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Old 03-05-2021, 02:12 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
Except that “a white man who eats with fork” wouldn’t have been singled out and mentioned as being remarkable.
It probably would have been in a book aimed at the Chinese market at the time.
Someone eating with chopsticks would have been remarkable to the market the book was aimed at, at the time it was published.
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Old 03-05-2021, 02:17 PM   #32
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I would be offended if the chopsticks where changed to a fork. I'm not offended by the chopsticks.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:04 PM   #33
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I am sorry but have to laugh at this. Personal think people are looking of excuses etc. At the time of of the writing it was an innocent comment or observation.

What surprises me is the new Black writers Guild, does that mean we can create a White Writers Guild ? Hell no, as that's rasist.

Personally I don't judge a book by the colour of the author's skin or some innocent comment or pictures, yes if they are trying to push rasist ideals on me then yes I have a problem then.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
It probably would have been in a book aimed at the Chinese market at the time.
Someone eating with chopsticks would have been remarkable to the market the book was aimed at, at the time it was published.
Well, yes. But you can’t expect a kid to understand that. In any case, the illustration, heavily exaggerated and stereotypical, is not something that would be tolerated today.

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I would be offended if the chopsticks where changed to a fork. I'm not offended by the chopsticks.
Well, then, you make the case. As a white person (who has not been marginalized by society for his race), you’d be offended by a fork? Then shouldn’t an Asian even more so be offended by the chopsticks?

None of this is about “what bothers me.” It’s about what’s problematic to present to children and what it says about race and attitudes toward race.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:16 PM   #35
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What we have to do is separate the language of the times from racism/antisemitism/etc. Because what is racism/antisemitism/etc. is not always because of the language of the times.

Why specifically mention anti semitism, I see far more examples of anti Muslim, anti Catholicism, and rarely see period settings (in general literature, written by non middle easterners) where Turks, Arabs, orientals etc were mentioned with anything other than disdain.

I read history, and I also read general literature, of the middle east through the ages, and I read modern literature with aspects in the middle east. Some interesting works have been written on the topic of attitudes towards that region, Orientalism by Edward Said comes to mind.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:59 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
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 carriage that Marco found so boring.
Sheesh... Chopsticks are part of most Asian cultures so why would that be any more remarkable than a white man with a fork? Would someone whose culture uses flatbread as an eating utensil be more offended by the chopsticks or the fork?

Edit: I may influenced by my place of residence given there is no majority ethnic group here.

Last edited by DNSB; 03-05-2021 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:03 PM   #37
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I think part of what’s 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 picture in question is certainly dated, but I'm not so sure that it is offensive.

The Mulberry Street book was published round about 1937. That's not so long after the fall of the Qing dynasty. The queue hairstyle was quite common in China up until about 1911. There is even a photograph on the Wikipedia page about the queue hairstyle of a Chinese man in San Fransisco sporting it and dressed fairly similarly to the character Dr. Seuss' book. So it is perhaps not unnatural for Dr. Seuss to have chosen such an image to represent a person from China.

If the picture were making fun of the Chinese person, it would be different. But I don't see that in the image. It's a bit goofy, but not any more so than many of the other pictures in the book. Just look at the elephant and the zebra.

Would a child of today understand the cultural history of the queue hairstyle? Likely not. That's what teachable moments are for. That's also why it's good to read books with one's children.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:23 PM   #38
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A general comment on the subject of chopsticks, there have been 'çhina towns' in many many cities around the world for centuries. Anyone who ate in those places used chopsticks, no matter what the background of the person was. To suggest chop sticks were a novel idea to all persons in any given country is a nonsense, to suggest some people may not have either seen them or used them before is obvious, and they would learn about them through Dr Seuss in that case.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:26 PM   #39
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Not unusually, the Babylon Bee makes a point
https://babylonbee.com/news/ebay-fin...cks-in-margins

Spoiler:
U.S.—eBay today released a statement that they will be pulling Mein Kampf from their site after the shocking discovery that Hitler drew a Chinese character in the margin who was eating with chopsticks.

“We are horrified and saddened to discover that Adolph Hitler engaged in racist caricatures like this,” said a spokesman for eBay. “All of us deeply regret that customers enjoying a nice socialist manifesto were unwillingly exposed to such harmful bigotry. We express our deepest apologies and hope our oversight about Hitler has not contributed to racial violence against the Chinese.”

Other major distributors quickly followed suit, with Amazon additionally stopping all sales of chopsticks to people with Asian-sounding names. After seeing what corporations were doing, the Biden administration bravely denounced Hitler’s drawing and said it will be issuing executive orders imposing restrictions on Chinese restaurants so no one will ever be exposed to the harmful sight of an actual Chinese person eating with chopsticks.




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Old 03-05-2021, 04:46 PM   #40
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Frankly, some of the comments here make me think people don’t understand the story and the purpose served by the Chinese man and his eating utensils.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:03 PM   #41
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Frankly, some of the comments here make me think people don’t understand the story and the purpose served by the Chinese man and his eating utensils.
Apart from rhyming with the magician doing tricks, I'm not sure just what purpose the Chinese man and his eating utensils are supposed to be fulfilling.

Is Dr. Seuss pointing fun at magicians or men with ten foot beards? They seem to be dealt with in much the same way as the Chinese man. I suspect some people may be reading a little too much into the image.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:47 PM   #42
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Please post the image into this discussion
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:56 PM   #43
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Please post the image into this discussion
I wonder why that's probably a bad idea?
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:59 PM   #44
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I wonder why that's probably a bad idea?

It's not a banned image as has been pointed out, it is a matter of interpretation by the publishers
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:12 PM   #45
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Please post the image into this discussion
Have attached the image in question. If you do decide to click on it, you will discover that the Chinese man is running in exactly the same manner as both the magician and the man with the lengthy beard.

There is nothing strange about magicians doing tricks. There is nothing strange about a man with a long beard. There is nothing strange about a Chinese person eating with chopsticks. They are treated in the same manner.

There would, however, be something strange about any of them running down a residential street.

I have studied in China. I have worked in Taiwan. I have passed through Hong Kong a good number of times. I have eaten at night markets and in side alleys. I have seen Chinese people standing, sitting and squatting while eating with chopsticks. I have done so myself.

I have never seen anybody running while eating with chopsticks. That would be strange, even in China. As strange as a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat while running down a street.
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