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Dr Seuss: 6 books will no longer be published because they portray people in ‘hurtful and false’ ways


In a statement, Dr Seuss Enterprises said he made the decision after consulting with educators and reviewing his catalog.

“Stopping the sale of these books is only part of our commitment and broader plan to ensure that the Dr. Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” he said. -he declares.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, the famous children’s book author’s birthday.

Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, is one of the world’s best-known authors, the man behind beloved classics like “The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” , among others. More than 650 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, the Washington Post reported in 2015.
But Dr Seuss had a long history of publishing racist and anti-Semitic work, dating back to the 1920s when he was a student at Dartmouth College. There, Dr Seuss once drew black boxers as gorillas and perpetuated Jewish stereotypes by portraying Jewish characters as financially stingy, according to a study published in the journal “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.”

This study, published in 2019, examined 50 of Dr. Seuss’ books and found that 43 of the 45 colored characters had “characteristics that fit the definition of Orientalism” or the stereotypical and offensive portrayal of Asia. The two “African” characters, according to the study, both have anti-black characteristics.

Dr Seuss: 6 books will no longer be published because they portray people in ‘hurtful and false’ ways

Two specific examples, according to the study, can be found in the books “The Cat’s Quizzer: Are YOU Smarter Than the Cat in the Hat?” and “If I ran the zoo.”

“In (‘The Cat’s Quizzer’), the Japanese character is called ‘a Japanese’, has a bright yellow face, and stands on what appears to be Mount Fuji,” the authors wrote.

Regarding “If I ran the zoo,” the study highlights another example of Orientalism and white supremacy.

“The three (and only three) Asian characters who do not wear conical hats carry a white man on their heads in ‘If I Ran the Zoo’. The white male is not only on top and carried by these Asian figures, but he is also holding a gun, exemplifying dominance. The text below the Asian characters describes them as “assistants who all have their eyes at an angle.” of “country that no one can spell,” “wrote the study’s authors.

Dr Seuss: 6 books will no longer be published because they portray people in ‘hurtful and false’ ways

The study also argues that since the majority of human figures in Dr. Seuss’ books are white, his works – inadvertently or not – center whiteness and thus perpetuate white supremacy.

Separate Seuss from children’s literature

Earlier this week, a school district in Virginia made headlines for allegedly banning Dr Seuss books.

Dr Seuss: 6 books will no longer be published because they portray people in ‘hurtful and false’ ways
But Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), located in Ashburn, said they did not ban the famous children’s books – it simply discouraged a link between “Reading Day across America. , Which was created to encourage children to read, and Dr Seuss Birthday Party. The two fall on March 2 and have often been “historically linked” to each other, the district said in a statement.
Dr Seuss: 6 books will no longer be published because they portray people in ‘hurtful and false’ ways
“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written / illustrated by Dr Seuss,” LCPS said in its statement, which refers to a 2018 School Library Journal article on the National Education Association focusing its efforts on Read Across America. on diversity, not Dr. Seuss. “

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