It’s pretty unfortunate that in the recent times, the responsibility of raising our kids to be respectful of others has been literally taken over by the Government. In practically every country of the Western World, political correctness is becoming the way and books are being torn away from the public eye and even off the shelves!
Many of these books make their way back with print revisions but there are some of those that have vanished entirely for the time being at least.
Here’s a list of top 10 books that are considered blatantly politically incorrect. Now… you be the judge.
10. Little House on the Prairie – 1935, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Owing to its treatment of American Indians (the Osage figure particularly, in the story), this book is considered off limits. And even though Laura Ingalls Wilder gives the readers an important historical look at the reigning social perspective through this book, it is still considered… well, politically incorrect.
This book is based on the premise of decades old memories of the author’s childhood in the Midwest region of the United States during the late 19th century.
9. Huckleberry Finn – 1884, Mark Twain
This book is without a doubt the most blatantly challenged book in the history of America. Even to this date, constant efforts are made to make this more palatable (re: suitable) for a modern audience.
Even though the Southern Society that this book satirized was a quarter century in the past by the time of the publication of this book – it however became immediately surrounded by controversy and has remained so until this day.
CBS TV went even so far as to produce a made-for-TV version of Finn that comprised no black cast members, no mention of slavery and sans the critical character, Jim.
8. Kim – 1900, Rudyard Kipling
The book is about the travels of an Anglo-Irish boy, Kim, who sojourns across the Indian continent. The depiction of Colonial India as was presented in the book is considered highly controversial by many people. Rudyard Kipling is incontrovertibly famous his ‘Jungle Book’.
7. Babar the Elephant – 1931, Jean de Brunhoff
A popular French children’s fictional character, Babar, The Elephant first appeared in the L’Histoire de Babar. According to some critiques and writers, it has been argued that though superficially delightful, these stories are offensive from a moral and political paradigm for their justification of French Colonial ideas.
6. Noddy and Bigears – 1949, Enid Blyton
Accused of homosexuality in recent times, Noddy and Bigears are two of Enid Blyton’s characters that have come under the fire of scrutiny because of various scenes in the books where they are shown to have shared a bed.
As ridiculous as it sounds, modern editions of the books have yet had those scenes removed, as that of any mention of the naughty golliwogs that live in the woods.
5. Dr Dolittle – 1920, Hugh Lofting
Owing to the usage of derogatory terms and the stereotypical depiction of certain ethnic groups, both in writing and illustration, the books have been accused of racism.
The Editions in the US sometimes has alterations made from the 1960s, but those books went out of print in the 1970s.
To mark the centenary of Lofting’s birth in 1986, new editions were published which had such passages rewritten or removed. The illustrations that were deemed offending were either removed/or, and replaced with unpublished Lofting’s originals, or entirely altered.
4. Little Black Sambo – 1899, Helen Bannerman
Even though this book is about an Indian boy, the illustrations in the original European version depict Sambo using ‘dark iconography’ – with black skin, wild curly hair and very bright red lips.
Also, the word ‘Sambo’ is long known to be a racial slur against the blacks. However, since the story in itself does not contain any racist ideas, recent publications tell the same story, only new images have replaced the originals.
3. The Three Golliwogs – 1946, Enid Blyton
This book is about three friendly golliwogs that find an abandoned house in the woods and move in.
The controversy surrounding this book, and infact, many of Blyton’s books is simply accorded to the fact that Golliwog character is now considered to be racist. Golliwogs have been depicted as being both villains and heroes.
2. Tintin au Congo – 1930, Hergé
The main criticisms surrounding the book, Tintin in the Congo can be accorded to the racist and colonialist views some believe this book depicts, and of course, the violence against animals angle. Herge is known to have later claimed that he was only projecting the views of those times. When the album was redrawn in 1946, Herge removed many references to the fact that Congo was a Belgian Colony at that time.
1. Ten Little Niggers – 1860, Septimus Winner
There remains no need to be explained why this rhyme is now considered politically correct and racially offensive. It is found in the adults’ novel Ten Little Niggers which is known as ‘And Then There Was None’. It’s Christie’s bestselling novel.
It has been derived from the original rhyme by Winner which was written for his minstrel show – however, in his original it was called ‘Ten Little Injuns.’