Your thoughts on Dr Seuss and racism?

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Anonymous1502
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https://www-bbc-co-uk.cdn.ampproject...rom%20%251%24s

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbc...mp/ncna1259330

Do you think these books are a product of their time? Do you think that they have a place in modern society? Is it us adults over analysing or is there some truth to this? Was Dr Seuss perhaps not intentionally racist instead it was how different skin colours were generally viewed then?
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Anonymous1502
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https://www-bbc-co-uk.cdn.ampproject...rom%20%251%24s

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbc...mp/ncna1259330

Do you think these books are a product of their time? Do you think that they have a place in modern society? Is it us adults over analysing or is there some truth to this? Was Dr Seuss perhaps not intentionally racist instead it was how different skin colours were generally viewed then?
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Tasliima
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It's been a long time coming. Racist imagery in kids books should never have been allowed for publication. All it does is reaffirm racial stereotypes and further marginalise kids (and people) of colour. Racist material isn't even necessary in kids books, and if you think it ruins the plotline when pulled then maybe you should reassess what you're reading. Clearly, if the worth of the work diminishes when you separate the derogatory content then the work was never good to begin with. As for the point on overanalysing the work, I don't think saying that "... a character described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes" is wrong is over analysis. It's obviously harmful and teaches children incorrect tropes, especially to the children of colour who will see themselves as ugly and begin to hate their features for no other reason than the insensitivity of an author who shouldn't have been published to begin with.
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glassalice
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This actually makes me extremely sad. Dr Seuss books are an absolute work of genius and convey messages that are still relivent today.
If you as an individual decided that you didn't want to give your child a Dr Seuss book, that's your perogative.
However, I object to race baiters, because that is what they are, making that decision for every parent.
Parents are more than capable of having a critical discussion with their child about why certain aspects of these books are very good and why other aspects of these books are prehaps not so good.

How many 'poc' actually feel distressed by these books? Do you think that Tommy Robinson reads them to his children?

I fail to see how canceling such books combats actual racism.

Edit: I think as a society we need to find a more mature way of dealing with things that conflict with our values. No individual past or present is completely free from prejudice, the world isn't 'black and white' and we shouldn't have the expectation that the world will be 'black and white' either.

I'll leave you with a quote from Dr Seuss-' A person's a person, no matter how small'
Last edited by glassalice; 1 month ago
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SetethFlayn
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I can't remember the books, which makes it harder to answer. I think regardless, it's a product of its time, and the difficulty it has it that thousands, if not millions of kids have read them and you can't scientifically link them to being racist later on or anything. If that's the case, can we prove then that books are harmful? I imagine with good faith that the books have some fairly obvious stereotyping; but does this set a precedent for what counts as racial stereotyping? How do we know, and how do we spot these things without the risk of over-doing it? Over-doing it risks us actually becoming the instigators of stereotyping, finding problems where there are none (the Coco Pops monkey and Waitrose Ugly Duckling spring to mind). That says more about you than about what is considered problematic. The principle behind this is pretty grey, even if the book is clearly using racial stereotyping. Basically; it's complicated.
Loving the responses by the way! it's an interesting topic of discussion.
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Vapordave
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I agree with the move.
Portraying PoC like this to children reinforces the stereotypes that have become so difficult to shake off.
Some may argue that this doesn't combat actual racism, but it definitely does help the sheer ignorance that affects PoC negatively to this day.
e: i've sort of changed my mind. They can still be published but not promoted to children for above reasons
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Tasliima
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Obviously you wouldn't just remove some books and call it end of. There needs to be discussion around why this was harmful and how this can affect children. It's incredibly ignorant to say it hasn't had an actual affect on kids so we shouldn't pull it. Just because it hasn't had an effect on you doesn't mean it's the same situation for others. Children are impressionable, normalising racial stereotypes in literature aimed at kids will lead these children to form the assumption that it is oaky to make these comments, to think like this. It isn't. I don't know about you, but saying Africans are naked in straw skirts, and saying Asians have two slants for eyes with chopsticks is a massive stereotype. You might argue that you want your kid to still read that stuff because despite being racially problematic, it still has valid lessons. There's plenty of other literature that does this without being derogatory. Instead of putting energy towards invalidating the experiences of poc i suggest you redirect this towards actual worthwhile change, not arguing over a book that you like because didn't oppress you personally.
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iamthicccccc1405
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i saw this on the news this morning
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DiddyDec
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I am against the censorship of classic literature, removing them from publication will not achieve anything other than removing literature from the world.
Those books are more than just literature though, they are incredible works of art.

People should be free to choose what they do or don't to read not be told what is approved or not. If were to remove every publication with something potentially offensive in it we would live in a much more close minded society.
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SetethFlayn
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
I am against the censorship of classic literature, removing them from publication will not achieve anything other than removing literature from the world.
Those books are more than just literature though, they are incredible works of art.

People should be free to choose what they do or don't to read not be told what is approved or not. If were to remove every publication with something potentially offensive in it we would live in a much more close minded society.
Yeah I agree that it should be up to you whether or not you want to read certain books. At the end of the day, it's your prerogative.
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Starship Trooper
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/enter...-arts-56250658

I think 'anti racist' people should just be honest and say they just want get rid of every book and film made by white people up until 2010.

Maybe they can organise community book burnings so people can use social media to #BurnWhiteSupremacy, featuring your favourite celebrities.

Anyone who complains can get fired from their job and get publicly attacked and doxxed because it's 2021 and there's no safe spaces for 'racism'

(I was actually betting money that they would go after Tolkien next but I suppose that'll come later )
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Starship Trooper
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This guy gets it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jXCAAZ8_fCM
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TCA2b
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(Original post by Starship Trooper)
This guy gets it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jXCAAZ8_fCM
Love his videos.
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-Imperator-
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Doesn't it seem reasonable to pull children's books with racist caricatures?
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Starship Trooper)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/enter...-arts-56250658

I think 'anti racist' people should just be honest and say they just want get rid of every book and film made by white people up until 2010.

Maybe they can organise community book burnings so people can use social media to #BurnWhiteSupremacy, featuring your favourite celebrities.

Anyone who complains can get fired from their job and get publicly attacked and doxxed because it's 2021 and there's no safe spaces for 'racism'

(I was actually betting money that they would go after Tolkien next but I suppose that'll come later )
Some of Dr Seuss' work depicts racist characatures so the owner of the books, Dr Seuss Enterprises, has decided to no longer publish these works. Honestly don't see much of an issue with this...?

The only people saying things like "get rid of every book and film made by white people" are people like yourself.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by -Imperator-)
Doesn't it seem reasonable to pull children's books with racist caricatures?
It SEEMS reasonable but it isn't. The problem with censors is that it's a slippery slope and it also assumes that

A: the censors are arguing in good faith
B: that this won't lead to further demands
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-Imperator-
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(Original post by Starship Trooper)
It SEEMS reasonable but it isn't. The problem with censors is that it's a slippery slope and it also assumes that

A: the censors are arguing in good faith
B: that this won't lead to further demands
It doesn't have to be a slippery slope. You can allow censors to pull books with racist caricatures, but object when they pull books for poorer reasons. In other words, if this "lead[s] to further demands", just deny those further demands.
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username5252758
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A private company opting not to publish something it owns the rights to is not censorship. We live in strange times when so many on the right seem to want to wage war on the free market and the right of companies/individuals to decide what they do with things they own.

(Original post by Starship Trooper)

I think 'anti racist' people should just be honest and say they just want get rid of every book and film made by white people up until 2010.
There was a time when the white man ruled the world. Now, some of their weaker descendants spend their time having histrionic outbursts on the internet.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by -Imperator-)
It doesn't have to be a slippery slope. You can allow censors to pull books with racist caricatures, but object when they pull books for poorer reasons. In other words, if this "lead[s] to further demands", just deny those further demands.
Unfortunately that is not how human society functions. Power is a zero sum game.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Calibrated.)
A private company opting not to publish something it owns the rights to is not censorship. We live in strange times when so many on the right seem to want to wage war on the free market and the right of companies/individuals to decide what they do with things they own.

There was a time when the white man ruled the world. Now, some of their weaker descendants spend their time having histrionic outbursts on the internet.
Histrionics about childrens books, of all things.
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