Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) released a new children’s book titled Fame, Blame, and the Raft of Shame aimed at addressing the various manifestations and dangers of the cancel culture to American children.
“You’ve got reach all audiences,” Crenshaw told Fox News about the purpose of the children’s book. “Parents are increasingly frustrated by their school’s curriculum. They can go find left-wing progressive and woke children’s books out there. It’s pretty hard to find exclusively conservative-themed children’s products.”
The Republican commented that explaining what cancel culture is to children is no easy task and that many conservatives fail to define it.
“I think conservatives wrongly view cancel culture as a very simple question of either being able to say whatever the hell you want or being silenced,” said Crenshaw. “It is not that simple. And I wanted to craft this story that kind of exposes the nuance of what we mean by cancel culture.”
According to the book’s synopsis, the story takes place in a sea city that lies in the “depths of the ocean.”
“Deep in the ocean, Starlotte City blooms beneath a dome made of glowing seaweed. The city’s beauty and strength are mirrored by its vibrant culture, and Eva wants nothing more than to take her place on Starlotte City’s stage. But, when one star performer suggests that they ought to cancel some animals for insensitive comments, the true strength of the seaweed city and its citizens is put to the test,” reads the synopsis.
“Will Eva have the courage to stand up to the crowds, or will she allow fear to silence herself and others?” the book reads.
The cancel culture advances: how do you beat it?
Cancel culture is a complex sociocultural phenomenon that has affected the lives of artists, influencers, politicians, businesses and American citizens in general. Cancellation is about falling out of favor with a minority — but boisterous — part of society. It’s like a sudden avalanche that often starts with a politically incorrect comment or a “reprehensible” action in the eyes of certain groups. For example, J.K. Rowling, writer and author of the Harry Potter novels, was “canceled” for simply saying that biological women are the only ones who can menstruate. The LGBTQ community and groups supporting transgender people accused her of transphobia.
Cancellation does not understand social strata either. For example, there is cancellation against artists, as well as against ordinary people or even against companies. There are people who have lost their jobs just for having conservative principles. This is the case of John Gibson, who was “canceled” for showing his support on Twitter to a pro-life law enacted in the state of Texas.
Gibson was CEO of Tripwire — a company dedicated to the production of video games — but after he published a tweet supporting the law to “babies with a heartbeat”, many users on social networks canceled him and the company decided to fire him. Other companies, such as Shipwright Studios, stopped working with Tripwire because of Gibson’s tweet.
This phenomenon is increasingly advancing in the United States, generating division and conflict between liberals and conservatives. Polarization, which is already quite high, benefits from these conflicts fueled by certain minority groups. How to overcome it? According to the moral of Rep. Crenshaw’s book, one way is to practice more forgiveness, as the Bible teaches.
The Republican reminded Fox News of the controversy he had with “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) host Pete Davidson in 2018. Davidson, during SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment, mocked Crenshaw’s appearance (the representative wears an eye patch product of a war wound during his military service.)
“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie,” the host said of Crenshaw. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
Davidson was harshly criticized by liberals and conservatives alike. But, eventually, he apologized to the Republican representative who accepted the apology and appeared on an SNL show to chat and joke with Davidson.
The representative epitomizes this episode with Davidson in his book in a part where a skunk character and a mountain lion have a little conflict.
“The reason immediate forgiveness made sense in that case was because of intent,” Crenshaw told Fox News about the Davidson controversy. “And intent is a really important question that I don’t know if people ask these days. Did the person intend you harm, or did they just make a really dumb joke that just didn’t land right?”
“Are they being canceled and yelled at because of something they did or said that was maybe clumsy and maybe stupid—and maybe they should apologize for—but they didn’t mean any harm toward anybody?” the rep wondered. “Cancel culture often jumps to that conclusion: that the person is intentionally bad, intentionally meant that microaggression … and it’s just not true.”
That’s why the book references forgiveness, often showing teachings and bible verses.
“Faith is about grace, right? Showing grace even in the face of your enemies. That’s also the very clear message of forgiveness. And Christianity, of course, is linked with a sense of grace. So it’s easy to use the Bible, and I think necessary to use the Bible, as a way to guide sort of our moral actions and how we forge relationships with one another,” Crenshaw told Fox.
The Republican representative further commented that he watches as “People are just becoming angrier, more resentful, more bitter, more divided,” and that this worries him because the cancel culture can evolve and manifest itself “is manifesting in some dangerous ways that manifest in more blatant actions.”