As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, some of Dr. Seuss’s books are no longer going to be published for containing offensive depictions of non-white characters. Now, to be fair, they did it quietly and without being peer-pressured by a cancel mob, yet people saw it as both a victory and a problem. To me, I’m a bit mixed on the whole situation.
On the one hand, it shouldn’t be anyone’s surprise that if you go back in time, you’ll find racist undertone in all forms of media. Yes, even the beloved children’s author may have held some of those beliefs once upon a time! Try looking up Walt Disney’s past and you’ll see the guy was not all “sunshine and daisies”.
No one was a saint back in the day and even cared to be one. However, that being said, although I’m not fond of hiding away from our past, I don’t see what the publisher of Dr. Seuss did was wrong. In my eyes, all they did was discounted a line of books they felt no longer would fit with the times. And they did it in their own accords. No one had canceled Dr. Seuss, as his other books remain for sale, they themselves have taken the initiative to stop the spreading of old-held racist caricatures beliefs away from children who are easily influenced. I mean the books are meant for them at the end of the day, and if we accept that our children are the future, we ought to teach them good things!
Also, Dr. Seuss during his time has made an active effort to create anti-racist content (for his time period anyway), so it would stand to reason that even Dr. Seuss himself, had he still been alive today would’ve chosen to remove those books himself, or at the very least produced another variation. Yes, he was stubborn but not without reason. The people who are complaining and calling it “cancel culture”, never cared for these books in the first place ( which before this never sold well, to begin with) and I would even wager, they would have never even purchased those books had the publisher not made that decision. I’ve even seen a comparison made that “oh, you can buy Mein Kampf, yet you can’t buy six children books”, which is a bit of a stretch and a reach if you asked me. Mein Kampf is a historically significant book that teaches us what went through the minds of one of history’s biggest monsters that led to the death of millions so that we can learn to avoid such an event in the future, while the other is a children’s books with the bad depiction of other races, so we’re trying to avoid putting stereotypes into our children’s mind.
Yet, there is a concern for what this may lead to in the future. I do agree that we shouldn’t hide from our past and that facing it will allow us to move forward, however, if we begin to hide EVERYTHING from our past, like how the U.S. had done then it will lead to a repeat of the past. In the end, this will blow over, one really cared for these books like that and likely is only looking to cause an outrage! Unless, you are able to justify what benefit these six books have for children, trust me, no harm was done here this time!
Anyways, let me know what you guys think?