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Tintin ‘too racist’ for one in ten Swedish libraries

Tintin ‘too racist’ for one in ten Swedish libraries

Published: 04 Oct 2012 13:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Oct 2012 13:18 GMT+02:00

Ten percent of Swedish libraries don’t stock Tintin comic books on their shelves, according to a new survey, deeming the content to be “too racist” for their patrons.

Hot on the heels of the controversy created by Kulturhuset youth library’s removal of “Afro-phobic” Tintin comics from their shelves -- and the subsequent reversal -- a survey has revealed that the ban on Tintin extends further than just the one Stockholm library.

Ten percent of libraries around the country included in the survey have chosen to remove the books from their shelves, or at least restrict availability, according to a survey by the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“We’ve removed ‘Tintin in Congo’ from our catalogue, above all due to the racist pictures. However, the book can be loaned in different adult contexts, to teachers for example,” explained a spokesperson of a library in Askersund, central Sweden, to the paper.

Other libraries have not been so liberal, such as the Arboga library in central Sweden, which simply does not stock Tintin due to the books’ “racist content”.

However in Åmal, western Sweden, library staff has pushed for debate rather than censorship.

“We think that people should look on the books as a document of the time and instead learn something about the historical development. It’s really the same ‘problem’ with Pippi,” said staff member Annika Andersson to the paper, referring to critics who have also pointed to racist themes present in the popular children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

“To clean out or to censor seems incredibly undemocratic and ugly.”

The short-lived ban at Stockholm's Kulturhuset last week prompted a storm in the Swedish media and beyond, resulting in the books being put back on the shelves just hours after the ban was announced.

Tintin was created by Belgian artist Georges Remi and revolves around Tintin, a young investigative journalist who travels the world solving mysteries.

The comics, published between 1930 and 1976, have been translated into over 50 languages and sold over 200 million copies. Steven Spielberg directed a motion capture 3D film version in 2011, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

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Your comments about this article

13:46 October 4, 2012 by Eagle63
Why must Sweden always be so disgustingly 'political correct' ? This is absurd!

Glad I moved to Canada....
14:56 October 4, 2012 by prince T
Why must sweden be politically incorrectly insensitive all the time

politcally incorrect to jews. sweden have quiet on so many world issues until Netanyahu came on the screen and cannot help but react. bildt became confused because he had low IQ. does he have to expose it to the world that he is dull.

Jesus was indirectly protrayed as gay. Swedish minster involved.

not to talk of racist painting or promoting books that insults other culture.

In all these things, you will never hear the government comment on the bombing of hamas, critcize the muslim world or joke about gay community. sweden will never make the mistake of going there on those issues.
17:24 October 4, 2012 by Abe L
Regardless of wether it's perceived as racist, the original intentions of the author where definitely not racist. That is what should matter. It's a children's book for crying out loud. Aside from having to be pretty detached from reality to consider this racist in any way.
20:28 October 4, 2012 by TheWatchman
Simply ridiculous.

@princeT

Quite hypocritical indeed.
20:49 October 4, 2012 by Rishonim
Whooa, Seems the people at the bookstores has just learned how to read. Swedes are not hypocritical. I think ignorant sheep is a better description which is a notch bellow hypocritical. Ask them to jump on a flotilla to Gaza and you will see how many sign up for it. Yet, right now there is a need for a humanitarian flotilla for Syria but we dont see Henning Mankell nor the other sheep lining up for the sail.
21:00 October 4, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
The Tintin business reminds me that I've heard that there are no toy advertisements on TV here in Sweden because (according to a native Swede that I know) children have been deemed unable to judge a good toy from a bad toy, and/or must be spared from the trauma of selecting one favorite toy for Christmas.

I saw toy adds on TV as Christmas drew near as a kid growing up in North America, and neither me nor my friends had our lives ruined by that experience.

The problem when someone starts wailing 'racism!' or 'the instant and permanent destruction of the minds of our children by toy adds on TV!' is that there is no reality minister to provide a normal counter argument, and it is then left to public uprisings (as occured with the Kulturhuset threat to remove all their tintin books) to restore some semblance of sanity. I guess this is a new way to manage a society, which is to Rule by the voice of panic in all instances unless there are mitigating public uprisings.

Having said all that, I would welcome a link if anyone knows of one to a scholarly analysis of Tintin in the Congo, which is reasonable in that it allows for the use of humour and flights of fancy by the author (Arabians on flying carpets appear in these books), and which then still clearly establishes that only people of African descent are ever represented unfavorably in the tintin series, or are almost invariably represented unfavorably.
23:20 October 4, 2012 by rise
I am a racist. You are a racist. Always.
23:38 October 4, 2012 by Uncle
Hell, I have an idea of banning racist and extremist books for politically correct Swedes:

Qur'an 9:29 " Fight those people of the Book (Jews and Christians) who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day, do not refrain from what has been prohibited by Allah and His Messenger and do not embrace the religion of truth (Al-Islam), until they pay Jizya (protection tax) with their own hands and feel themselves subdued."

Qur'an 047.033 "Believers, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger! Those who disbelieve and hinder men from the Cause of Allah, He will not pardon. Do not falter; become fainthearted, or weak-kneed, crying for peace. You have the upper hand."

Qur'an 8:65 "If there are twenty among you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding."

What about this, eh? Shall I file the idea with Swedish Library Decision Committee?
23:39 October 4, 2012 by frenchviking
Such a joke...

Nothing racist about tintin!

Grow up...

Some people must really be bored at work if they have the time to come up with such stupid and mostly useles ideas...

And our tax money pays these idiots?!

Please fire them and save our tax money!
07:14 October 5, 2012 by prince T
I dont expect anythin less from u @frenchviking. U record speaks for itself on yoir racist views on dis forum. I am now concerned that u could be another Brevik in the making and säpo should keep an eye on you. U act before u think and see thins from ur myopic colour blind views. If they sack those pple , is it lazy jobbless pple like u dat will take over from them.
08:25 October 5, 2012 by Stitched
I guess they missed how blacks appear in Asterix and Obelix comics.

Or nobody had read the seminal American classic, "To Kill A Mockingbird" - banned for the longest time in its country of origin.

Stand above it, Sweden. Realize that freedom of speech, no matter how grotesque it is perceived, is all encompassing. Otherwise, we start debating where the law gets drawn, and pushed back, until all are silenced and nobody is happy.
17:47 October 5, 2012 by frenchviking
@princeT

I am very curious now... could you please bring up specific facts that make you think I am a racist? or that I am lazy? or that I am jobless? or that I am violent and crazy as that Norwegian psycho?

just curious...

I am not a racist.

The rest of your comments do not even deserve an answer...
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