American Elephants

Good Grief! Leave Dr. Seuss Alone! by The Elephant's Child
March 4, 2021, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted with cancelling and banning. Dr. Seuss was kind of the last straw. No. Dr. Seuss was not racist. E-Bay has even banned Dr. Seuss’s books from being sold on their website. “Racist” is the latest hot-button and everyone is looking for the slightest traces of it anywhere, since George Floyd’s death, not from police detainment with a Minneapolis-legal knee hold, but from a fentanyl overdose. The trial of the policeman involved is just starting, and Minneapolis is preparing for violence. The Civil War is being re-fought, and army bases named after Confederate generals re-named and of course all statues of Confederates torn down and destroyed. Joe Biden announced before he selected his running mate that it had to be a black female. One would think qualifications might come first, but that’s where we are. We have two political parties very much at odds with one another.

History is what happened in the past. It frequently gets re-written, as the New York Times silly 1610 Project was, but to be fair, it’s also easy to see just where that came from. A quick look at one of my American history books clarified that promptly. A ship of Portuguese sailors had a load of blacks who they sold to Virginia planters for the amount of their passage to America. They had to work off that cost as “indentured servant”s. Indentured servitude was common at that time, as many who wanted to come to America could not afford the cost of the passage. They had to work off the cost. It was not slavery, nor was it looked down upon. Some were well-educated and worked off their indenture as teachers. They didn’t have credit cards then.

I’m not sure that we are teaching our children just why they need to be informed. Why they need history. Why they need to know how to find facts and true information. How to check the so-called “fact checkers.” How to be informed and active throughout their lives. I take back that “I’m not sure”. Of course they do not. More and more pieces online are labeled with the estimated reading time, as people must be persuaded that this bit of information is worth their time, or not. Somehow that is sending the wrong message, and leading to trouble. There are always people out there with different ideas of where the country should be going and developing, what’s right and wrong. You have representatives in Congress to act for you, but are they acting for you? Do you send them any messages beyond whether or not they get your vote? Do they know what you expect and want? Let them know! That’s what they are there for, and if they don’t represent what you want, vote them out. If we do not want a nation run by the occupants of the Washington D.C. swamp, we need to make them know what it is we do want.

Dr. Seuss made funny rhythmic poems illustrated with silly drawings. They delighted kids. Banning has gone way too far, and needs to be stopped in its tracks.

2 Comments so far
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Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) also taught sometimes complex ideas in a simple manner, entertaining yet informative, without being preachy, boring, or belittling.

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (one of the six “banned” Seuss books) was the first published under the “Dr. Seuss” pen name, and describes what a child imagines vs. what he actually sees.

“The Cat in The Hat” – teaches the power of imagination to entertain
“Green Eggs and Ham” – trying new things
“The Lorax: – conservation of resources (not the “evils of capitalism”, as some claim)
“Horton Hatches an Egg” – keeping your promises, even in the face of ridicule, even when others don’t keep theirs
“Fox In Socks” – prepositions and grammar
“The Zax” – stubbornness and pride and the ridiculous extremes people go to (one of my favorites; I recite it for children… “One day, making tracks, on the Prarie of Prax…”)
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” – the meaning of Christmas vs. the materialism in celebrating it.

And on and on…

I just think of the children (and many adults, for that matter) missing out on the sense of wonder Geisel created with his words and drawings, and while it makes me angry at those who would deprive the world of that, it makes me sad that there are people who would want to.


Comment by Lon Mead

Excellent post, Lon. My three kids all loved Dr. Seuss, and my books were long since passed on to their kids,and probably sold when they were done. It’s as if America has burst out in a rash of super-sensitiveness that must be dealt with immediately at all costs. Weird!


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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