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Old 03-05-2021, 07:45 AM   #16
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I think what it comes down to is that some people who get involved in movements get addicted to the thrill of protesting and being involved, and once they have achieved their original goals, start looking for more stuff to be outraged about.

Five years ago, the President and first lady at the time, both of whom are Black, loved on Dr Suess on National read across America Day, which happens to be Dr Suess' birthday and is alternately called Dr Suess Day. Dr Suess did not suddenly become racist or offensive in the space of 5 years, especially since he's been dead since 1991. Instead, modern culture and the desire for more and more things to be outraged about, decided to become outraged at him. Who is next, Mr Rodgers?

Kids are not naturally outraged or take offense unless of course you are trying to get them to do something they don't want to, they have to be taught to do so. Very young children, the age that Dr Suess and Read Across America Day is targeted to, tend to be very accepting of people who are different.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:08 AM   #17
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Kids are not naturally outraged or take offense unless of course you are trying to get them to do something they don't want to, they have to be taught to do so. Very young children, the age that Dr Suess and Read Across America Day is targeted to, tend to be very accepting of people who are different.
Itís not kidsí outrage you have to worry about. Itís the lack of outrage, the acceptance of something offensive, the effect of seeing another race demeaned. The stereotypical image of the Asian man in Mulberry Street offends. Enough to withdraw the book, an important and good book? Itís complicated. As with the Obamasí love of Seuss. No oneís arguing that he wasnít a great author, didnít almost single-handed transform childrenís lit for the better. But as time has gone on, itís obvious heís not an unalloyed good, either.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:51 AM   #18
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This book about two male penguins raising a chick was a very highly contested book by people who have no concept of tolerance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_Tango_Makes_Three
And Tango Makes Three is a children's book written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole which was published in 2005. The book tells the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who create a family together. With the help of the zookeeper, Mr. Gramsay, Roy and Silo are given an egg which they help hatch. The female chick, that completes their family, is consequently named "Tango" by the zookeepers.[1] The book was based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins who fell in love in New York's Central Park Zoo.

And Tango Makes Three has been mentioned in numerous censorship and culture war debates on same-sex marriage, adoption, and homosexuality in animals.[2] The American Library Association (ALA) reports that And Tango Makes Three was the most frequently challenged book from 2006 to 2010, and the second most frequently challenged in 2009.[2][3][4] It has also won multiple awards, including the ALA Notable Children's Book Nominee in 2006, the ASPCA Henry Bergh Book Award in 2005, and was named one of the Bank Street Best Books of the Year in 2006.[5]

Scholars of children's literature and education believe And Tango Makes Three is a good way to introduce the idea of diverse families to children. The book does not take a stance on same-sex marriage, but rather the validity of same-sex families.[6][/quote]
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:55 AM   #19
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Five years ago, the President and first lady at the time, both of whom are Black, loved on Dr Suess on National read across America Day, which happens to be Dr Suess' birthday and is alternately called Dr Suess Day. Dr Suess did not suddenly become racist or offensive in the space of 5 years, especially since he's been dead since 1991. Instead, modern culture and the desire for more and more things to be outraged about, decided to become outraged at him. Who is next, Mr Rodgers?
No one is "next". Because Dr Seuss was not targeted by anyone. There was no outrage that forced the rights-holders to do what they did. That's what makes this whole tempest in a teapot so silly. A product was voluntarily rebranded by its owners, and it was decided that some of their poorly selling (and potentially culturally offensive) books would no longer be reprinted. Something that happens every day in the world of publishing without fanfare or bleating.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:56 AM   #20
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This book about two male penguins raising a chick was a very highly contested book by people who have no concept of tolerance.
I don’t see how that’s relevant to the Seuss issue, unless you’re saying that tolerance should allow all views and I’m quite sure that’s not what you mean.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:00 AM   #21
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it was decided that some of their poorly selling (and potentially culturally offensive) books would no longer be reprinted. Something that happens every day in the world of publishing without fanfare or bleating.
Which is why thereís an element of posturing about the kerfuffle. The Foundation will not be the loser by this decision; the contrary.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:07 AM   #22
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Which is why thereís an element of posturing about the kerfuffle. The Foundation will not be the loser by this decision; the contrary.
Precisely. The Foundation saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and voluntarily did so. They were not "wronged" in any way.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:21 AM   #23
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I donít see how thatís relevant to the Seuss issue, unless youíre saying that tolerance should allow all views and Iím quite sure thatís not what you mean.
What I mean is that sometimes someone sees something they find offensive (when it's not) and get all bent out of shape and want it banned.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:00 AM   #24
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What I mean is that sometimes someone sees something they find offensive (when it's not) and get all bent out of shape and want it banned.
Again, I doubt youíre saying that a stereotyped image of a Chinese man isnít offensive or should be allowed in a picture book. And if not, I donít see the relevance.

Weirdly, however, I do find your post relevant to your view of your own particular bÍtes noires, Whose Body? and King Solomonís Mines. It could be argued that you yourself find some things offensive that arenít, according to other judges.

I think part of whatís interesting to me is that the issue is two-fold: is the image offensive and if so, is that justification for pulling Mulberry Street? I say absolutely yes to the first, but I have some fixed feelings about the latter. The other five books are well lost. In essence, Iím prepared to tolerate a certain level of (relatively mild, of necessity) bigotry in service of an important and otherwise quality book, with all the usual declaimers about ďa product of its time.Ē Pervasive bigotry would be a no-go, of course.

Going back to the marketing issue, I think another reason that Mulberry Street had to go is its high visibility and longstanding issues. If the Foundation had only pulled the other five books, they would clearly be engaging in rankest hypocrisy.

Iím curious: how many here are familiar with Mulberry Street? I get the impression that I might be the only person to have read it, or at least remember it clearly.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:13 AM   #25
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I read the book as a child, but not since. I don't remember the pages of interest, maybe because the book didn't really grab my attention. I think I re-read "Green Eggs and Ham" and "One Fish Two Fish..." way more often.

On a different note, way back when I was learning to read (late 1960's), I got onto a subscription plan through school that had some publisher send us one book per month. They were mostly Dr. Seuss books, but some of my favourites were from other writers ("Sam and the Firefly", "Go Dog, Go!",...). Did anyone else get onto a similar plan?
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:42 AM   #26
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Iím curious: how many here are familiar with Mulberry Street? I get the impression that I might be the only person to have read it, or at least remember it clearly.
I remember reading it to my kids. I checked with my wife and according to her, she did not find the book's portrayal of a Chinese man as being overly offensive. This was the post-1978 edition so no yellow skin or queue.

As for the eating with sticks? Her opinion was that was about as offensive as saying "a white man who eats with fork". In this area, you will see almost everyone in a Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese/other Asian restaurant using chopsticks. Oddly, quite a few local Thai restaurants set the table with chopsticks though in Thailand, chopsticks seem to be available on request for those who prefer to use them.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:58 AM   #27
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As long as it's the rights holder pulling the books, I have no problem with it. If the books were being pulled by a governmental entity, then I'd strongly object to it.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:05 PM   #28
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As long as it's the rights holder pulling the books, I have no problem with it. If the books were being pulled by a governmental entity, then I'd strongly object to it.
Considering the book was already edited by Dr. Seuss for the 1978 edition, I have no issues with the decision by the Dr. Seuss Foundation. Times change and they are changing with them.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:40 PM   #29
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As for the eating with sticks? Her opinion was that was about as offensive as saying "a white man who eats with fork".
Except that “a white man who eats with fork” wouldn’t have been singled out and mentioned as being remarkable. It’s akin to the plain horse and wagon that Marco found so boring.

Last edited by issybird; 03-05-2021 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Correct to “wagon”
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:14 PM   #30
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I remember reading it to my kids. I checked with my wife and according to her, she did not find the book's portrayal of a Chinese man as being overly offensive. This was the post-1978 edition so no yellow skin or queue.

As for the eating with sticks? Her opinion was that was about as offensive as saying "a white man who eats with fork". In this area, you will see almost everyone in a Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese/other Asian restaurant using chopsticks. Oddly, quite a few local Thai restaurants set the table with chopsticks though in Thailand, chopsticks seem to be available on request for those who prefer to use them.
I would think many could also be offended if the chopsticks were changed to a fork to "westernize" it or whatever people want to come up with. Speaking of chopsticks, it has been years since I've used them, but I recently went to New Moon Sushi and that is that is what you're handed to eat, so I had to get used to them. I'm determined to get decent with them, although I have a long way to go apparently.
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