Is 'Tintin in America' racist?

Several inhabitants of the Canadian city of Winnipeg have asked a local bookstore to remove the strip cartoon album 'Tintin in America' from its shelves. The Winnipeggers claim that the strip cartoon by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé is hurtful for North America's First Nations.

'Tintin' in America is the third Tintin album and first appeared in 1932. It contains numerous clichés illustrating how Europeans saw North America in those days. Tintin meets Native Americans, who he calls 'red skins'. One of their number abducts him and tries to scalp him.

Leslie Spillet, the spokeswoman of the Winnipeggers, told Radio Canada that the cartoon feeds stereotypes: "It generates the narrative that Indians are dangerous. Indians are to be feared. Indians are savages."

Radio Canada reports that the bookstore removed the album for a while, but then returned it to its shelves saying that it could only ban books that explicitly incited racism, hatred or violence and that the album reflected the spirit of the Thirties.

'Tintin in America' is not the first Tintin album to be contested. A French organisation earlier took Casterman publishers to court in an attempt to get 'Tintin in Congo' banned, but a judge ruled in the publishers favour.