Curious George. Dr. Seuss.
Those two legendary book series define my childhood — and I suspect they do so for millions of others across the generations. Now, on the eve of Read Across America Day (March 2), a day designated in 1998 to coincide with the birthday of Dr. Seuss book series creator, Theodore Geisel, to promote reading by our youngest generation, we are being told by some in the blind cancel culture movement that runs roughshod across the nation’s cultural landscape, that beloved Dr. Seuss is racist.
Say it ain’t so.
That is right, the cancel culture has come for Dr. Seuss, and all 600 million copies of his books.
Are the PC Woke Terrorists out of their minds?
A Virginia school district, Londoun County Public Schools, has recently given guidance to its schools not to connect Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss’ birthday exclusively. Though they didn’t ban such books, they certainly crapped all over them and in essence, discourage the reading of these beautiful, award-winning, time-honored books.
It has gotten out of hand, at an alarming rate, as
to what these culture killers are going after. The Muppets recently got tagged
with aired warning labels by Disney. Now Dr. Seuss is being dissed. Next it
will be The Peanuts and Superman. Soon, there will be nothing untarnished by a
broad strokes movement to rid the nation of racism — leaving the country
angrier and maybe even more racist.
We can improve on the quality of new books moving forward but don’t cross a line of revising everything form the past. Don’t go overboard and look too hard for something that really isn’t there. Saying a book is not diverse enough does not make it racist, does it?
The world wants obvious change. Don’t beat someone up for being different. Don’t bully others. Use peaceful means to resolve issues. Help the less fortunate. Equal pay for equal work for women. Fair access to jobs and government resources. Don’t try to sleep with a subordinate or sexually harass anyone. We can agree on this, right?
But once you hit up Dr. Seuss, you lose currency with most of America.
If you look real closely, most books, movies, and art of the past were not representative of one or more demographics, from color and sex, to religious beliefs, gender identity, age, class, or disability. This does not mean the artist or the creation suffers from an ism. And if it does, let the public decide what it chooses to embrace. Teach about the past, but don’t obliterate it.
Sure some racial, gender, and social reform is necessary in our world, from Wall Street and Capitol Hill, to Main Street and Hollywood, but our books are precious and must not be tossed out like a dress that has become out of fashion.
Our children’s books should be free of adult problems and baggage of generations past. Dr. Seuss books are sacred. Please don’t let the revisionists, censors, book burners and banners come for them. Though well intentioned, perhaps, it seems the cultural thieves are destroying America while trying to repair it. They are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Children start out pure and innocent. Books help them imagine better worlds, one where anything is possible. Dr. Seuss, more than almost any other children’s book series, has helped open minds and enables children to see a fun, exciting, and wonderful world.
I don’t fully understand what the beef is over these classic tales, but it is bullshit. These books have made-up creatures and languages. They rhyme, make you think, and help kids learn. Can’t we just leave it at that?
Now, does the book world need changes made? Sure. Those who work in publishing and make editorial decisions are overwhelmingly white. Could use some more diversity there, but it is getting a little better. I don’t think being of a certain race necessarily qualifies or disqualifies one from doing their job, but I understand that in order to have all perspectives heard there needs to be some representation from all kinds of people.
The percentage of white children’s book authors of new books is very high, though it is gradually coming down. Again, anyone can tell anyone’s story if it is good, but all things being equal, it helps if there is more representation of different voices. Aside from who makes publishing decisions 00 or creates the content -- there is no doubt that non-white characters could be represented more often in children's books, but that is on the upswing according to studies as well.
Let us not forget, self-publishing has no color barriers. And anyone can be an entrepreneur and start a publishing company dedicated to any cause or mission.
But let’s be clear. Dr. Seuss books are not racist. Whatever shortcomings may exist as a result of lacking non-white human characters is made up by the mosaic of animal and make -believe characters that share wisdom and positive values. Dr. Seuss is not yelling the N-word or showing Black people in a disparaging light. He instead, shows us to look beyond even being human and to see beautiful things all around us.
How does the nation wake up one day and suddenly turn its back on a great children's book series? Dr. Seuss has achieved milestone success for many, many decades, not just in the US but abroad. Kids and parents and teachers love these books.
Look, these books don't mention sexual identity pronouns. They don't show women as CEOs. They don't depict disabled people. There are no homeless, insane, sexual assault survivors, Alzheimer patients, or cancer sufferers. They don't show Jews. So? No movie or book shows everyone or reflect every ideology. Look at what these books do show -- a creative world that everyone embraces.
The National Education Association was correct in identifying its day to honor reading with the birthday of a man who created 60 wonderful books that have enlightened, educated, entertained, and inspired hundreds of millions of young minds across the globe.
Perhaps on the day we are to celebrate literacy and children’s books, we now need to teach about the dangers of a woke slither of the nation that has gone too far. We need to learn our numbers and letters -- and now, about censorship and culture revisionists. The danger of racism is children’s books, as serious as it may be, is far secondary to the bigger danger that there is a growing army of fascists seeking to destroy our literary heritage and brainwash us to the point we could turn on our beloved Dr. Seuss.
Dr. Seuss was drawn during a different era but his message is timeless. Read to a child today and encourage a kid to read. Put a Dr. Seuss book in their hands, without apology or heartache.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .