Prosecutors in Brussels have opened an investigation to determine whether the classic comic book Tintin in the Congo violates Belgian laws against racism. The case was brought by Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a Congolese student studying in Brussels, who says the 1931 book is “an insult to all Congolese.” The book, one in a popular comic-book series, follows the Belgian boy hero Tintin on a trip to what was then the Belgian Congo. Others have also found the work racist. Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality, for example, said recently it contains “imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice, where the ‘savage natives’ look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles.” Before he died, in 1983, the author, Hergé, defended the work as a product of a less enlightened time.
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