Dr. Seus has found himself on the chopping block right at the end of Black History Month with a number if his books being discontinued over racist imagery. The 6 books being taken out of print include “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “Scrambled Eggs Super!” that are said to “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong” by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the organization responsible with maintaining the author’s legacy. They also chose to stop selling “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” after consulting those in the education field.
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Now for those who have been paying attention, this is nothing new. Calls for pulling Dr. Seus books have been going on for years as well as racist caricatures in his work have long been called out. And it’s hardly the only one. Personally, I think these books shouldn’t be completely removed but at least possibly at an older age kept around to explain in context what type of stereotypes and biases went into writing those books in respect of the time. And why does this matter?
As we are all analyzing racism, equality, etc. today, it is important to understand where a lot of these ideas and stereotypes come from and how are people being influenced unnecessarily with racial mischaracterizing. We know that a lot of older cartoons did it and the author of Webster’s second dictionary in the 1930s, Noah Webster described blacks and indians disparagingly in textbooks so these old texts that were once accepted need to be analyzed again today. Not doing so continues the status quo.