As you’ve probably heard, some of Dr. Seuss’ books are no longer published because of offensive depictions of non-white characters. To be fair, they did it quietly and without pressure from the cancellation crowd, but people saw it as both a win and a problem. For me, the whole situation is a little confusing.
On the one hand, it should come as no surprise that, if we go back in time, we find racist undertones in all sorts of media. Yes, even a beloved children’s book author may have had some of these beliefs! Take a look at Walt Disney’s past and you’ll see that the man wasn’t all sunshine and daisies.
In those days, no one was a saint or wanted to be one. But while I don’t like to hide from our past, I don’t see where the editor of Dr. Seuss went wrong. To me, all they did was lower the price of a series of books they felt were out of date. And they did it in their own agreements. No one has done away with Dr. Seuss, as the rest of his books are still available in stores. They have taken it upon themselves to stop the spread of old racist cartoons and to keep them away from children who are easily influenced. I mean, books are there for them after all, and if we accept that our children are the future, we need to teach them good things!
Also, Dr. Seuss actively sought to produce anti-racist content in his time (at least for his time), so it would be reasonable for Dr. Seuss himself, if he were still alive, to decide to retire these books himself, or at least produce a different variant. Yes, he was proud, but not without reason. The people who complain and call this decision a cultural rejection were never interested in these books (which never sold well), and I bet they would never have bought these books if the publisher hadn’t made this decision. I even saw a comparison that you can buy Mein Kampf but not six children’s books, which is a bit far-fetched if you ask me. My Struggle is a historical book that teaches us what went on in the mind of one of history’s greatest monsters that resulted in the deaths of millions of people so we can learn to avoid similar events in the future, and the other is a children’s book that paints a bad picture of other races so we can try to avoid building stereotypes in the minds of our children.
Nevertheless, there are concerns about what this might mean in the future. I agree that we should not hide from our past and that by facing it we can move forward, but if we start hiding EVERYTHING from our past, as the US has done, it will lead to a repeat of the past. It will eventually pass, someone really cared about these books and is probably just trying to cause outrage! Unless you can justify the usefulness of these six books for children, believe me, no harm has been done here this time!
Anyway, tell me what you think?
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