Schools across the US are dropping Dr Seuss books after a recent study found they were “steeped in racist propaganda and harmful stereotypes.”
One particular school in Virginia has distanced itself from the author, and will instead shift its annual Read Across America day celebrates away from Seuss’ books, and more towards those that are “inclusive and diverse and reflective of our student community”.
It is important to note that schools have not banned the books outright. They are still accessible in school libraries, but the annual event will not feature Dr. Seuss.
The decision comes after a 2019 report titled “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books”.
“White supremacy is seen through the centring of Whiteness and White characters, who comprise 98% (2,195 characters) of all characters,” the report reads.
“Notably, every character of colour is male. Males of colour are only presented in subservient, exotified, or dehumanised roles. This also remains true in their relation to White characters.”
It also notes that “some of Dr. Seuss’ most iconic books feature animal or non-human characters that transmit Orientalist, anti-Black, and White supremacist messaging through allegories and symbolism.”
Read Across America Day celebrates have previously relied heavily on Seuss books including The Cat In The Hat and The Grinch.