Dr. Seuss

In 1998, March 2 was named Read Across America Day, ( Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss, was born March 2, 1904 ) Launched by the National Education Association to celebrate reading, it strives to motivate young readers. Some call it Dr. Seuss Day. His books spark imagination, teach millions to read and endure across generations of bedtime stories. Read Across America isn’t a celebration of Dr. Seuss, it’s an initiative to promote reading at a young age, All good? Not so fast. Publisher Dr. Seuss Enterprises cited racist and insensitive imagery as reason for ceasing sales of six Dr. Seuss titles.

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Six Dr. Seuss Books Won’t Continue to Be Published Because of Racist Images | News Talk WBAP-AM

These books haven’t been banned, the decision to cease publication and sales was made last year after an extensive review process. Who knew it would become a “cancel culture” poster for right wing America? Cancel culture refers to “cancelling” individuals, groups/organizations or public figures by ostracizing points of view deemed objectionable. The theme of last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference was “America Uncancelled”, Below, a snippet and link titled “Dr. Seuss Falls Victim to the Cancel Culture Nazis”, read it and weep…

“I warned the country about the cancel culture mob and their nefarious plan to ban books, paintings, films and music they found offensive. I warned that the radical leftists were waging a jihad on our culture, on our American traditions. Their plan is to build a socialist utopia on the rubble of our history and culture.” – Todd Starnes at Dr. Seuss Falls Victim to the Cancel Culture Nazis by Todd Starnes (townhall.com)

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Dr. Seuss Enterprises To Stop Publishing 6 Books Due To Racist, Insensitive Imagery | HuffPost

Over at Fox, misleading cancel culture propaganda raged. Check out No, Fox News, Dr. Seuss Was Not ‘Canceled’ By VA School District | Crooks and Liars at Crooks and Liars. Conservative media called out Joe Biden for not mentioning Dr. Seuss in his Read Across America statement. Whinny Donald Trump Jr. called “cancelling” Dr. Seuss books “insane”. So this is how it’s going to be? We can’t address questionable optics without threat of America Uncancelled retaliation? Is cancel culture a pseudonym for MAGA? Sigh.

19 thoughts on “Dr. Seuss

  1. Sounds like a positive move to moi.
    I can’t stand nationalism and /or colonialist attitudes.
    You know I live in South Africa, right? At the end of my contract in Jo’burg, I informed my folks I was bringing my new girlfriend home for a visit.
    The response from my mother was : ”Please don’t misunderstand me, dear, but is she black?”

    Oh. for fuck’s sake …joy! And a good time was had by one and all!

    Terry Pratchett loved to hi-light this stereo typing by making fun of it, but the point was well made all the same.
    In Johnny and the bomb, Johnny and his friends find themselves back in 1940 and upon entering a small corner shop the lady behind the counter looks up and asks: ”Is Sambo with you, dear?” In reference to Yo-less.

  2. See how this is fuel to Trump? I keep saying it: when the Left moves away from supporting liberal principles and liberal values in the name of legalizing ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’ that is anything but, it becomes fuel for division and mistrust necessary for populists like Trump to politically survive. This kind of stuff feeds Trump and the more the Left engages and accepts going along with anti-liberal use of political capital, the stronger the push-back and populist leaders get. And even worse, there are only these two political options leaving the vast majority of us hostage to the wingnuts of the extremes.

  3. Don’t forget on top of this and in just one week of Biden, goodbye Mr Potato Head, drop legal support for the girls suing a State because men won the women’s state championships and harmed their chances for athletic scholarships, as well as demand everyone go along with gender feelings over biological sex or have their funding pulled.

  4. Hello Notes to Ponder. I think some people are only getting part of the story. As you pointed out his own people did this, not others or the government. Second while the author was not really political, during the 2 world war he was very much a bigot and used stereotypes to debase and make fun of people of Japanese decent. I just read a rather long article on this subject that presented both sides. It is worth a read if you want to understand this rather complex issue. This is not being done for one political party ,but because the people behind the product think young children need a better role model than belittling pictures and rhythms about other people in a society trying to rid it self of racism and hate. Hugs
    https://thewayofimprovement.com/2021/03/03/the-dr-seuss-controversy/

    • Funny way to ‘rid’ a society of racism and hate: by elevating everything and everyone to the membership level of ‘race’ and then proclaiming anyone and anything who doesn’t self censor or – heaven forbid – not support sending in the self-appointed and morally pure archival ‘recue’ teams to censor, delete, or ‘suggest’ acceptable change, and deal with such potentially insulting material from days and times gone by, to be a promoter of ‘hate’.

      Oh, let us welcome the Western version of China’s cultural revolution including mandatory re-education ‘anti-racist’ sessions. Love all the online hallway monitors, too.

      One can safely omit appreciating how living through the rise, dominance, and eventual destruction of the Japanese Imperial culture followed by the Chinese Communist revolution and seemingly never-ending proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos might be a major influence on such authors. Safer just to call them bigots and racists and purify their works if they fail today’s standards of respecting everyone. Hey, if Shakespeare and his body of work isn’t safe from today’s virtue Puritans and insult archeologists, no other author in the world should be. So why should Seuss be any different, am I right? Even cartoon characters aren’t safe.

      • Hello Tildeb. As Clay Jones wrote this morning ” … if the Dr. Seuss company can see that maybe it’s wrong to poison minds by educating them with racist images,…” I think we all understand people as individuals tend to either rise or fall to the standards of those around them. So if we stop portraying and displaying the incorrect hateful stereotypes then those who might be tempted to learn /use them will rise to a higher better standard.

        There is no good to come from deifying a body of work of any kind just because it is old or from a different generation. There is no shame in learning a better way to behave. We can be sure what we take as acceptable today will be found lacking in the future as people become more enlightened. Tradition is a terrible reason to promote and engage in hateful bigotry. Hugs

    • To be clear, I think the greater offence is committed by those who presume the moral authority to decide not just virtue but alternative facts to reality and then have the ‘decision’ they favour imposed on all others.

      I didn;t get this book because I didn’t like the idea of presenting zoos in such a fun and frivolous way so I didn’t get the book when I was actively parenting. Funny how that idea about the treatment of critters and how they were once collected for zoos didn’t matter much to anyone, but, whoa, present a pair of cartoon black people and all of a sudden ‘racism’ is sufficient cause. This example of elevating critical race theory to be broadly applied even by those who may not believe in it is so deeply anti-liberal that it borders on totalitarianism, and the same totalitarian bent can be found in anything that shares this same religious assumption of unquestionable righteousness. The current ideology is at least a religion in every meaningful comparison if not an fanatical extremist cult.

      • Hello Tildeb. Should we continue to hold to the thoughts and ideas of the Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt societies? Or how about the cultural society of the Romans? We do not glorify their ways and we don’t continue them. We learned better ways, we improved and grew up. We taught our children those better ways, and when they were old enough to understand we explained why. They did not feel the need to return to those far by gone old ways because they were taught better ways. That is only what is happening now. It should be celebrated that we are progressing to a better future for all, and not bemoaning that we no longer want to wallow in harmful hurtful images and stories. There is no real loss in this, only growth. The books were not banned, they were removed from publication by the ones with the rights to do so, because they felt the stories and images shouldn’t be promoted in our society. Again that is an improvement and a good sign of progressing. Hugs

  5. Scottie,

    Taught better ways? Progressing to a better future? No loss, only growth? Censorship is improvement?

    Look, what you are doing here is repackaging premises assumed by definition to be virtuous and coming to pre-determined conclusion. This method is the heart and soul of religious thinking and it’s just as pernicious because it avoids the whole sticky problem of justifying – with compelling evidence from reality – the assumptions as true in reality. That’s hard. But rather than do this hard work, ideologues substitute fuzzy words, substitute feelings, substitute testimonials, as if these substitutions are synonyms for compelling evidence linking cause with effect and so are sufficient evidence unto themselves.

    That should be a red flag to you.

    Anything and everything can be repackaged this way, called something virtuous, and then used as justification for anything. Every single totalitarian idea is presented this way. The opposite is true, too: call something immoral or less virtuous, and voila!: the suppression is now only right and proper.

    That should be a red flag to you.

    Because that’s always the thinking method, the sales job, used to slide a population into supporting any and all kinds of totalitarianism, arguing as you by assumption that this is how to progress ever closer and closer to reaching utopia, reaching heaven, you should be shocked at how easily one becomes a ideological Stormtrooper. All it takes is to be a ‘champion,’ a ‘defender,’ a ‘social justice warrior’ always willing for others to sacrifice just this little thing here and little thing there, willing to cause some harm here and some there sure, but, you know, what’s sacrificing a few people’s careers here and there, shutting up just a few other people here and there whose words are blasphemy, impediments – because, hey, they are labelled ‘bad’ in some moral sense by definition for being blasphemous, for being an impediment to the righteous cause, and so who really cares about those blasphemers… ’cause they deserve what’s coming to them.

    How much redder, how much bigger does the flag have to be that there’s something fundamentally wrong with this approach?

    Yes, those of us with woke eyes to see and woke ears to hear – and so by supplied definition are nothing but virtuous in our desires to progress towards the Promised Land – understand the need (the dictatorship of the Proletariat, donchaknow) that dragging a reluctant immoral population along to this marvelous future (that we believe with certainty can be ours and our children’s – a glorious rebirth into a New Life) can happen… if only people would all head in the ‘right’ direction.

    This is why BLM protestors were screaming at outdoor diners to raise the fist in support or ‘earn’ the consequences of violence right there and then because it’s perfectly acceptable to ‘punch a Nazi’.

    So the real problem must be those who don’t march in lockstep to our virtue, who don’t raise the fist, who don’t accept the communal tenets of this woke ideology as virtuous but actually think it is malignant and toxic and regressive. By definition of the True Believers, they must be the problem, the Evil Ones, the one’s who have no moral foundation, who have not yet received the Good News and accepted Kendi and DiAngelo BLM’s manifesto as their personal racial saviours, and so we’d better use the State to force them to do so…. for the moral benefit of everyone, of course, and the closer attainment of this waiting utopia.

    In order to have any kind of war, you have to have two competing groups. To split a civilian liberal population into partisan camps, you have to create belief in a power hierarchy. You NEED victims and victimizers; you NEED oppressor and the oppressed. You NEED belief that this description is accurate, that the assumptions that drive the premises to the desired conclusion are true in fact. In the West, that’s how we got 1500 years of metaphysically justified ignorance and brutality and slavery. I would prefer not to return to them no matter how virtuous I’m told it would be.

    • Let me clarify something, Scottie: I know you are a really nice person with a very honest and compassionate character. These commendable attributes do not protect you from being manipulated – especially emotionally – to support what I think is a truly terrible ideology in practice. This is just as true, I think, for most religious people as it is for most Trump supporters. Very nice people who do not grasp the magnitude or the perniciousness of what it is they are actually supporting.

      • Hello Tildeb. Lets be clear here. There is no censorship in this. The people who own the rights wanted to do this as they feel there is a betterment to not showing those images to people who might be susceptible to the wrong message of them.

        You then go off to fail to see the tree because of the forest. Then you dumb the whole forest of word salad of fear of how words can be used to make things bad to justify not using words to make things better.

        It comes down to word salad to justify not accepting that somethings have run their course of time and need to go, and be replaced by a better understanding. The human species is not static, it grows and changes. Demographics change. In the US we right now are having an immense problem because the once white majority has been slowly diminishing in numbers and now will soon be a minority. Oh the fear mongering and harm this has caused the last decade especially the last 4 years. But the change in demographics is a normal happening in our country and a good thing. It is like how a forest fire nourishes and renews a forest. Change shouldn’t be feared if it is progressive not regressive.

        You claim I can be manipulated, but can you not also? If others are wrong, can you not be also?

        I want to be clear that while I disagree with you I do not assign nefarious reasons to your stance. Your reasoning is your own, I just disagree with it. I do know from prior experience you will argue your point for days at length long after any new information is presented, as I have been known to do. We have done this in the past. I do not intend to do so here in Notes to Ponders comments and abuse my welcome. So this is the end of my responding. If you post more I will of course read it, but not abuse our host by responding. Best wishes. Hugs

      • Last year, long before CPAC replaced MAGA with America Uncanceled, the publisher of Dr. Seuss books removed six titles from publication citing images or language presenting racial stereotypes. Months later conservative bobble-heads spewed “banned” and “censorship” propaganda. Dr. Seuss hasn’t been banned. Out of publication isn’t censorship, book stores and libraries aren’t obliged to burn his books.

        Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California argued against a Bill to expand voting rights, saying – ” First they outlaw Dr Seuss and then they want to tell us what to say.” Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, lambasted the rebranding of Mr Potato Head during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), blatting, “Look out, Mr Potato Head, you’re next … I’m sorry, I think now he’s going by Potato X. He can’t be Mr Potato.”

        I’m fascinated by the tone of conversation. Who in their right mind twists a decision to cease publishing racially insensitive children’s books into a right-wing symbol of “cancel culture”? What will it take for reasonable people to call out conservative propaganda? Speak of America Uncanceled reality, ask where minorities and the LGBTQ community fits in the agenda, their vision of a “great” nation?

      • When it becomes virtue signaling and companies like Ebay deem the selling of such books ‘hate’ and refuse service with a warning of punitive measures to follow if anyone tries. This is not coming from the ‘Right’; it’s very much coming from the Left and usually without any criticism from the Left. This is a problem long identified as a source of fuel for the worst elements of the Right who seem to be the only ones willing to stand up against this bullying. This is HOW a person like Trump gains political power. And there’s the problem made real.

      • So why should we criticize this virtue signaling? After all, aren’t we in effect protecting children and isn’t that a good thing, a moral thing?

        Here’s something interesting:

        “Scholars from the Immorality Lab at the University of British Columbia created a victim-signaling scale that measures how frequently people tell others of the disadvantages, challenges, and misfortunes they suffer. Those who scored higher on this victim-signaling scale were found to be more likely to virtue-signal—to outwardly display signs of virtuous moral character—while simultaneously placing less importance on their own moral identity. In other words, victim signalers were more interested in looking morally good but less interested in being morally good than those who less frequently signal their victimhood.”

        And we’ve seen exactly this behaviour from many of the most celebrated virtue-signalers… like the Pulitzer price winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, from the NY Times that then ‘championed’ her award winning series the 1619 Project (and now taken wholesale as history curriculum in many states so as to appear virtuous). Never mind that many highly respected historians are in consensus that it’s a virtue-signaling ideological and intentionally deceitful framing of history… (here).

        Is the issue really about protecting children? Is that why almost every signaler who has weighed in on the Dr Seuss issue seems to know nothing – or at least never mentions anything – about Dr Seuss’ book The Sneetches?

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