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The older I get, the less I seem to understand.  I am truly shocked to see the majority consensus on a classical education board cheering censorship.  
 

If I didn’t read banned books, I’d have missed some great works.  This is truly sad to me.  I trust people to be able to make their own decisions about what to read or not read.  Obviously, I’m in the minority...

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censored, banned, burned by governments or mobs...   ...vs discontinued by the author / author's estate   Evidently the Seuss estate *did* want to "make a huge public statement

This story is a perfect illustration of the "outrage culture" fomented by talk radio and social media. So a minor story noting that the company founded by Seuss's family will no longer reprint a few b

I do love Dr Seuss, but when you know better, you do better. Times have changed and it is appropriate to retire offensive stereotypes. 

5 minutes ago, Hadley said:

The older I get, the less I seem to understand.  I am truly shocked to see the majority consensus on a classical education board cheering censorship.  
 

If I didn’t read banned books, I’d have missed some great works.  This is truly sad to me.  I trust people to be able to make their own decisions about what to read or not read.  Obviously, I’m in the minority...

No one has cheered censorship.

Dr Seuss's estate has determined that some of his books contain offensive racial stereotypes--which is undeniable--and they are declining to reissue those works.

That's not censorship.

Bill

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Nobody is going to storm into your house, rip the books off your shelves and burn them. No one is going to forbid book sellers from selling them or even libraries (as a general category) from having them on their shelves. Individual school districts, libraries etc will make choices, as they already are doing, as to what to include and promote. 
 

It’s absurd to say that the publisher HAS to continue to publish books that they have decided to stop publishing. 

I'd just like to point out that I certainly didn't suggest the above. 

I expressed a preference for how books with problematic images or elements are dealt with. 

Hyperbole and condescension (not directed at you) about views that differ slightly from the majority is really unhelpful. 

Personally, when my TinTin lover wanted to complete his collection, the sticker on one particular book gave me a heads up that would be a no.

 

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5 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'd just like to point out that I certainly didn't suggest the above. 

I expressed a preference for how books with problematic images or elements are dealt with. 

Hyperbole and condescension (not directed at you) about views that differ slightly from the majority is really unhelpful. 

Personally, when my TinTin lover wanted to complete his collection, the sticker on one particular book gave me a heads up that would be a no.

 

Since I didn’t quote you, I wasn’t focused on what you did or did not suggest. 

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20 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

No one has cheered censorship.

Dr Seuss's estate has determined that some of his books contain offensive racial stereotypes--which is undeniable--and they are declining to reissue those works.

That's not censorship.

Bill

 

 

I agree with you that is not technically censorship.  I just have objections to celebrating anything that even comes close.

As I said, I realize I’m in the minority.  I can agree to disagree about the bigger issues here.  It’s a free country.  
 

I taught English in a small town in Texas years ago.  It was close to impossible to find a book to teach that didn’t offend someone.  My students missed a lot of great works.  I’m a fan of teaching how to think, not what to think.  Your views may vary, and that is perfectly okay.  That’s part of what makes us all human.

Edited by Hadley
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 I think this is reasonable and appropriate in this particular situation (the estate deciding not to publish certain books that aren't popular anyway and are offensive). That said, there is a larger context in which some people are calling for the disappearance of many books and arts and the concept of canon (eg. I saw a discussion about classical ballet yesterday in which someone called for us to "burn it to the ground and start over" and it had a bunch of likes), and I think that larger context is what worries some of us.

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3 hours ago, City Mouse said:

I like most Dr. Seuss books, but I was uncomfortable the last time I read Mulberry Street to a class and realized that it did have Inappropriate illustrations. At that point, I stopped reading that one in a school setting. I don’t think that is the same as banning or burning a book. Copies are still out there for adults to choose to read. I do not think those kinds of books should be read in a classroom situation where someone could infer that those representations are acceptable. 

I do think those books could be used when teaching a lesson about racism.

Disney stopped producing the movie Song of the South many years ago due to the rasist representations. I don’t see any problem with that.

By the way, I do own a copy of Mulberry Street if anyone is looking to buy one. (Just joking)

Lol if you’re looking to make a buck I hear they’re going for thousands on eBay right now 😂😂

 

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When I first saw the headlines, I thought, how ridiculous. Now that I know the whole story, I think that making a big deal out of it is ridiculous and more damaging in the long run. They have every right to stop printing their own books. And it is truly just a few books, some that I had never even heard of.

Now if Dr. Seuss is vilified from here on out and becomes a thing of the past, that would be unfortunate. His books are great for emerging readers and a lot of fun.  I still quote Green Eggs and Ham to my 13yo picky eater occasionally! 

Have any of you ever read the original Raggedy Ann and Andy books?  I picked up a few vintage copies at a book sale one year.  Oh my goodness! I was horrified! There was a line that said, "Last one up the stairs is a cocoa baby!"  😱  I was reading aloud to my kids and had to edit on the fly. Then I promptly threw the books away. I don't know if they are "banned" but I'm certainly glad they are out of print. 

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11 minutes ago, Hadley said:

The older I get, the less I seem to understand.    

I must be in the minority because the older I get the more I understand and it's often people in generations that came later who are teaching me. I'm a product of my time and always thought of myself as not racist but know now that I was, without realizing it. I've learned so much, especially in the past year, from my son's Gen Z as well as from Millennials how wrong I was. I've learned from people of color how wrong I was. If we think we don't understand then it's up to us to listen and learn. As long as we have our faculties we're never too old to learn. 

12 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I am truly shocked to see the majority consensus on a classical education board cheering censorship.

If I didn’t read banned books, I’d have missed some great works.  This is truly sad to me.  I trust people to be able to make their own decisions about what to read or not read.  Obviously, I’m in the minority...

First of all, no one is cheering censorship because this isn't censorship. It isn't book banning. It's capitalism with the added sensitivity towards the people being depicted in the illustrations. It seems like the Seuss family truly does feel, like many of us, that these caricatures are problematic but they still made a decision to stop publishing/licensing books that were actually poor sellers. Do they have that right? Should they only choose to stop publishing books that aren't controversial? Is there a name for forced publishing? Forced licensing? Are you in favor of forcing every author and every publisher to continue publishing books they don't want published? 

I read banned books all through the year and therefore feel no need to read them during the official banned books week but these books aren't in that category. These books aren't being banned even if some schools choose not to keep them on the shelves. Copies already in print can still be sold and resold. Libraries can still choose to keep them on their shelves. The family has asked but not insisted that they be removed. There will be no more new copies of these books released but there are plenty still out there that will remain available.

 

50 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

 Apparently some people think that allowing the company that owns the rights to a book to decide not to continue publishing it is actually more offensive than depicting Black people as monkeys.

This was already quoted by someone else but it deserves to be shown again. It says everything. 

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Just now, Hadley said:

I agree with you that is not technically censorship.  I just have objections to celebrating anything that even comes close.

As I said, I realize I’m in the minority.  I can agree to disagree about the bigger issues here.  It’s a free country.  
 

 

It isn't censorship. Or anything that comes remotely close to censorship. It is the realization on the part of a family that some of their father's works contain offensive imagery and they are acting on their values to stop republishing these works. They are free to do that in a free country.

Theodor Geisel famously wrote, "books for children have a greater potential for good, or evil, than any other form of literature on Earth.” I think his family picked up the right message from Dr Seuss, an author whose works--in the main--promote postive virtues.

But the offensive racial stereotypes in the identified works have a negative potential that I'm sure Geisel himself would recognize (and regret) were he alive today.

Bill

 

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3 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Right. But the analysis seems to point to caricature as a theme for determining if an illustration is racially insensitive that is distinct from stereotyping (not to say they don't recognize an image can be both stereotypical and a caricature, as they surely do). 

I know it seems like hair-splitting, but we adopt a standard that all caricatures are inherently racist then we'd wipe out a vast genre of cartoon work. 

Bill

 

 

 

I see your point, and I don't disagree.

I do think that caricaturing racial features is racist though, and I think that's were the blog author was going with her argument.

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2 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

 

First of all, no one is cheering censorship because this isn't censorship. It isn't book banning. It's capitalism with the added sensitivity towards the people being depicted in the illustrations. It seems like the Seuss family truly does feel, like many of us, that these caricatures are problematic but they still made a decision to stop publishing/licensing books that were actually poor sellers. Do they have that right? Should they only choose to stop publishing books that aren't controversial? Is there a name for forced publishing? Forced licensing? Are you in favor of forcing every author and every publisher to continue publishing books they don't want published? 

I read banned books all through the year and therefore feel no need to read them during the official banned books week but these books aren't in that category. These books aren't being banned even if some schools choose not to keep them on the shelves. Copies already in print can still be sold and resold. Libraries can still choose to keep them on their shelves. The family has asked but not insisted that they be removed. There will be no more new copies of these books released but there are plenty still out there that will remain available.

 

You quoted me before I edited my post. I do understand that this isn’t technically censorship.  I should have been more careful with my words.  I still don’t like it, and it causes me concern.

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This is free market capitalism.  I have no doubt that these books were not making money for the estate and not good for the over all image of the Seuss books.  It's not like it's hard to find the imagery  if you want to find it.  An independent company or organization in a free market is under no obligation to continue publishing works. 

People are free to complain or boycott or whatever, as always.  It's nice to live somewhere we have all these freedoms.  

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3 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

It isn't censorship. Or anything that comes remotely close to censorship. It is the realization on the part of a family that some of their father's works contain offensive imagery and they are acting on their values to stop republishing these works. They are free to do that in a free country.

Theodor Geisel famously wrote, "books for children have a greater potential for good, or evil, than any other form of literature on Earth.” I think his family picked up the right message from Dr Seuss, an author whose works--in the main--promote postive virtues.

But the offensive racial stereotypes in the identified works have a negative potential that I'm sure Geisel himself would recognize (and regret) were he alive today.

Bill

 

You do you.  I don’t want to continue to argue.  Neither of us will have a change of mind here. I’m okay with that!

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I'm ashamed I never realized how bad they are.  I think we have all of them, except the Horton books, because I hated them as a child.  Which had everything to do with hating the idea that earth is a speck of meaningless dust floating in space and nothing to do with race. A couple I thought, "Well that doesn't hold up well," which is the same thought that I had to that Berenstain Bears book about gender that is meant to be feminist but doesn't work when someone can change genders.

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4 hours ago, ealp2009 said:

Well they are big sellers now.  Sold out and $1000 on Amazon.  Just kind of funny. 

Or an indication of just how many people are desperate to cling to anything that validates their superiority.

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35 minutes ago, Hadley said:

The older I get, the less I seem to understand.  I am truly shocked to see the majority consensus on a classical education board cheering censorship.  
 

If I didn’t read banned books, I’d have missed some great works.  This is truly sad to me.  I trust people to be able to make their own decisions about what to read or not read.  Obviously, I’m in the minority...

But you don't trust the estate of Dr. Seuss to make their own decisions on what they want to print or not print? If I decide at some point that I don't like say, the sex scene in a book I have written, and decide to decline reissuing it because of that, is that censorship? Is it morally problematic? 

12 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I agree with you that is not technically censorship.  I just have objections to celebrating anything that even comes close.

As I said, I realize I’m in the minority.  I can agree to disagree about the bigger issues here.  It’s a free country.  
 

I taught English in a small town in Texas years ago.  It was close to impossible to find a book to teach that didn’t offend someone.  My students missed a lot of great works.  I’m a fan of teaching how to think, not what to think.  Your views may vary, and that is perfectly okay.  That’s part of what makes us all human.

These are books for 5 year olds, and not great works of literature. No one is missing out. And at 5 yrs old, we have other ways to teach object lessons that don't involve having kids look at these images, getting (rightfully) upset. And even if you are a Kindy teacher and think these ARE the best books, fine. Find a used copy. 

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1 minute ago, wathe said:

I see your point, and I don't disagree.

I do think that caricaturing racial features is racist though, and I think that's were the blog author was going with her argument.

I don't think you, I, or the author of the blog post have a wee difference of opinion as to whether the images in question use stereotyping and caricaturing in a fashion that resulted in racially offensive artwork.

The internet is a difficult place to seek "nuance," and I may be doing a poor job of articulating my thoughts, but I do have concern that "any and all" use of caricatures is an ipso facto example of racism. So I'm cautious about it being used as a "theme" by the blog writer, while readily conceding the point that caricatures combined with negative stereotypes can result in some very offensive stuff.

Bill

 

 

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Just now, Spy Car said:

I don't think you, I, or the author of the blog post have a wee difference of opinion as to whether the images in question use stereotyping and caricaturing in a fashion that resulted in racially offensive artwork.

The internet is a difficult place to seek "nuance," and I may be doing a poor job of articulating my thoughts, but I do have concern that "any and all" use of caricatures is an ipso facto example of racism. So I'm cautious about it being used as a "theme" by the blog writer, while readily conceding the point that caricatures combined with negative stereotypes can result in some very offensive stuff.

Bill

 

 

I think those were more warning signs, not a straight litmus test. 

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4 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

But you don't trust the estate of Dr. Seuss to make their own decisions on what they want to print or not print? If I decide at some point that I don't like say, the sex scene in a book I have written, and decide to decline reissuing it because of that, is that censorship? Is it morally problematic? 

These are books for 5 year olds, and not great works of literature. No one is missing out. And at 5 yrs old, we have other ways to teach object lessons that don't involve having kids look at these images, getting (rightfully) upset. And even if you are a Kindy teacher and think these ARE the best books, fine. Find a used copy. 

I think authors are perfectly free to make any and all decisions about their own works.  I believe that parents should decide what their five year old children read.  

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My thoughts of racism and race in general are complicated and evolving. As much as I wish to erase some things away I cannot. How can you wish away 200 plus years history of British Colonization  when come from a country with that in it's history not just 74 years ago. 

One of the most shocking things I learned about was the whole history of Mahatma Gandhi, a man revered in my country of origin.  A person who fought against his own countrymen for the rights of the lowliest of castes where they were called untouchables as in not touched by higher caste as they were "unclean" and could not enter into temples. That is the history I was taught. Only lately have I learned what happened and racist is the furthest thing I expected. But here it is and the people in South Africa especially are raising it now.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/02/766083651/gandhi-is-deeply-revered-but-his-attitudes-on-race-and-sex-are-under-scrutiny

I am firm on certain things like what exactly is racism in both explicit and implicit forms today and in the past. But I am unsure on how I should apply those standards to things like books and people and even religion when it came as a form of colonization.

Books are easy, for me I think they should come with a disclaimer and we should talk about them, not ban or erase them for they are the history of what we are trying to change if you ask me. Much else of race and racism is complicated for me.

Edited by Dreamergal
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3 minutes ago, Katy said:

Has anyone compiled a list of antiracist books for little kids?  I have some books to replace.

Maybe these will help. Thanks for bringing it up in this discussion because we sometimes give our grandchildren books, and it's good to know how to find the right books. Thankfully dss and ddil are of the same mind as us and would appreciate them too. 

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/antiracist-books-for-kids-and-teens/

https://www.readbrightly.com/anti-racist-resources-for-kids/

https://www.babylist.com/hello-baby/antiracist-books

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3 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

I think those were more warning signs, not a straight litmus test. 

Perhaps, that that would seem to make it unique among the other identified "themes, which include:

  • Subservience 
  • Dehumanization
  • Exotification
  • Stereotypes
  • Caricature

The first four, to my mind, come very close to representing a categorical imperative (or straight litmus test, if you prefer) and I'm not seeing a differentiation made for "Caricature" in this list.

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Hadley said:

The older I get, the less I seem to understand.  I am truly shocked to see the majority consensus on a classical education board cheering censorship.  
 

If I didn’t read banned books, I’d have missed some great works.  This is truly sad to me.  I trust people to be able to make their own decisions about what to read or not read.  Obviously, I’m in the minority...

 Deleting my response bc I saw that the poster clarified her response. 

Edited by katilac
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Just now, katilac said:

The majority of people on this classical education board know the definition of censorship, and choosing not to publish certain books isn't it. 

I have a feeling that people haven’t read the whole thread before they respond to this comment...

Anyway, I’m bowing out of the discussion now to make dinner.  I realize I often hold unpopular opinions on this board.  That’s okay.  I just pop up every once in a while to let y’all know there are other opinions out here.  We just usually stay quiet, or speak in our own echo chambers.

Happy discussing!

 

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36 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Lol if you’re looking to make a buck I hear they’re going for thousands on eBay right now 😂😂

 

I've got one of them listed for a pretty penny right now.  We'll see how it goes

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22 minutes ago, Katy said:

Has anyone compiled a list of antiracist books for little kids?  I have some books to replace.

Read aloud revival has a booklist of books featuring racial diversity in every day life.  Full disclaimer I’m far from an expert on this topic and I haven’t checked out all the books but it could be a good starting point.

https://readaloudrevival.com/series/diversity/

Edited to add one issue I’m potentially flagging is that while the books feature diverse characters there aren’t so many diverse authors.  It would be maybe better to have books about different cultures from within those cultures.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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2 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Read aloud revival has a booklist of books featuring racial diversity in every day life.  Full disclaimer I’m far from an expert on this topic and I haven’t checked out all the books but it could be a good starting point.

https://readaloudrevival.com/series/diversity/

I'm a big fan of adding books. 

Read a classic that is non-diverse but still has other value? Add a similarly themed book whose value is diversity. Add, add, add. Discuss, discuss, discuss. The more books the better, imo. 

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15 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I think authors are perfectly free to make any and all decisions about their own works.  I believe that parents should decide what their five year old children read.  

Ok...so what does that have to do with this? No one is keeping anyone from reading older copies. The author's estate is just not going to publish it anymore. Same as if I decided I didn't want one of my own books to go into reprint due to a change in mindset over something in one of them. 

14 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

 

Books are easy, for me I think they should come with a disclaimer and we should talk about them, not ban or erase them for they are the history of what we are trying to change if you ask me. Much else of race and racism is complicated for me.

Right. And of course, no one is banning them or erasing them. Heck, I have mutiple copies I think. But the author (and by extension, their estate) should have the right to say, "man, i don't want my/our name on that anymore - that's not what I belive in anymore and I don't want to keep putting it out there, it is am embarrassment now."  My best analogy is say a romance writer who writes explicit sex scenes between unmarried people later becomes a conservative Christian and decides they no longer want to publish books with explicit sex scenes between unmarried characters. Some of her books are out of print and she can decide if she wants to reprint or not and decides not to, as they no longer represent her moral values. She should have the right to do so without others thinking she's book banning. 

Or, say you own a cafe. You serve many things, including a signature, named dish that is a fancy bacon cheeseburger. You become Kosher. You stop serving bacon cheeseburgers. That does not mean you are banning bacon, nor cheeseburgers. It doesn't mean you are erasing them. It means you will no longer make that signature dish as you don't want your name associate with it anymore. 

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35 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I agree with you that is not technically censorship.  I just have objections to celebrating anything that even comes close.

As I said, I realize I’m in the minority.  I can agree to disagree about the bigger issues here.  It’s a free country.  
 

I taught English in a small town in Texas years ago.  It was close to impossible to find a book to teach that didn’t offend someone.  My students missed a lot of great works.  I’m a fan of teaching how to think, not what to think.  Your views may vary, and that is perfectly okay.  That’s part of what makes us all human.

I think those of us who are okay with the decision simply don't think it comes even anywhere close to censorship. 

I get that it can be tough to find books that a lot of different people agree on, but, here's the thing: your students missed a lot of great works in the classroom, and there are an abundance of other great works to replace them. It's not like there are 50 great works available and teachers are restricted to 10 of them. 

Having said that, I will also say that I think older students can and should be reading difficult and even problematic works, but this is Dr. Seuss. The target audience is quite young, and not really up to the task of parsing literature rhyming stories. Even with older students, the needs of minority students to not constantly have to confront and wrestle with stereotypes, especially ones from dated works, is an aspect that needs to be considered. All students should have the repeated experience of reading great literature that features non-white protagonists, and that matter-of-factly presents various non-white characters that aren't stereotyped, aren't in servile positions, and so on. 

 

10 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I think authors are perfectly free to make any and all decisions about their own works.  I believe that parents should decide what their five year old children read.  

How are parents not deciding what their five-year-old children read? And how does this parental right to decide what their children read align with your complaint that parents deciding what their children read leads to them missing out on great works? 

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18 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I have a feeling that people haven’t read the whole thread before they respond to this comment...

Anyway, I’m bowing out of the discussion now to make dinner.  I realize I often hold unpopular opinions on this board.  That’s okay.  I just pop up every once in a while to let y’all know there are other opinions out here.  We just usually stay quiet, or speak in our own echo chambers.

Happy discussing!

 

I did miss your clarification at first, but I deleted my comment almost immediately. 

If you think this board is an echo chamber, you should visit more often. The discussions get lively and it is most definitely not quiet, lol. 

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5 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Ok...so what does that have to do with this? No one is keeping anyone from reading older copies. The author's estate is just not going to publish it anymore. Same as if I decided I didn't want one of my own books to go into reprint due to a change in mindset over something in one of them. 

Right. And of course, no one is banning them or erasing them. Heck, I have mutiple copies I think. But the author (and by extension, their estate) should have the right to say, "man, i don't want my/our name on that anymore - that's not what I belive in anymore and I don't want to keep putting it out there, it is am embarrassment now."  My best analogy is say a romance writer who writes explicit sex scenes between unmarried people later becomes a conservative Christian and decides they no longer want to publish books with explicit sex scenes between unmarried characters. Some of her books are out of print and she can decide if she wants to reprint or not and decides not to, as they no longer represent her moral values. She should have the right to do so without others thinking she's book banning. 

Or, say you own a cafe. You serve many things, including a signature, named dish that is a fancy bacon cheeseburger. You become Kosher. You stop serving bacon cheeseburgers. That does not mean you are banning bacon, nor cheeseburgers. It doesn't mean you are erasing them. It means you will no longer make that signature dish as you don't want your name associate with it anymore. 

I see what you are saying, but if the Enid Blyton estate stopped publishing those books today,  it would mean I do not have an answer to the question about books I grew up reading when my kids ask. It is almost all the books I read at a certain age. She was a prolific writer. It is erasing almost my entire library of books from a certain time period and so much of my personal history and my memories. I have loved books my entire life and these were the books that taught me to read, learn English, improve my English and pretty much played an important role in the trajectory of my life. Quite simply without English I would not be in the US.  My entire generation in my country of origin grew up like that. 

I have to balance that with the racism in the books and the author herself. That is what makes it both complicated and tragic to me and obscure so much of what was good about them.

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32 minutes ago, Hadley said:

I think authors are perfectly free to make any and all decisions about their own works.  I believe that parents should decide what their five year old children read.  

First you accuse posters here of "cheering censorship," then you admit that it's not technically censorship, and then you agree that authors (i.e. those who own the rights to a work) are perfectly free to make decisions about publishing them, so this isn't actually anything like censorship. 

Parents who want to read Dr Seuss books to their 5 year olds have like 40 other Seuss books to choose from, but you're super sad that they will have to buy a used copy if for some reason they just really desperately want to read one of these six rather obscure racist ones?

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Personally, I think it's patently unfair that I should have to turn over 200 rocks and pay thousands to obtain my very own horse and buggy. It's a patently superior form of transportation and historically valuable. Any city that bars me from maintaining this conveyance in my suburban garage is clearly anti-freedom.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

Or an indication of just how many people are desperate to cling to anything that validates their superiority.

Could be, but also could be people who figure they'll grab them now, and make money selling them in some number of years when they are more scarce. I can think of a few of my family members who would be doing just that right now, if they had the wherewithal to do it.  Not a thing to do with any sort of validation, other than financial.

Edited by marbel
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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Apparently some people think that allowing the company that owns the rights to a book to decide not to continue publishing it is actually more offensive than depicting Black people as monkeys.

QFT. This is indeed all that should need to be said.

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32 minutes ago, marbel said:

Could be, but also could be people who figure they'll grab them now, and make money selling them in some number of years when they are more scarce. I can think of a few of my family members who would be doing just that right now, if they had the wherewithal to do it.  

Sure. Rare=value in many cases. The buyer market is still largely driven by people who want to own and promulgate a white supremacist view of humanity.

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Just now, Dreamergal said:

I see what you are saying, but if the Enid Blyton estate stopped publishing those books today,  it would mean I do not have an answer to the question about books I grew up reading when my kids ask. It is almost all the books I read at a certain age. She was a prolific writer. It is erasing almost my entire library of books from a certain time period and so much of my personal history and my memories. I have loved books my entire life and these were the books that taught me to read, learn English, improve my English and pretty much played an important role in the trajectory of my life. Quite simply without English I would not be in the US.  My entire generation in my country of origin grew up like that. 

I have to balance that with the racism in the books and the author herself. That is what makes it both complicated and tragic to me and obscure so much of what was good about them.

I mean, books go out of print all the time, for a wide variety of reasons. If they were out of print, whatever the reason, you would simply have to describe them to your children if you weren't able to buy them. 

But I don't think you have to worry - no literary estate is noble enough to completely stop publishing books that sell, lol. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Exactly. This is not self-censorship because it was not motivated by fear of disapproval or criticism. 

I don’t know about their motives. Cancel culture has become a dominating force. For all I know it could have been a preemptive move. 

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2 minutes ago, Plum said:

I don’t know about their motives. Cancel culture has become a dominating force. For all I know it could have been a preemptive move. 

All we know is what they claim. Why not take them at their word? Why assume that you know more about their motives than they've made public? 

We must have a different definition of "dominating force." I don't see "cancel culture" as having much dominance when everyone who claims to be canceled, is still very vocal and able to be heard. 

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20 minutes ago, katilac said:

I mean, books go out of print all the time, for a wide variety of reasons. If they were out of print, whatever the reason, you would simply have to describe them to your children if you weren't able to buy them. 

Pretty much all the books I grew up reading are all in print and mostly old. From Jane Austen to Charles Dickens to Alexander Dumas to Baroness Orczy. We did not get lots of books to read and pretty much everything was European or British and old books then too. I hardly read classic American books growing up, only romance books. I do not remember reading to Kill a Mockingbird for instance till I came here. Never even heard of it or saw it and I grew up going to two libraries, the British and American consulate libraries. The American one had romance books and magazines mostly. The British library had classics. Our school library was more British. American books to me were thus romance books almost entirely and authors like Diana Palmer, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele. Did not know about Faulkner, Kerouac, Hemmingway, Salinger, Fitzgerald, Harper Lee until I came here. Not even Laura Ingalls Wilder. The difference in the two libraries was the British needed a paid membership and American library was free aka tax payer paid. While it had books by Carl Sagan, Lonely Planet and National Geographic, I think more magazines much of the reading material was romance.

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But I don't think you have to worry - no literary estate is noble enough to completely stop publishing books that sell, lol. 

 

 

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I took a class in college where we discussed how Jesse Jackson encouraged a boycott of Coca-Cola to encourage more minority ownership of coke distributors. I think this happened in the 1980s. 

I remember how upset my classmates were about this. They were very offended. I remember arguing that people can choose to not buy a product (or the reverse) for any reason in a capitalist society. Of course most people did not see it that way because they couldn't see beyond Jesse Jackson and the racial undertones. 

I was reminded of this last year when DD and I read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. I'd forgotten about how the family encouraged a boycott of the local store which lead to violence. 

So just like I can to buy a product or not buy a product for whatever reason I want, an author (or the author's estate) can choose to publish or not publish a book. This is not "cancel culture." It's capitalism. 

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