I am not, here, making any comment about Eliot's racism. But there is a fundamental difference between a novel with characters who are racists (Huck, by the way, is not, and Twain makes Huck say one of the most telling and powerful statements against racism when he has him apologize to Jim) and a poem in the poet's voice--as in Eliot's description of the Mississippi or several of his comments in critical articles unquestionably in his own voice.
So this topic always needs definition. For example, most objections to Anthony Julius's claim that Eliot was anti-Semitic made the irrelevant point that he had Jewish friends and often helped Jewish writers. Nothing Julius said was about that: he argued that Eliot created images of Jews that normalized anti-Semitism.
It is very hard to address these issues because, for example, constant propaganda by Hitler that made Jews rats and other vermin clearly helped normalize slaughtering them.
In this case, it matters whose voice is being discussed. One could say Yeats's poem is spoken by a person with vile ideas. And to make a broader case, one would need to see if it is a pattern and how the tone of the author emphasizes or treats it.
Nancy>>> Tom Gray <[log in to unmask]>10/12/15 2:07 PM >>>
Racism winds through "Huckleberry Finn" but is this racism that of Mark Twain?