Is Children’s Author, Dr.Seuss, A Racist?

America Juarez, Staff Writer

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Dr. Seuss was a children’s book author who wrote the books we know and love. But your favorite childhood author, Dr. Seuss, illustrated racist and offensive political cartoons and ads during 1927. These illustrations were made  before he was known as ‘Dr. Seuss’.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an ad agency illustrator who also drew political cartoons.  His most famed books are Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. Although everyone loves and adores his work, many don’t recognize its dark and controversial past.

In one of Seuss’ Cartoons, he drew his view on the anti-Japanese movement, during 1970s. The picture illustrates a stereotypical drawing of the Japaneses handing “TNT” to other Japanese-Americans to bomb the country. The caption explained, they will wait for the “signal from home”, implying that they will bomb Pearl Harbor.

In another ad, the picture shows a derogatory caricature of a black person being depicted as a savage. This is based off stereotypes. They are dehumanizing the person by drawing them without clothes and flies around them, implying that they are not civilized.

In late 2017, Melania Trump donated a series of Dr. Seuss books to Cambridgeport School, but a librarian rejected the donation. The librarian received a lot of backlash, but that didn’t stop her from speaking her mind. She openly wrote a letter to Trump explaining why she declined the books, “…what many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes”.

Many students grew up reading Dr. Seuss’ books. When asked about the situation, Sophia Castellanos explains, “I often read Dr. Seuss’ books as a kid in preschool, we even had a whole week dedicated to him. As a kid I never thought of him as racist, mostly because I didn’t know what racism was. Now that I know what he’s done, it makes me feel a little disappointed and uncomfortable”.

Although he only targeted black people and Asian-Americans, people are still bothered. The Dr. Seuss you know and love has a controversial backstory. Some may agree with his ideas, but some may not. Do you still see him the same?

About the Writer
America Juarez, Staff Writer

America Juarez is a 7th grade student on the SAS program here at Dana Middle School. She is a new staff member who will contribute her ideas, opinions,...

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