A Chapters bookstore in Winnipeg temporarily removed Herge’s Tintin in America on Saturday following a complaint by a First Nations educator that the comic contains “racist images.” However, CBC News reports the book had been returned to shelves by Monday, after the chain determined its content doesn’t violate the company’s policy.
Serialized from September 1931 to October 1932, Tintin in America chronicles the adventures of the boy reporter and his dog Snowy as they investigate organized crime in Chicago and pursue mob boss Bobby Smiles West to “Redskin City,” becoming captives of an easily manipulated Blackfoot tribe in the process.
A Chapters executive laid out the company’s policy for rejecting a book to CBC News: It must be child pornography, material with instructions on how to build weapons of mass destruction, or “anything written with the sole intent of inciting society toward the annihilation of one group.” When it was determined that Tintin in America didn’t meet any of those criteria, the book was returned to the shelf of the Winnipeg location.
Tasha Spillett, who sought to have the book removed, said she’s disappointed by the company’s decision.
“They can’t see the connection between the images and further entrenching racism,” she told CBC News. “We have a responsibility to our children not to pass on the narratives that have created realities that are harmful to our communities. Chapters has to be responsible for the images and content it sells. As an educator, the only use for those types of texts are to create critical analysis of what racism looks like and how it impacts us.”
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