Tuesday, 8 November 2011

All must go into the fire marked 'racist'.

The conference mentioned in the article below was billed "The Poison of the Early Years".

It's like we're living under the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Look at the passage I highlighted below. It is exactly the kind of remark that might have come from a medieval inquisitor or, closer to our own time, a Soviet commissar. The books get partial approval as she ticks off the various leftist ideologies they are deemed to be consistent with.
A German theologian has sparked controversy by calling Sweden's beloved Pippi Longstocking children's books racist and demanding additions to prompt parents to skip over or explain certain passages.

Dr. Eske Wollrad from the the Federal Association of Evangelical Women in Germany first made her comments as a speaker at a state conference on anti-discrimination in Leipzig last weekend, stirring debate in the German media.

“It is not that the figure of Pippi Longstocking is racist, but that all three in the trilogy of books have colonial racist stereotypes,” Wollrad told The Local on Tuesday.

The publishers had already changed the original phrase used for her father as king of a South Seas island from Negro King to South Seas King, noted Wollrad, who is advisor for equality and social responsibility at the Protestant women's group.

But other passages in the much-loved books were also problematic, she said.

“The black children throw themselves into the sand in front of the white children in the book,” she said. “When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.”

She said there were many such sensitive areas in the books, which were written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren in the 1940s.

“I would certainly not condemn the book completely – on the contrary, there are many very positive aspects to the book, as well as being very funny, it is instructive for children as it not only has a strong female character, she is against adultism, grown-ups being in charge, and she is fiercely opposed to violence against animals – there is a very strong critique of authority in the book.

But Wollrad would like to see additions made in the books to guide readers at such points where the original text was racist. “The question to ask yourself is whether you could read a certain passage out loud to a black child without stopping or stumbling,” she said. “Only then can you say whether it is okay or not.”

Footnotes for such passages could be a helpful aide to those reading the books – either to prompt discussions or to help readers put racist terms into context.

Wollrad said literature for young children was woefully lacking in any characters that are not white – meaning that many white children do not encounter children of other heritage until they start kindergarten – and worse, that non-white children do not find any characters similar to them in pre-school books.

“It simply isn’t helpful if we want to help our children find their place in a multicultural society,” she said.

“A third of children under the age of five in Germany are from a migration background,” she said. “Publishers seem to think it is only white, middle-class women buying these books. We as consumers have to show that this is not good enough.”
Sources: The Local Bild


southwood said...

I really despise people who hold PC dogmas like Wollrad's. These people are what is wrong with society. Anyway, according to the Bible women should not "teach", meaning theology, not secular education. So she should just shut up.

V said...

I was brought up with this books as a Swedish girl and I cant remember that Pippi's dad became the king because he invaded the island in South see. And if he was the king, why shall not his people greet the kings daughter and show respect the way kings often was greeted?
I can see any racism in this!

So if the king was a black man and his daughter was greeted the same way, no racism then? Whats the problem?

If a black man is the choosen president of USA, its good and multiculti. But a white man choosen as king over black people in a book for children book, its racism!

White people are racists, always!

Anonymous said...

Pippi has a very vivid fantasy. I remember wondering if this father of hers really existed. As a child, it didn't seem likely to me.

To Astrid Lindgren and her times, a negro, would be as exotic as it could get, and that's a point when you're making up fantasy stories to children.

Topping it with king. Negro + king = negro king. How much more extraordinary can it get?

Pippi doesn't have a family, at least her father doesn't have an ordinary job, and lonely as she is, she invents to impress her very ordinary friends Tommy and Annika.

No matter how politically - islamically - correct they will make our literature, will we compensate by making up our own stories which will be a new wave of folks' art stronger than ever before, and travelling from generation to generation orally? Or by forbidden books?

Anonymous said...

I, now, come to notice that you also talk about the Middle Ages, and the inquisition. We're most definitely not far from it.

What is interesting to look at, is what went before the inquisition?

""The islamic golden age""...!

What do we know about what books were allowed in Spain in those eight hundred years? How did this influence the inquisition? Were they already used to forbidden thoughts under the ""tolerant islamic rule""?

Miguel de Cervantes was born fifty years into the new times of Christian rule, after 1492. After 800 years of darkness this new era would see the world's first modern novel, "Don Quijote".


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