“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
Why The Controversy: Here’s how the AP describes it: “As adored as Dr. Seuss is by millions around the world for the positive values in many of his works, including environmentalism and tolerance, there has been increasing criticism in recent years over the way Blacks, Asians and others are drawn in some of his most beloved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.”
- This isn’t new criticism: The critiques over Dr. Seuss’ imagery dates back years as some national reading programs have looked to distance themselves from the author. READ MORE HERE
- Dr. Seuss served in the U.S. military during WWII. He produced cartoons, pamphlets and films.
- The books that will not longer be published: “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo.”
- Why This Matters: This is a notable move by the business behind Dr. Seuss’ legacy symbolically and financially. Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) remains a publishing juggernaut – though deceased, the popular author still earns tens of millions of dollars every year as his children’s books are used as teaching tools all over the world.
- Timing: This announcement comes on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which coincides with the campaign Read Across America – which in the past has often featured his books.
The latest from The Associated Press
Some good background from 2019 on the controversy over Dr. Seuss books HERE
For a counter-opinion:
“The desire to wipe Dr. Seuss’s books from elementary schools stems from the same harmful worldview that says Abraham Lincoln’s name should be removed from a public school because some of his views fall short by today’s standards, or that describes Mount Rushmore as a monument to racism. Our country’s history is filled with imperfect people who nevertheless did remarkable things.”
USA Today: Are Dr. Seuss’ books racist? Experts weigh in on controversy
“Racism lurks in children’s culture in ways we’re not aware of, and (authors) can recycle images and ideas in their work without being aware of it,” Nel says. “People don’t take children’s lit seriously, they think kids are not going to notice this, only grownups notice. That underestimates their intelligence and doesn’t take into account that we learn things without being aware we’re learning things.”
Video Commentary by author Carlos Whittaker: What Should We Do With Dr. Seuss?
by Jenna Lee,