We’re in the midst of a tidying-up.
Things that were once considered innocent are now getting pegged as problematic.
Cases in point:
Here’s one more for the discount bin.
As reported by the New York Post, Scholastic will no longer distribute a graphic novel by the author of the Captain Underpants series.
2010’s The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future — written by Dav Pilkey — has been deemed undesirable.
The reason: racism of the passive kind.
Scholastic released a statement on such a “serious mistake”:
Together, we recognize that this book perpetuates passive racism. We are deeply sorry for this serious mistake.
If you’ve placed an order, don’t count on it coming in any time soon:
Scholastic has removed the book from our websites, stopped fulfillment of any orders (domestically or abroad), contacted our retail partners to explain why this book is no longer available, and sought a return of all inventory.
And if you were hoping to still find it at your local library…
We will take steps to inform schools and libraries who may still have this title in circulation of our decision to withdraw it from publication.
Dav offered his own apology via YouTube.
Come to find out, the writer was ahead of the curve — he was shooting for diversity and inclusion back a whole decade ago:
About ten years ago, I created a book about a group of friends who save the world using kung fu and the principles found in Chinese philosophy. The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future was intended to showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution.
Unfortunately, it was a swing and a miss — the book harmed all humans who are Asian:
But this week, it was brought to my attention that this book also contains harmful racial stereotypes and passively racist imagery. I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly apologize for this. It was and is wrong and harmful to my Asian readers, friends, and family, and to all Asian people.
They’re going to actively repair the passive damage:
My publisher, Scholastic, has stepped forward to share my responsibility, and together we are ceasing all further publication of [the book] and actively working to remove existing copies from retail and library shelves.
Will you forgive him? He hopes so.
He also wants you to learn. And to not hurt all people:
I hope that you, my readers, will forgive me, and learn from my mistake that even unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism is harmful to everyone. I apologize, and I pledge to do better.
And so it goes.
If we’re lucky, no one else will be harmed.
Meanwhile, Scholastic is out to re-earn your support:
Throughout our 100 year history, we have learned that trust must be won every day by total vigilance. It is our duty and privilege to publish books with powerful and positive representations of our diverse society, and we will continue to strengthen our review processes as we seek to support all young readers.
In an effort to make things right, perhaps the author and publisher will reach out to those who’ve published videos of the retracted work:
Either way, the author of Captain Underpants has proven he’s willing to grow and change.
And growth and change — as we’re being reminded non-stop — radically rule the day.
All that aside, if this article’s got you back on a bent to learn kung fu, I’ve got just the thing.
You can now become your own Captain Underpants:
See more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.
Read More Feedzy