The Washington Post raised eyebrows over the Fourth of July weekend after tweeting about “problematic books” that could be swept up in the cultural shift following the death of George Floyd.
Over the past several weeks, many television shows and films have been the subject of re-examination. Shows like “Cops” and “Live PD” have been canceled, sitcom episodes that feature blackface have been pulled and “Gone With the Wind” was temporarily removed from the HBO Max library.
Washington Post book critic Ron Charles suggested books will also face a day of reckoning in a piece headlined “While offensive TV shows get pulled, problematic books are still inspiring debate and conversation.”
In the piece published on Friday, Charles invokes famous literature that may be seized upon in the national dialogue like William Shakespeare’s “Othello,” Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
While he opposed the tolerance of “plainly racist books,” Charles decried cancel culture as the anecdote to address famous novels with nuanced depictions of race.
“If cancel culture has a weakness, it’s that it risks short-circuiting the process of critical engagement that leads to our enlightenment,” Charles wrote. “What’s more insidious is the self-satisfaction that comes from calibrating our Racism Detector to spot only a few obvious sins. Scanning videos for blackface or searching text files for the n-word is so much easier than contending with, say, the systemic tokenism of TV rom-coms or the unbearable whiteness of Jane Austen.” – READ MORE
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --