Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The 6 Most Secretly Racist Classic Children's Books

#4 Tintin [excerpt]

The Racism:

On Tintin's journey to the Congo, all of the black people he meets are drawn to look like they're about to take the stage in the most offensive minstrel show ever put on. The Congo in Georges Remi's mind is populated infantile and naive imbeciles who are seemingly designed only to prove that condescension has an equivalent to blind hatred. Tintin and his traveling partner don't mistreat the natives. They find their attempts to build a country adorable, like a chimp that's learned to eat with a knife and fork. It's worth noting here that Tintin isn't nearly as condescending as his traveling partner, a talking dog.

Read the full post here


Jordan said...

Irritating because Hergé had a total political enlightenment after his visit to China and vowed to change his ways and be respectful and accurate regarding foreign cultures from then on, even re-drawing the earlier books to remove the offending material.

Octopunk said...

They mention that in the full article, right at the top of the Hergé section:

"On the other hand, he worked to change the portrayal of Asian people in European fiction from inscrutable and evil lemon-colored quasi humanoids to, you know, people."

I was going to contest the word "secretly," because it seems like most people who know the Tintin works know about Congo.