Dr. Seuss Enterprises Discontinues Six Books for Racist Imagery

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Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

Image of Dr. Seuss and two of his books that are being discontinued.

Paulina Camacho, Journalist

Dr. Seuss Enterprises discontinued six books for racist and insensitive imagery. The books that have been removed are The Cat Quizzer, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra!, McElligot’s Pool, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. After consulting with teachers and experts, the enterprise made a decision to remove these books from shelves, this announcement was to coincide with the timing of Dr. Seuss’ anniversary. 

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.” 

The books we share with our children matter. Books shape their worldview and tell them how to relate to the people, places, and ideas around them. As grown-ups, we have to examine the worldview we are creating for our children, including carefully re-examining our favorites.”

— Rebekah Fitzsimmons, an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University, tweeted.

Images of all the six books that are being discontinued. (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

This notion has received backlash because it is seen as an example of cancel culture. Cancel culture is when someone is thrown off their platform in an attempt for accountability but leaves no room for improvement. Though this is usually done by the supporters of the influencer, the enterprise was the one that felt that this contained harmful stereotypes. Such as in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street portrayed an image of a Chinese man with two lines for eyes, yellow skin color, carried chopsticks and wore Japanese styled shoes. In the book If I Ran a Zoo depicted two men from Africa, shirtless wearing grass skirts. 

“The books we share with our children matter. Books shape their worldview and tell them how to relate to the people, places, and ideas around them. As grown-ups, we have to examine the worldview we are creating for our children, including carefully re-examining our favorites,” Rebekah Fitzsimmons, an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University, tweeted. 

Conservatives have spoken out about these books being removed claiming this unnecessary and don’t see the harm in the books. While liberals feel that this decision was appropriate because of the harmful depictions it may teach children. This has caused questions about other authors on whether or not they too contain insensitive imagery and are now starting to hold books to a higher standard. Is this new standard going too far? Or is this progress into creating media more inclusive? 

“You know they’re canceling Dr. Seuss from reading programs, I mean these are books. I literally know The Cat in the Hat by heart without the book there because I read it so many times to my children. These things are not racist,” Donald Trump Jr. insisted.