The company overseeing the publishing and literary rights of Dr. Seuss announced it would end publication of six books because of “racist images.” This announcement coincided with the Biden administration’s decision to not honor the original Dr. Seuss in a Read Across America Day proclamation, something Obama and Trump were able to muster the courage to do.
A half dozen children’s books written by Dr. Seuss will no longer be published due to “racist and insensitive imagery” Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced on Tuesday.
- According to Reuters, the hand-wringing over Seuss began in 2017 when former First Lady Melania Trump donated Dr. Seuss books to a Massachusetts school library, which were rebuffed after the librarian said the books were “racist propaganda.”
- Dr. Seuss Enterprises said they solicited public feedback and worked internally to determine which, if any, books should be removed from production, settling on “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo.”
- The announcement coincided with Read Across America Day, which President Joe Biden celebrated with a proclamation that avoided the mention of Dr. Seuss. Both Presidents Obama and Trump named the author in their Read Across America Day proclamation as it also is usually associated with the birthday of Theodor Geisel, the real name of Dr. Seuss.
- Vox mocked coverage of the story by Fox News, the Daily Wire, and Daily Mail, leaning on a study by an organization called “Learning for Justice” justifying the moves by the Biden administration and Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
- The Washington Post’s analysis also criticized the reaction to the announcement, saying “it’s a short hop from here (criticizing the cancellation) to rhetoric demanding that we make America great again.”
- CNN piled on, saying the cancellation was as a result of “demands of the free market” the reaction was “a full-on right-wing freak-out.”
- Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz criticized both sides in the cancel culture debate, saying “conservatives turn out in force to sound the alarm” while asserting that efforts in the name of political correctness are going too far.
- Jordan Davidson’s report at The Federalist compiled some of the more biting criticisms from the right, including reactions from Sean Spicer, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ben Shapiro who compared it to book burning.
- Todd Starnes wrote at Townhall he’s been warning about the dangers of “the cancel culture mob” for years, releasing a book in 2019 calling it “a jihad on our American traditions”, and that the Dr. Seuss episode is just the latest example of the plan “to build a socialist utopia.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2021