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Book Burning – Not a Thing of the Past

Post World War II North America:

 

 

21st Century North America:

Canada: Tintin and Asterix books destroyed because they are considered harmful to the natives

A total of 5,000 books and comics have been thrown away, some burned and buried, by a school board in the province of Ontario which, on Radio Canada, believes that these books propagate negative stereotypes.

Burning books like in the darkest hours of history. “This great literary purification”, in the words of Radio Canada, took place in the libraries of the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, which brings together 30 French-language schools throughout southwestern Ontario. The goal: “reconciliation with the First Nations”.

Our Canadian colleagues thus describe, + date, one of the “purification by flame” ceremonies held in 2019, in order to burn about thirty banned books, for educational purposes. Among the works concerned, comics Tintin or Asterix. The ashes were used as fertilizer to plant a tree and turn what the school board considered negative to positive.

Tintin in America, a racist book?

The School Board accuses the Tintin in America comic strip for unacceptable language, erroneous information, a negative presentation of indigenous peoples and a faulty representation of indigenous people in the drawings. In Hergé’s comic strip, published in 1932, one of the author’s best-selling in the world, we notably find the appellation Peau-Rouge. The Sun Temple has also been removed from the rays.

 

Scandalous mini-skirt for Asterix and the Indians

Suzy Kies, the researcher behind this movement, also laments the sexualization of the indigenous woman who falls in love with Obelix in Asterix and the Indians. The young woman is represented with a plunging neckline and a mini-skirt. “Would you go for a run in the woods in a miniskirt?” We developed what is called sexual savagery, an image of Aboriginal women as easy women. Another example: Pocahontas, is so sexual and sensual, for us native women it is dangerous, ”Suzy Skies lashed out.

Above (Google) translated from Valeurs Actuelles article.

 

Excerpts from a much more detailed report from Radio Canada (still Google translated):

Schools destroy 5,000 books deemed harmful to Indigenous people, including Tintin and Asterix

They were dumped, some burned and buried, by an Ontario school board that accuses them of propagating stereotypes. The authors are appalled.

A great literary clean-up took place in the libraries of the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, which brings together 30 French-language schools throughout southwestern Ontario. Nearly 5,000 children’s books on Aboriginal people were destroyed in an effort to reconcile with the First Nations, Radio-Canada has learned.

A “flame purification” ceremony was held in 2019 to burn around 30 banned books, “for educational purposes.” The ashes were used “as fertilizer” to plant a tree and thus “to turn from negative to positive”.

   

The school board accuses the comic strip Tintin in America for “unacceptable language”, “erroneous information”, “negative presentation of indigenous peoples” and “misrepresentation of indigenous peoples in the drawings”.

In Hergé’s comic strip, published in 1932, one of the author’s best-selling in the world, we notably find the name “Peau-Rouge”. The Sun Temple has also been removed from the rays.

Three Lucky Luke albums have been retired. One of the criticisms often made by the committee is the “imbalance of power” with the whites and “the natives perceived as the bad guys”.

Quebec comic book author Marcel Levasseur is devastated when we learn that his character Laflèche has been withdrawn from school libraries. He feels “a lot of sadness, a lot of incomprehension”

In 2011, the book was a finalist for the Tamarac Prize, awarded by the Ontario Library Association. “In 10 years, I have gone from almost an award winner to a banned author.”

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