Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tintin in a race row?
They'll be banning Shakespeare for Merchant of Venice next......

There have been reports all over the place about the Commission for Racial Equality condemning Borders for selling Tintin in the Congo.
I read about it first in the Telegraph, link via Dirk.

Border's has refused to withdraw it from sale but has removed it from the children's section and will now rack it amongst the adult Graphic Novels. I imagine Waterstones will follow suit soon.

Tintin in the Congo has only been available in Britain for a few years. It was previously unavailable because of the content. But Egmont published it in 2005 including a foreward to explain the subject matter and the context of the times it was written in. Someone has complained to the CRE about this book and the CRE has come out screaming.

I can remember reading other Tintin books as a young boy in Dudley library's children's section. I don't remember being turned into a bigoted racist by the depictions of many different races, same as I didn't begin to hate the French or the Italians for their not too polite characatures in Asterix. I was able to understand what the difference between an old image and real life was, even as a child. And I daresay that most children can.

It appears the CRE has, yet again, jumped all over something demanding it is banned without really stopping for breath.
When, really, in these enlightened times wouldn't it be nice, just for a change to actually calmly think about things before jumping up and down, all red in the face, screaming "ban this ban this"?

I want Molly to grow up somewhere that she can be challenged, can read many, many different things and make up her own mind about things.
Banning books is never the answer. Reading them just may be.

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