Dr. Seuss in the (negative) spotlight…

Over on CNN.com I found this article by Amanda Watts and Leah Asmelash concerning…

6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published anymore because they portray people in ‘hurtful and wrong’ ways

Basically, these six books feature stereotypes, particularly of Asian and Black people, which sadly were somewhat the norm in caricatures back then but which are now looked upon quite negatively.

The books in question, taken from the above link, are:

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
  • If I Ran the Zoo
  • McElligot’s Pool
  • On Beyond Zebra!
  • Scrambled Eggs Super!
  • The Cat’s Quizzer

I’m quite familiar with Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, like Green Eggs and Ham, and of the six titles they’re not going to print anymore I’m only familiar with And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and McElligot’s Pool.

The others I’m unfamiliar with.

As I mentioned before, this sort of problem has reared its head with other works of the 20th Century: They present caricatured stereotypes which by today’s standards are very hard to take.

I recall plenty of Warner Brothers cartoons featuring questionable depictions of Black people. And who can forget that Walt Disney won’t release Song of the South, the film which features one of their most recognizable songs –Zip A Dee Doo Dah– because the entire film features a depiction of the antebellum South that is, to say the least, extremely out of date -and that’s being kind!

I suppose this is a sign that as a society we’re growing and coming to understand how hurtful some of the stereotypical depictions of people can be.

We can’t change the past, certainly, but we can work to make things a bit better today and tomorrow.