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Kane, Ishema

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Blog Mädchenmannschaft - Germany | 24/01/2013

The word "Neger" hurts in German kids' books

The announcement of Thienemann publishing house that it will remove discriminatory terms, including "Neger", which covers the meanings "negro" as well as "nigger" from children's book classics has triggered a debate in Germany. In his article for German newspaper Die Zeit, Ulrich Greiner described the move to update the language as a crime against literature. This prompted nine-year-old Ishema Kant to write a reader's letter which the Blog Mädchenmannschaft publishes: "I am very angry with you. Why shouldn't it be forbidden to write 'nigger' in children's books? You have to be able to see things from other people's point of view. My father is Senegalese and very dark brown, and I'm milky-coffee brown. Imagine if you were a German-African and lived in Germany. You read newspapers and buy Die Zeit of January 17, 2013. … In it, it says that the word 'nigger' is to be taken out of children's books and that this will supposedly spoil the books. I think it's totally shitty that the word should stay in children's books. ... You can't imagine what it feels like to read or hear that word. It is simply very very nasty. My father is not a nigger! The same goes for all Africans!"

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