“Winnetou” dispute justified? “This is the completely false signal”


Instead, the publisher took the feedback seriously — then made a decision and made it public. It shows an empathy and openness that is too often lacking. At the same time, you did something that many people and institutions are reluctant to do: you admitted mistakes. In similar situations, many people talk only about their necks and necks – the main thing is that you do not have to admit your own bad decisions. The editor’s behavior should be an example of how we deal with resistance and disagreements. And not as a huge issue that divides society – but as an opportunity to learn from each other and grow. Actor Mika Ullritz in the film “Young Chef Winnetou”: Ravensburger has removed the children’s book of the same name from the program. (Source: Marc Reimann/imago images)

No, banning sends the wrong signal

Steven Sowa’s opposite, hide and forget: this seems to be the strategy behind Ravensburger’s “Winnetou” ban. A child’s reflex, but not a feat of maturity. The calculation almost worked. It took twelve days between the announcement and the outcry, and it’s far too strong. From the expected corners, we now hear that freedom of expression is in danger and that we submit to a “militant minority”. But these are exaggerations and foam at the mouth. They ignore the real problem: a society thrives on contradictions and a plurality of opinions. A ban is therefore the wrong signal. This only gives water to the loudmouths mentioned at the mill of their “cancel culture” din. Another example with which they see their belief reinforced that only so-called leftist ideas are socially acceptable today, Ravensburger should have done better. If the editing of “The Young Chief Winnetou” fails, there is only one option: to produce a new edition. One with in-text clues or an explanation ahead of time. Nobody ever turned racist reading Karl May’s Native American adventures. But it is good to realize that these tales are the fruit of a naive imagination and not of a study of reality: no anathema leads to social ascent. It is contextualization and explanation that move us forward in life.

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