Beloved Author Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, ( March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) will have six of his books no longer being published, due the racist imagery within the books. Images in these books included insensitive portrayals of different ethnicities, including Chinese and African Americans. In addition to these books, the author was also known for drawing far more racist political cartoons. Dr. Seuss Enterprises addressed the issue more in depth in an official statement.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The statement read. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The statement drew ire from many Dr. Seuss fans, who were further spurned onward by rumors of a school district that had banned the author. Some critics of the decision had a huge following with famous Conservative talking head Ben Shapiro speaking out against the choice and even some statements from Ted Cruz blaming the current political climate.
BRB buying all the Dr. Seuss volumes for the kids before the woke book burners can get to them all
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 2, 2021
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also has tweeted about same topic from a similar viewpoint but instead lays the blame on President Biden. “Utterly asinine. Joe Biden trying to cancel Dr. Seuss.” in reference to a story from the New York Post saying that Biden removed from any mention of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America day, which is supposed to teach children the joys of reading.
Joe Biden trying to cancel Dr. Seuss. 🤯🤯 https://t.co/6a6lugbPDF
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 2, 2021
These two were far from the minority however, as many on Twitter have taken to complaining about the books no longer being published. A lot of these Tweets cite the Democrats being the issue in a manner similar to Cruz’s outcry.
“Today is Read Across America day and also Dr. Seuss birthday. Please be sure to read a Dr. Seuss book. Dr. Seuss books are not racist!” Influencers Diamond and Silk tweeted out.
You don’t have to take any direction from people who believe boys can be girls, babies in the womb are clumps of cells, that promiscuity is empowerment, and that 2 + 2 can sometimes equal 5. Keep reading Dr. Seuss.
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) March 2, 2021
First they came for Dr Seuss.
And I said nothing.
Not on a boat.
Not with a goat.
Not in the rain.
Not on a train.
Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 2, 2021
Hi, it's me, your neighborhood reasonable adult. I heard Dr. Seuss books were "banned" in a Virginia school district, which surprised me! So, I did what any reasonable adult would do with internet access: I looked it up to get official details. (thread)
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 2, 2021
IMHO: Dr. Seuss books are unnecessarily long, generally annoying, and just not that good. The only silver lining is that the plots are SO convoluted that you can usually skip pages without anyone noticing.
— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) March 2, 2021
Beyond the obvious politics, the story brings up huge questions about legacy and responsibility. Companies like Dr. Seuss Enterprises exist to preserve the legacy of authors like Dr. Seuss and in order to do that they have to take responsibility for the actions of the authors themselves.