I learned how to read at an early age reading Tintin’s Les bijoux de la Castafiore. Since I am openly pro-life I can’t quite say that I turned out all right. Maybe this steady diet of Hergé in my formative years is responsible for making me the angry ol’ white male mysoginist I have become. Still, I allow many of the books in my house, including Tintin au Congo, which is making waves this week in Hergé’s homeland.
How timely. My 13-year-old son — who also learned to read using subversive material like Tintin, I’m passing it on — was just mentioning the racist undertones in Tintin au Congo. When asked what he thought about it he shrugged and said: “That’s how they thought at the time, now we know better.” Yes indeed. I asked him: “Do you think we are passed that? What do you think we are doing now that our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will look at with scorn and say: “That’s how they thought at the time. Now we know better…” I think that our treatment of the unborn will shame us. Maybe not in my lifetime, but it will.
The fact is that the human species has a dismal track record when it comes to arbitrarily deciding what is deserving of moral status (or personhood) and what is not. We are on the winning side of this issue.by