Dr. Seuss Racism Controversy – local library official speaks out on what is being done

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is an author known around the world with millions upon millions of children hearing his works ever since he began publishing in the 1920s. Now, in the 2020s, some of his works are being discussed in a light that is not as positive as you’re used to hearing.

Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said Tuesday.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday.

18 News reached out to the director of the Chemung County Library District for comment regarding the iconic author’s controversy and to see what they are doing in response.

“What we have done is we have pulled the books, so that I can look at them myself. And then my children’s librarian will have an opportunity to review. I am aware that there are anti-Japanese cartoons, there is also negative depictions of African Americans, so I’m very concerned about promulgating that stereotype it’s not something we want to do.” Said Ronald Shaw, director of CCLD.

Shaw went on to comment saying that if he were to read these books to his kids, he would try to explain to them why certain words and imagery are wrong and hurtful. He also discusses an article published about racist imagery in “The Cat in the Hat”, arguably Dr. Seuss’s most popular work.

This is not the first time that Dr. Seuss’s apparent racism has shined a negative light on the author.

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