This could have been a standard Ethics Dunce post, but I think it warrants more attention than that category might suggest.
One of the reasons it is fair to say that the President had the election stolen from him, or, as he likes to say (and shouldn’t) “rigged,” is that his supporters have been relentlessly intimidated and indoctrinated into attitudes designed to make them doubt their own judgment and values, especially those that aligned with the President’s policies. The tactics have ranged from threatening and even physically attacking citizens for wearing MAGA hats, to forced resignations of company officials and academics for the “crime” of endorsing Donald Trump’s actions in office.
Self-censorship triggered by fear of rejection and social isolation allowed Facebook, for example, to become a progressive echo chamber with minimal dissent. (I haven’t posted on anything related to the election for a month. It’s just a waste of time, and I end up losing respect for people I would like to keep as friends while having to defend views that should require no defense.) We are also seeing the related phenomenon of self-flagellation, self-shaming and self-cancelling of the sort demanded by the “Silence is violence” mobs. Like tortured and brain-washed North Korean prisoners of war, we are ordered to denounce our great sins, such as engaging in “systemic racism,” enjoying “white privilege,” defying the political correctness police, and daring to support the President of the United States. When Black Lives Matter terrorists burst into restaurants and demand that diners raise their fists or hands in support of the Marxist, racist, anti-law enforcement group, the photographic evidence is that they do as ordered in hopes that they be left alone. What nation’s citizens from the past, say, 85 years ago do these timid souls remind you of?
Never mind. I digress…
Adam Pottle’s children’s book “The Most Awesome Character in the World” tells of Philomena, a young deaf girl whose deafness has made her vibrant and imaginative person. (The author is also deaf.) .
Pottle did not have approval over the illustrations his publisher chose to complete his book, and with the nudging of some negative reviews online, was horrified at the illustration above. He concluded that the single drawing was “racist,” and Pottle asked that it be changed. The publisher, Reycraft Books, refused (the profit margin on any book is small, and this would guarantee a money-losing project), so Pottle took to social media and asked people not to buy his book and retailers not to stock it. Several retailers supported him.
The publisher, Sara Reycroft, protests that “to characterize the image, which is a fun celebratory depiction of a Japanese girl in a festive yukata, as racist is flawed and problematic in my opinion,” she responded in a statement. Even the “in my opinion” is capitulation to the political correctness police in my opinion. A more forceful condemnation of this kind of “gotcha!” race-baiting is essential.
Reycroft’s company is an odd choice for such attacks: it focuses on diversity through its #OwnVoices program. The publisher begins her statement by pointing out that she is Asian, has published 48 books by Asian authors and illustrators, and denies that the character as drawn is “an Asian stereotype.” She says the artwork was “thoughtfully crafted by a very talented illustrator with careful oversight by our Asian-American editor.”
Reycroft obviously doesn’t understand the long game being played here. As with the bullying of athletic teams into eliminating names and mascots referencing Native American tribes, the fact that the actual people supposedly being stereotyped don’t see it that way doesn’t matter. What matters is bending others to the progressive bullies’ will, and establishing dominance and, ultimately, control over freedom of thought and expression….and elections.
Reycroft tried to use common sense and the fact that she, unlike the book’s critics and Pottle, actually knows what she is talking about, adding that “the implication that depicting a Japanese girl in a wheelchair wearing a yukata is racist is a problem – because Japanese girls in wheelchairs can and do wear yukata. And like Philomena, we think that is beautiful.”
The episode harkens back to this post, in which the Woke and the Wonderful moved to “cancel” that racist, Dr. Seuss.
An author telling the market not to buy his book that a publisher has paid the author for and expended funds to publish, market and distribute is unquestionably unethical, as well as a breach of contract. Reycroft should sue Pottle for breach of contract and damages He should be cancelled—out of publishing, and out of writing as an occupation. Anyone so desperate to conform to the dictates of social media and political correctness mobs cannot be trusted, with book contracts, or as a responsible member of society.