brutality and violence and the racism in this country, are more offensive than a curse word like the f-word, as it does more harm than a word like the f-word.
As someone who grew up in a house where we were told to read everything, my brother and I came across many words. It opened the door for discussion and conversation about those words, especially words like the n-word or the c-word, what they meant, how they came about, and why they shouldn't be used. More to the point, just because my brother and I read To Kill A Mockingbird or Huckleberry Finn, did not mean we walked around using the n-word. Similarly, when we came across the f-word in reading, it did not mean we walked around saying the f-word. Just as a kid can learn boundaries, or they can learn that just because Superman can fly in a movie doesn't mean they can jump off a roof and not hurt themselves, children can learn the difference between reading words in a story and using those words in their daily vernacular.
My question is, why is the f-word put on the same level of offense as police brutality, violence, and racism?"
Gathering dust in the depths of my mind, random thoughts dusted off and put out there for the world to see...