The one day of the year where elementary school kids could defy the norm and eat green eggs and ham at school, Dr. Seuss day. Out of all my most memorable memories from elementary school, Dr. Seuss day brought me the most joy. I vividly remember the hallway overflowing with paper-cut-out Truffula Trees. Students belly laughing as their teachers read Wacky Wednesday followed by inspiration from Oh The Places You’ll Go. Even some of my favorite childhood movies were based on Dr. Seuss’ work: Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss brought so much color to my childhood.
Recently, Dr. Seuss novels have become cancel culture’s next victim. Six of Seuss’s works of art were pulled from Amazon because of “racial implications.” One of these being an Asian man illustrated with “slanted eyes” and a “pointed hat” in Seuss’ “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street.”
Although I agree that this representation of a Chinaman can be considered racist, it should not be the reason we cancel an entire publication. Dr. Seuss wrote his books with intention of assisting children that have difficulty reading. The simplicity of the vocabulary in his books allowed children to stay engaged all while having fun images to look at such as Ethel the Elephant or Mertle the Turtle. His intention was never to degrade a race or offend anyone in that matter. This can be seen in his popular quote “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Clearly, Seuss stood for equality for all. This is a broad quote that covers gender, age, height, and yes- race. However, that would totally contradict the media’s narrative of Dr. Seuss. To them, Seuss is a horrible man that should be canceled because he drew a man from China with traditional Chinese attire. I do not agree. I will say, the slanted eyes were probably too far and could offend someone of like-race, but Dr. Seuss did not have bad intentions with his characters. He’s a children’s book author for crying out loud.
We should be less worried about canceling children’s books and far more worried about the explicit music played on the radio. No one feels like canceling rappers that say the “n-word,” yet, society is so quick to cancel a harmless children’s book series. There is no consistency in cancel culture and it is ruining the lives of innocent people and even ruining the legend of people who have passed. If we are worried about corrupting the minds of kids, we need to cancel the racism problem as a whole. Yes, cancel your precious Cardi B. Just like the popular Dr. Seuss quote used in numerous Black Lives Matter campaigns says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”