Regarding the recent Belgian court decision that the indisputably racist Tintin in the Congo should be published without warning or introduction, China Miéville writes a deliciously scathing takedown of pretty much every pro-racism argument out there. There are an astounding number of ways people defend racism or attempt to dismiss it as irrelevant, as he notes:
(This – It’s Not Racist It’s Just Not Very Good – is a sort of evil-twin variant of the more common How Can Little Black Sambo Be Racist I Read It As A Child & I Loved It & What’s More I Understood Sambo Was The Hero (cf also How Can I Be A Sexist I Love Women In Fact I Prefer Them To Men aka How Is That Racist Having Natural Rhythm Is A Good Thing) position.)
He also dismantles claims of censorship and suppression (“Quick, conjure images of book burning!”), attempts to shift the focus to the author’s intent or the book’s historical context (“The question here is whether or not Tintin au Congo is racist. Which it is. That may perhaps in part be because white supremacism was less contested back then – just as well we’re not back then, then, isn’t it?”), and more. Read the whole thing. It’s good. I just wish it weren’t necessary.