In an announcement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises mentioned it made the choice after consulting educators and reviewing its catalog.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” it mentioned.
The announcement was made Tuesday, the birthday of the famed youngsters’s guide writer.
That research, printed in 2019, examined 50 books by Dr. Seuss and located 43 out of the 45 characters of colour have “characteristics aligning with the definition of Orientalism,” or the stereotypical, offensive portrayal of Asia. The two “African” characters, the research says, each have anti-Black traits.
Two particular examples, in keeping with the research, are discovered within 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 referred to as ‘a Japanese,’ has a bright yellow face, and is standing on what appears to be Mt. Fuji,” the authors wrote.
Regarding “If I Ran the Zoo,” the research factors out one other instance of Orientalism and White supremacy.
“The three (and only three) Asian characters who are not wearing conical hats are carrying a White male on their heads in ‘If I Ran the Zoo.’ The White male is not only on top of, and being carried by, these Asian characters, but he is also holding a gun, illustrating dominance. The text beneath the Asian characters describes them as ‘helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant’ from ‘countries no one can spell,'” the research authors wrote.
The research additionally argues that for the reason that majority of human characters in Dr. Seuss’ books are White, his works — inadvertently or not — heart Whiteness and thus perpetuate White supremacy.
Separating Seuss from youngsters’s literature
Earlier this week, a college district in Virginia made headlines for allegedly banning books by Dr. Seuss.