A handful of Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to the racist and insensitive imagery targeting Black and Asian communities, according to a Tuesday announcement by Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
The books include, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” Elligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press. The announcement also coincides with the illustrators birthday.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles,” the statement continued.
Over the years as school districts lean into championing education policies and initiatives decentering whiteness and harmful stereotypes against communities of color, the late illustrator’s books became a focal point. Throughout his career Seuss’ work routinely depicted harmful images of Jewish, Black and Asian community members.
For example in reference to the books recently shelved, a Chinese character in “And to Think I Saw It on Mulbery Street” was drawn with two lines for eyes while carrying chopsticks and a bowl of rice. In “If I Ran the Zoo,” two characters depicted from Africa are shown without shirts and shoes while wearing grass skirts.
This would undoubtedly align with the definition of a racist depiction if anyone is confused.
While Seuss’ earlier works were riddled with disturbing imagery many described as satire, his later books preached more around unification, possibly exhibiting a change of heart from his troubled works in the past.
More than anyone, the announcement riled up conservative voices on social media who felt the choice to discontinue the publications falls into “cancel culture,” a term that is becoming more associated with supporting lack of accountability other than anything else.
In true propaganda fashion, FOX News ran multiple segment around cancel culture on Tuesday, where they even invited Madison Cawthorn to discuss the topic. Cawthorn, a North Carolina congressman, was recently accused of sexual misconduct by several college classmates in a recently published Buzzfeed report.
Right now the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing where they are questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray over the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but the network instead chose to focus on this topic.
However, common sense mostly prevailed on social media from voices who understood the important undertaking of reckoning multiple wrongs.