Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That Racist Tintin

A faithful reader in Sweden sends us a report about a new kerfuffle over “racism”, this one because of Tintin:

Tintin in the CongoA man called Sabuni representing the so-called Afro-Swedish National Association made a big hullabaloo this morning on the Swedish State Public Service Radio because the cartoon album Tintin in the Congo has been republished.

He is demanding that the whole edition, which has already been printed, be withdrawn. The album first published 1931 is said to be very racist, showing black people (Negroes) with white eyeglobes and low intelligence, and is supposed to make the situation for Africans in Sweden worse (!) and obstruct their possibilities to get jobs, win sympathy etc — and of course influence younger readers in the wrong direction.

In his arguing he refers to the Swedish past: textbooks from the ’50s stating that Negroes lack intelligence, eugenics from the 30s up till 1975, and trading with slaves in the 1700s and other ‘dirty’ businesses. (FEEL GUILT!)
- - - - - - - - -
Tintin in the CongoNothing yet about it in any papers that I have seen. The Discrimination Ombudsman (DO-Linna) has not yet engaged!

A guess — is this Mr. Sabuni a relative, brother or something, to the minister with the same name [Nyamko Sabuni, the Minister for Integration in Sweden’s current government], trying to profile himself and rising in society to those levels where little work is very well paid?


History Snark said...

Well I have to say, just looking at the images here, that it likely is very racist. So I see that point.

But it all comes down in the end to censorship. As I've said many times, I might think it's racist and disgusting, but that doesn't excuse censorship.

Look at it as being merely an exercise in History, showing how far our culture has come in the last 70 years.

ziontruth said...

The greatest tragedy for the Left would be the end of racism. They'd be left (no pun intended) with nothing to do. Judging by the acceleration of the pace in which they manufacture incidents and examples of "racism" from thin air, I'd say the end of racism is near. Except for the Left's own, "acceptable", brand of racism, that is--"reparations" and "corrective discrimination" laws.

Ironically, the Tintin books had at least two instances of Western self-criticism:

1. In The Blue Lotus, Gibbon's cruelty toward the Chinese natives is an allegory of what's wrong with Western colonialism.

2. The two-part series The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun goes even farther back in history, criticizing the Western pillaging of the New World.

Already in his day, Hergé had to make modifications because of the reception of some of his books. Land of Black Gold was originally about the British Mandate of Palestine, but was changed to being about a fictional Arab state (Khemed), and that caught on with him in his later books (the South American banana republics of San Theodoros and Nuevo Rico, and the Eastern European states of Syldavia and Borduria).

I liked best the part in Cigars of the Pharaoh where (I may already have mentioned it in a previous post here) Tintin is taken to an Arab sheikh in the middle of the desert, who calls him an "infidel dog", at which Tintin replies, "You mind your language!" The sheikh bursts out, "We can do without the worthless clutter of your so-called civilization!" and then asks his name. When Tintin answers, the sheikh is suddenly overjoyed, saying, "Come to my arms! For years I have read your exploits! Allah is good, that he should bring you to my humble tent", and his [black] slave produces a copy of Destination Moon, one of two Tintin books about Tintin being the first to set foot on the moon.

For all his gaffes, as well as the lip-service he had to pay to the emerging Post-Colonial paradigm, Hergé still had the freedom not to take the new PC fundamentalism seriously. That's something I really like about his books.

Unknown said...

Many times I wonder if africans lack of knowledge about the all stuff of slavery is really just lack of knowledge or is related to racism.

There was three diferent slave trades in Africa.
Interafrican trade - their concern, not mine.
Atlantic trade - 11 million african slaves to new world, were there are now about 70 million people african descendence, between 1450(?) and 1869. Worth mencioning these slave were bought from african or muslim slave traders who sold them to europeans. Worth mencioning also that were europeans who abolished slavery, muslims never did that, they cannot do such thing.
Oriental trade - 17 million african slaves to Arabia and muslim countries between 650 and 1920. They didnt left almost any descendence because harsh treatments and frequent castrations. To what muslims think about africans you may refer to "the 1001 nights".

It is also worth mencioning about 2 million european of Southern Europe and Balkans enslaved by turks and barbary pirates. They too left very little descendence because frequent castration and harsch treatment, the mean life of a slave in North Africa were 7 years.
If there is to be any compensation for slavery, complain to those who enslaved them.
And also, who is about to compense us?

Who said a leftshit is less, or more, racist than me?

History Snark said...


You're right of course (your ideas, I can't judge your numbers). But on the Left, they never manage to discuss these points. I can't recall ever hearing a discussion where a liberal was confronted with this material, and certainly none where they had to respond to it.

It's all about cultural relativity. I read a few years back about a schoolbook that criticised Columbus and his successors for racism, stealing from the poor natives, etc.

And then in another chapter, the book praised an African king, despite him making war on his neighbors, stealing their treasure, and enslaving their men.

It seems from what I've seen that the whole reparations thing has fallen by the wayside- at least I've heard nothing about it. Too bad- I always responded that if someone could produce a person that was held in (legal) bondage in the US *after* 1865, I'd personally give him or her everything I own.

No takers yet.

Lao said...

Hrmmm.. that's funny, Ms. Nyamko Sabuni does seem to look Swedish.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist.

An American Expat in Southeast Asia