Sunday, July 15, 2007

TinTin Banned - Sales Rocket

Is the tide finally turning against Political Correctness?

Sales of comic book, Tintin in the Congo, have rocketed 3,800%, reaching No. 6 on the 'Amazon Hot 100 Books', since Britain's Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) claimed it was racist.

Borders, a British chain of bookstores, said Wednesday it had yanked copies of Tintin in the Congo from its children's sections following these comments from the CRE,

"This book contains imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice, where the 'savage natives' look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles. How and why do Borders think that it's okay to peddle such hideous racist prejudicial material?"

Tintin in the Congo, which first appeared in Belgian newspaper Le Vingtieme Siecle as a comic strip in 1930-1931, is part of the series The Adventures of Tintin by the Belgian author and illustrator Herge.

But its tale of boy reporter Tintin's trip with his dog Snowy to what was then the Belgian Congo is seen as controversial by some because of its depiction of colonialism and racism, as well as casual violence towards animals. Herge later said the book was merely a reflection of the naive views of the time.

Update; 'field' in the comments section provides some less than savoury background on the author, Herge. However, just because it makes us queasy today to look back at what was considered acceptable language 80 years ago, does not mean we should ban it and pretend views like these were never aired. Erasing history is what they do in the book '1984' - not in real life.

Other bloggers' opinions;
A Tangled Web
Tim Worstall
The Brussels Journal