Six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published or licensed because of racist and offensive imagery.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, most well-known as Dr. Seuss, renowned for his peculiar rhymes and quirky characters, is considered an icon in children's literature. However, some of his books contain racist and stereotypical content.
The titles of said books include, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McEllligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
In the children's classic “If I Ran the Zoo,” Seuss illustrates two African characters as shirtless and shoeless monkeys. He also illustrated three Asian men carrying a caged animal and an armed white boy on their heads.
In “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” Seuss illustrates a Middle Eastern character on an elephant pulling a band of white men in a cart behind him. One of the white men in the cart is smiling while swinging a whip at the Middle Eastern character.
These are only a few examples of the many harmful and offensive illustrations Seuss has published.
According to Research on Diversity in Youth Literature article by Katie Ishizuka and Ramón Stephens, Seuss’ racist illustrations go far beyond children's literature.
“Before and during his career of publishing children’s books, Dr. Seuss also published hundreds of racist political cartoons, comics and advertisements for newspapers, magazines, companies and the United States government," Ishizuka and Stephens said.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises released a statement March 2 about the six books saying, “These books portray people in ways that are harmful and wrong.”
Prior to the announcement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said they worked with a panel of experts and educators to decide which books to remove.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said.