A young writer got film critic Roger Ebert to retract a statement and consider his entitlement after a recent tweet stating he’d “rather be called a nigger than a slave.”
Ebert’s tweet was published Wednesday in response to uproar of publisher New South Books releasing a version of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Fin” in which “nigger” is swapped out for “slave.”
It’s not that I agree with people updating Mark Twain’s work, which is supposed to reflect the reality people faced back then (and I don’t believe in trying to erase history, it’s the only way we’ll learn), but I just *really* hated that he felt the right to use the word, that he felt the right to choose which word is better (did he forget he’s white?) and that he would actually say which word he would rather be called when he will never be called neither. What was he thinking? SMH.
People need to think before they tweet and they need to think more before giving their opinion on races issues.Tweet him your opinions: @ebertchicago.
And the opinions were heard. This morning Ebert retracted his statement. “You know, this is very true” I’ll never be called a Nigger *or* a Slave, so I should shut the ****up,” Ebert wrote on Twitter.
It may be a little too late though. At the time of the publishing of this story his original message was still being re-tweeted hundreds of times and he’s hearing a lot more opinions now. And it seems like he didn’t learn his lesson, because this morning he was criticizing Columbus’ golden voice Ted Williams for having nine kids.
Listen to Colorlines.com’s own editorial director Kai Wright on NPR’s “All Things Considered” discussing the “Huckleberry Finn” saga:
Below, see some of the reaction to Ebert’s comments: