From book burning, to book banning, to now refusing to print classic books, censorship is a divisive battle. Children’s literature is especially under attack. Instead of laughing at well-intentioned themes meant to engage young readers and instill a love of learning through reading, or updating illustrations to better suit modern sensitivities, woke culture has deemed six specific Dr. Seuss titles “racist.”
On the trail for social justice, schools, libraries, and even the Dr. Seuss Museum itself has removed specific content linked to the infamous children’s book author and illustrator. Because of growing sentiment that we must repress anything that could even remotely be somewhat considered “racist,” a decision was recently made to no longer print six Dr. Seuss titles.
Some people will argue that there's nothing funny about drawing someone a certain way. These are the same people who include “McElligot’s Pool” on the list of books no longer to be printed.
This book has two human characters: A farmer who laughs at Marco, and Marco himself. Neither are “racist,” but I guess the issue that some people take with this particular work is that that fish themselves “look” racist? That’s quite a stretch. They’re fish, not people. They are, again, meant to be a silly caricature, because these are creatures living in a little boy’s imagination, not the actual pool.
It’s quite an intuitive story that encourages readers to look for positivity even in sad, shallow places. That is a profound message being ripped out of many stories nowadays.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises says it is “committed to listening and learning” and will keep reviewing their portfolio.
This all started a few years ago when a Twitter mob started complaining about an illustration in “If I ran the Zoo.” It depicts an African person in another imaginative caricature, but context doesn’t matter when mob rule destroys literature. They don’t care why, they don’t care how, they just want those books destroyed, “Now! Now! Now!”
If we truly wished to combat racism, and even possibly eradicate it, we would use these books to talk about our cultures, how and why they differ, and focus on our similarities. The continuous tirades in cancel culture do the opposite. Attacking innocent people, books, and businesses has not destroyed the “racism.” If anything it has spread it.
The six Dr. Seuss books in question are sold out everywhere. People are buying them online for hundreds of dollars because they're now a commodity.
These books weren't written to perpetuate “racism,” and if the illustrations depicted within some of the pages are offensive, why not just revise them? Why remove the stories entirely?
Because removal allows ignorance. Ignorance is a weakness that can be controlled and manipulated. Once again, the people who are unable to fully understand the meaning of an aged work beyond their modern preconceived notions are allowing their own ignorance to be manipulated by movements and political figures who have a lot to gain by pitting us against each other.
Just as burning books and banning books divided people, so too does refusing to print books. Instead of destroying already printed books or refusing to allow them in public, we're now aborting them before they have a chance to grow in the minds of readers. It's the same divide and conquer tactic that humanity has experienced for ages, it’s just been re-branded.
The Dr. Seuss books in question may now be out of print, but the ideas remain. We can't forget the power of our own imaginations. That's something Dr. Seuss emphasized in every one of his works.