Fiction— “Mark Twang,” a Biografy

[To those who believe racism is dead, I present an essay that I discovered at school. Riddled with poor thinking and writing, the paper represents (to me) the clouded judgment of xenophobia. It is only too bad the student forgot to write their name at the top.]

[I found the essay wedged into a scantron machine. Why remains a mystery, although I suspect the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree of knowledge.]

[On top is an A+.]

[I do not think the grader read too closely.]

[The title is: “Mark Twang.” This could have been clever if the paper discussed his use of regional accents. The paper does not.]

Mark Twain creates the Americana in his book Huckleberry Finn is a Harsh Mistress. Americana is the word America with a Mexican “na” added to make it sound fancy-like, which is what those Mexicans is doing, trying to make America into a lady.

[The paper’s blatant racism begins here. It never ends.]

Humanities sounds like Humanish which is what other races are. Human and ish. Mama says they’s brains are bad. Mama says my brain is not bad. Mama says brains are like gum in our heads; the less we use them the less they get chewed up.

[The student finally returns to the subject.]

Mark Twain was born Hannibal Missouri but he changed his name to Mark Twain after he chopped an apple tree “in twain.” Mark Twain was a cat in disguise which he admits when he says: “No one knew I was a cat in disguise.”

[Oddly, this student has learned the proper use of direct quotes, quote marks, brackets, etc.]

Mark was so poor he could only afford one suit, and he bleached it white so it wouldn’t look dirty. What surprised me the most about Mark Twain was that photographs existed in the Middle Ages. Sometimes black and white people were friends, other times they were slaves, and other times they were just pictures.

Now Mister Mark was committed to treating other races equally as inferiors, as can be seen by Jim. (My teacher won’t let me use his real name because it’s too controversial. One of our daily grades was to color it throughout the book with expo markers.) But Mark calls him the n-word over and over again, no matter how many times Jim makes good decisions. That’s because Twain treats all races equally as inferiors.

[What?]

In conclusion, finally, suddenly, conclusively, Twain said there’s nothing wrong with racism when he says “I had no aversion to slavery” and that he is “not aware that there [is] anything wrong about it.” Plus “God approved it.”

[This is missing context. Mark admits this was his thought process as a child, but he greatly improved his understanding by adulthood.]

I try to hate everybody the same, except I don’t hate Mama, only when she’s pooping in the garbage disposal.

And that’s my biografy.

[This marks the student’s one and only spelling error.]

[The paper ends with a couple doodles of the sink.]