Tintin in the Trash Bin?
Borders Stores in the UK are removing the Tintin Graphic Novel “Tintin in the Congo” after a customer complained the book was racist. The book does contain racist depictions of Africans as subhuman savages who come to worship Tintin and his dog Snowy as gods. The book as been widely referred to as racist and has not been available in an unedited version until 2005, which featured a disclaimer explaining about the colonial period in which it took place. The customer was not fully happy with Borders decision and wanted the book removed from the store like other racist material.
I think Borders made the right decision in moving the book from the children’s section, but what about the other Tintin book’s. The feature negative and stereotypical depictions of other races such as Indians, Asians and Native Americans. They also feature alcohol abuse by a drunken sea captain. Couldn’t the point be made that none of these books are appropriate for children and should be placed in the adult graphic novel section. These books were written in the 1930′s and feature a much different sensibility than today’s ultra PC climate.
Getting offended at these books doesn’t make sense because they were not written today. It was a different time period and you have to understand that when reading them. I still think the books are appropriate for children but parent’s need to explain to them that the depictions of people are not real or true, after all it is still a comic book. People used to think that way but it wasn’t right and today we have progressed to be more accepting of people in our society, hopefully.
The suggestion to ban the book outright, just because it is “racist” is ludicrous though. What is the point of freedom of speech and the press if we start banning books because they are offensive? Should Huckleberry Finn be banned because the “N” word is used in it? Even though that was the commonly used word at the time period? How can we get an accurate sense of a historical time period if we censor language? Should “Mein Kampf” be banned from books stores because it is a racist document. Or does it still have value as a historical document that can be analyzed today to see what created one of the worst events in human history? Editing the past to make it seem more PC does not help people, nor does it make the events go away. The past needs to be looked at with all of its unpleasantness in order for people of the present to learn from its mistakes and make sure they don’t happen again.Written by D WallZ
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