'To Kill a Mockingbird' has recently been taken off a reading list in a Mississippi school district due to some of the language making people feel uncomfortable. I think one of the reasons this story has gone somewhat viral (think front page of Reddit) is due to the ridiculousness anyone thinking that a novel about racism in 1930's America SHOULDN'T make people feel uncomfortable. To say children shouldn't read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is to say they shouldn't read a Pulitzer prize winning novel that is one of the (if not the) foremost literary commentary on racial, gender and class inequality. Also, to say that children shouldn't read anything that makes them feel uncomfortable is to stop them from ever being challenged by literature.
You only have to go back to this news article from July 2017 to read about a black teenager being made the first black valedictorian in her Mississippi schools history, only to receive a slew of racist messages in response. This shows that racism still exists in the states schools and makes it even more important that they are providing their schoolchildren with books like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' that tackle the same issues still being faced today. The vice-president of the school board did say 'we can teach the same lesson with other books'. I would argue that if these 'other books' are tackling such serious issues without making anyone feel uncomfortable then they aren't doing it as honestly, powerfully or realistically as Harper Lee.
Hiding parts of our history, literary or otherwise, because they make people uncomfortable takes away our chance to learn from them. A much more effective way to address it is to teach why these things make us uncomfortable to hopefully help prevent history from repeating itself.
Voted number one by librarians ahead of The Bible as the book 'every adult should read before they die'.