The high court of cultural insight has now judged Dr. Seuss a provisional pariah. Whether or not he gains full membership in the Dead White Male graveyard is undetermined. Six of the venerable author’s works have been relegated not to the dustbin of irrelevance, but banished to the super-max prison of infamy. There was a time when writers feared insignificance in the eyes of the general public. In 2021, that’s a blessing compared to the evisceration a social media hit team can inflict upon those it hates.
Theodor Seuss Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss—has been dead for nearly thirty years, so he can neither defend his work nor beg for a sentence at a reeducation camp. To illustrate our slide towards irrationality, pause and think about 2015, when the Seuss oeuvre was hailed by then President Barak Obama:
The works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to us as Dr. Seuss, have sparked a love for reading in generations of students. His whimsical wordplay and curious characters inspire children to dream big…
Six years is not a long timespan in the real world, but is a lifetime in today’s vitriolic environment. I wonder if Mr. Obama will hold a news conference to rescind his 2015 declaration, and thereby absolve himself of guilt.
The animosity to these books is coming from the center; it’s not a radical cheap shot. So, let’s not go hunting for leftist straw men to burn. The censors aren’t emaciated Antifa youngsters; they’re wearing navy blue suits and black loafers. Dr. Seuss Enterprises is charged with preserving the legacy of this important artist. It is this group’s decision to no longer publish the books in question. I would think this decision is within the purview of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, but it is nonetheless saddening. This judgment shows the insidious level to which political correctness has wiggled past the barricades of common sense and infiltrated corporate America. It seems that this was not a hastily arrived at conclusion, but rather, a resolution based upon analysis and discussion:
Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles.
On one hand, we should give thanks that the decision is not the result of a Twitter flame fest, but of a carefully navigated process. On the other, we should lament that such a verdict could ever be the outcome. Dr. Seuss has been judged. Who’s next… Mr. Rogers?