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Dr. Seuss Books pulled for racist images


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11 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

It bothered me more to be forced to read a ‘cannon’ that didn’t reflect my family’s perspective at all. I did it because I was forced to and promptly discarded most of it as garbage devoid of 3D authenticity, keeping only the catch phrases and references necessary to communicate that I’d done the deed. It’s all cute and nostalgic to people who use these works as a proxy for lived experience and deeper human interaction/understanding. I don’t expect the works to conform. I expect their proponents to find a new way to communicate an old message.

Whereas I read a deeply anti-Semitic canon without any issues. People do vary on their response to this stuff.

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I've read lots of things that offended me, some of which were required reading.  I even had to write essays about some of them.  I thought that was part of being a literate human being.

Again, I'm not saying this is appropriate for books in a children's library, but it is not wrong for tween, teen, or adult to have to deal with literature containing difficult content.  A wise teacher will include a variety of readings so that people from all backgrounds can have this experience.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

I've read lots of things that offended me, some of which were required reading.  I even had to write essays about some of them.  I thought that was part of being a literate human being.

Again, I'm not saying this is appropriate for books in a children's library, but it is not wrong for tween, teen, or adult to have to deal with literature containing difficult content.  A wise teacher will include a variety of readings so that people from all backgrounds can have this experience.

There aren’t enough ‘wise’ teachers on Earth to give it appropriate context. Most of it is offered up without any literary counterpoint, only the ill-informed opinions of ‘peers’ for discussion, with those on the receiving end of biases having to inform those who are ignorant or swallow their BS whole. Unless/until Native Son is read alongside other similarly difficult high school works, it’s all lip service.

ETA: Let’s take the perennial favorite Huck Finn. How many teachers require students to critically analyze the story from Jim’s perspective? How many encourage kids to think about the perspective that doesn’t exist b/c Twain wasn’t privy to it? How many critically consider the language/cant for authenticity? Is Jim stupid or shrewd? How did he really feel caring for/saving and also relying on this clueless little white boy? These aren’t the questions being asked when these books are read.

You can’t credibly talk about works as academically valuable without working through these issues. In my experience, which is not any different from what DD is experiencing, shallow analysis is the norm b/c the very people ‘teaching’ these works haven’t ever wrestled with these issues themselves.

Edited by Sneezyone
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16 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

4 of these books were already essentially out of print.  I would wager Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo were the only ones still selling.  
 

A lot of books go out of print.  
 

As leery as I would be of his entire body of work getting written off as racist, I don’t think letting books go out of print is the same thing as banning them. 
 

I also have 3 of those books and probably two copies of one of them. I can’t be the only one contemplating if I could sell them to pay some bills.  😉

you're not. Yesterday, I went to a local antique shop yesterday just to see if any booths had any of the books.  Found On Beyond Zebra for $15.  Sold it for $400 within an hour of listing it.  Ebay is now removing listings of it though so it is a crap shoot if yours would make it to sale.  Buy it Now and immediate payment is a good way to make sure it gets sold before they remove it.

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re what's your problem??!!

13 hours ago, ealp2009 said:

I don’t think you’re the problem. I think swiftly attributing bad motives to people is a problem and I think othering people is a problem and at the root of racism.    Scarcity breeds desire.    I think we need to give people the benefit of the doubt ,,,

Possible problems:

  • @Sneezyone , personally
  • One segment of society "attributing bad motives" to another segment
  • "Othering"... generally, with no regard to which segment of society has power over which "others"
  • Legacy of centuries of racism  where one segment HAS HAD power over the other

The Seuss estate assesses that it's the latter of these that is the problem.

Given a choice between centering the "intent" of one segment of society vs the "lived experience" of another, the Seuss estate has opted to focus on the latter.

YMMV.

 

 

re The Canon, babies and bathwater

28 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

...I think it's fine for Geisel's estate to pull these books. That's obviously not censorship in any way. However, some aspects of the cultural climate around this do bother me. There are MANY famous authors who indulged in racist stereotyping. I remember some of them being almost comically bad. Try Chesterton on just about any race. Or Shakespeare. Or if you want some easier reads... how about Jane Austen? Or Agatha Christie? 

All of these people were products of their times. It's not reasonable for us to expect them to conform to our current values. Yes, we should name the racism when we encounter it. And yes, children's books with racist stereotypes are particularly pernicious. But I dunno... some of the rhetoric around this stuff bothers me. 

I've struggled with babies and bathwater as well.

To your point about The Canon authors being products of their time, and the unreasonableness of applying current standards to babies-with-bathwater written in earlier times, I've actually learned, over the decades, to put on the same kind of reading glasses when reading Canon as I put on to read the Bible... and its depictions of women as property, slavery as normative, collective and intergenerational punishment as ethical, and vindictive torture of enemies as warranted.

I'm not about to throw THAT baby out with the bathwater-of-its-time. There are various strategies folks take to deal with Biblical bathwater -- some people gloss briskly over the bits about how soon is OK to rape women taken as captive, or the hurling of enemies' infants against the city walls; there are extensive apologetics to explain why the plain text of certain passages are actually the opposite of the "actual" meaning; many people simply focus on a kinder-simpler Greatest Hits approach that curates the parts that focus on compassion and love (or retribution or hell-and-brimfire-in-the-afterlife or whatever).  Many people, of course, entirely abandon the effort to read scriptures at all: it is vastly easier to walk away from sacred texts than to struggle with those "products of their time" bathwater elements.

Personally I do not: week after week as my Torah study goes through the whole in chronological order I read the bathwater right along with the glittery bits. I struggle with the bathwater, I name the bathwater, I voice my discomfort with the bathwater; sometimes I find a way to filter the bathwater into living water that nourishes me, sometimes I'm able to midrash the depths into underlyting clear water that nourishes me. Some weeks though I'm left with nothing to do with the bathwater but stare at it, disconsolate, there you are, again, still contanimating me, still leaving me feeling ill. No doubt this grows tiresome to others in my Torah study group with whom I've been cycling through the same passages for going on 20 years.

But there I am, committed to the effort and committed to the text, bathwater and all.

Same with Shakespeare.  Same with much (not all) of The Canon. I put on my Of Its Time reading glasses, OK I'm cracking this cover, I know going in there's gonna be bathwater but I'm hanging on for the sake of the baby... and I read from that vantage.

 

But.

20 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

It bothered me more to be forced to read a ‘cannon’ that didn’t reflect my family’s perspective at all. I did it because I was forced to and promptly discarded most of it as garbage devoid of 3D authenticity, keeping only the catch phrases and references necessary to communicate that I’d done the deed. It’s all cute and nostalgic to people who use these works as a proxy for lived experience and deeper human interaction/understanding. I don’t expect the works to conform. I expect their proponents to find a new way to communicate an old message.

One of my first substantive interactions with Sneezy, many long years ago, was around a discussion of Huck Finn.

Huck Finn is among a rather short list of books that I can honestly say Rocked My World.  It was also the FIRST book that Rocked My World. The seismic message that I extracted from Huck Finn was a profoundly countercultural antiestablishment clarion call, something like

Quote

Everything you've been taught might be wrong. What you've learned from everyone you trust -- what you've been taught in school, what you've read in books, what you've learned at the knee your exasperated loving aunt, what you've heard preached in church -- all of it: might be wrong. 

There is nothing to be done, but to open your own eyes and pay your own attention and work things out for yourself.

I stared at my mother in wonder. I was a good student, yet I began listening to my teachers very differently after that. Although I was very much a people-pleaser as a child, still, I engaged with authority figures differently, even if mostly inside my own head.  I read books (including sacred texts!) differently. Everything you are taught might be wrong; there is no choice but to pay your own attention and work things out on your own.

Literally I became a different person in response to this insight.

And so when I had kids of my own I went through Huck Finn with them, each of them in turn, slowly. So I've now run through Huck Finn three times as an adult, and (work things out on your own) IMNSHO: in its totality, this is a profoundly anti-racist book.

 

And YET, THAT BATHWATER.

For ME, the content of slavery and racism was the vehicle for that world-rocking antiestablishment message. For ME the antiestablishment message -- which was profoundly opposed to racism -- was what the book was ultimately "about."

Whereas as Sneezy described her (forced) encounter with the book, for HER the encounter with the language and the set-up tropes precluded any possibility of her extracting authenticity from the rest of the story.

** In much the same way as I am unable, every year, to "put aside" the question of Dinah's agency, in ponderously considering the discussions between her brothers and father and their respective ethical and strategic wisdom. **

After a couple of rounds of debate, Sneezy and I hit a point of diminishing returns and laid Huck Finn to rest. That was years ago, and I still return to it.

 

Because I absolutely do hear and respect and accept why it's not merely painful, but untenable for her.  And -- yet, still, and having read it carefully three times as an adult -- I also, believe it's the best depiction of a character slowly and painfully working out an unlooked-for recognition that the only bedrock under my world is my own paying-of-close-attention.  No one else, however authoritative or smart or loving or well meaning, can do it for me.

For me racism was merely the VEHICLE for this insight; for her it was undrinkable bathwater.

And -- years later -- here's where I come out.

  • I am very glad Huck Finn is still in print, bathwater notwithstanding.  Because there's also a baby.
  • I am glad I had my own kids read it, grateful for the discussions we had about it. (I do not miss the irony, in having your mother lead you toward a message that you're on your own in working out your own worldview; everything even your mother tells you might be wrong.)
  • I continue to have grave doubts that the putative reason for removing Huck Finn from school library shelves is genuine.  (This leads to a larger, offshoot and OT issue around how white people have weaponized The N Word to effectively reduce racism down to a tiny almost-invisible dot.)
  • And nonetheless: I agree with Sneezy that Huck Finn has no place on mandatory school reading lists.  Because the bathwater is so filthy that some students are made ill.

 

 

 

ETA LOL I see as I've been typing this tome up that Sneezy independently raised Huck Finn.

FWIW: The vantage point for what **I** extracted as an earth-shattering slow dawning is Tom's. The book-loving adventure-seeking white boy, who in Tom Sawyer was just a kid, and who comes of age in Huck. And there's a lot of Twain, in Tom.  I read Huck as a narrative of how *Twain* came to his antiestablishmentarianism.

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FWIW, I do think the Canon, as taught in schools, is changing. I went to the (virtual) Agnes Scott scholars weekend-these are the applicants that have already received merit aid from the school, and are candidates for the top scholarships. They did trivia questions about the incoming class of 2025, and one was on the books that the students had written their essays on as the most impactful/influential during their high school years. The top two were "The hate U give" and "Beloved". Both are works that I cannot imagine being studied in high school when I attended. Huck Finn was about as close as we got to books that made any attempt at showing the Black experience, and, of course, did so from a White POV. It's quite a contrast, and a very welcome one. 

 

I suspect one reason why Dr. Seuss has stayed so popular is that his birthday falls at the time of year when it really starts to drag, so a special day of wearing paper Cat in the Hat hats and cooking Green Eggs and Ham gives novelty to that dreary time of year. If he'd been born, say, December 15, it's likely that his influence would be much less. I know that my school did a lot for Dr. Seuss's birthday, and mostly it was an excuse to have a party. Certainly a lot of 5th and 6th grade classes participated, and I doubt most of those kids had read a Dr. Seuss book, other than on his birthday, since they were about 7. 

 

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On 3/3/2021 at 11:38 AM, 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. 

Side topic. I own this book and it’s a family favorite. I pulled it out just now bc I’m not seeing racism in it. The whole book is cartoon, but I’m not seeing anything like Africans as monkeys in it. It looks.. culturally diverse to me?  I’m not reading it and hearing subservient or derogatory.  Some people ARE culturally different and do dress differently - is that racist to show that?  I’m not being at all snarky. Genuinely trying to figure it out on this particular book. 

21 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.

If the decision comes from the estate, then I don’t care.

As for books in general - I’m a fan of reading them with PSAs. 

I was just telling Scarlet that one of our house favs is Honeybunny Funnybunny but it’s a horrible book about sibling abuse. Really. PJ Funnybunny would get a spanking in my house and I rarely spank. So when I read the story I narrate with PSAs. “Gasp of horror! Can you believe what he did?! Yeah I BET amok and dad were upset with him! How rude and mean!”  And “oh see now. This is what happens in abusive relationships. That poor bunny starts to actually think she isn’t loved unless she is being mistreated! How awful and sad. Mom and dad should have a good talking to PJ about how big boy bunnies are supposed to treat people, especially girls and family better. And to Honeybunny about how she is right to feel hurt and angry when treated I lovingly by someone who is supposed to care about her.”

My kids LOVE that book even with my PSAs. LOL

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3 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I suspect one reason why Dr. Seuss has stayed so popular is that his birthday falls at the time of year when it really starts to drag, so a special day of wearing paper Cat in the Hat hats and cooking Green Eggs and Ham gives novelty to that dreary time of year. If he'd been born, say, December 15, it's likely that his influence would be much less. I know that my school did a lot for Dr. Seuss's birthday, and mostly it was an excuse to have a party. Certainly a lot of 5th and 6th grade classes participated, and I doubt most of those kids had read a Dr. Seuss book, other than on his birthday, since they were about 7. 

Really? Cause I genuinely really like Dr. Seuss books, lol. Maybe not for 5th and 6th graders, but I love them as little kid books. 

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22 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I suspect one reason why Dr. Seuss has stayed so popular is that his birthday falls at the time of year when it really starts to drag, so a special day of wearing paper Cat in the Hat hats and cooking Green Eggs and Ham gives novelty to that dreary time of year. If he'd been born, say, December 15, it's likely that his influence would be much less. I know that my school did a lot for Dr. Seuss's birthday, and mostly it was an excuse to have a party. Certainly a lot of 5th and 6th grade classes participated, and I doubt most of those kids had read a Dr. Seuss book, other than on his birthday, since they were about 7. 

 

That seems like a stretch.  He is popular because his illustrations are fun and imaginative in a way that kids in his target age range love. Also, the word are easy to remember and a great source for early readers.  I've never celebrated Seuss' b-day but I do have fond memories of just flipping through the pages enjoying the visuals. The Lorax stands out as a book I loved looking at more than reading.

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

There aren’t enough ‘wise’ teachers on Earth to give it appropriate context. Most of it is offered up without any literary counterpoint, only the ill-informed opinions of ‘peers’ for discussion, with those on the receiving end of biases having to inform those who are ignorant or swallow their BS whole. Unless/until Native Son is read alongside other similarly difficult high school works, it’s all lip service.

ETA: Let’s take the perennial favorite Huck Finn. How many teachers require students to critically analyze the story from Jim’s perspective? How many encourage kids to think about the perspective that doesn’t exist b/c Twain wasn’t privy to it? How many critically consider the language/cant for authenticity? Is Jim stupid or shrewd? How did he really feel caring for/saving and also relying on this clueless little white boy? These aren’t the questions being asked when these books are read.

You can’t credibly talk about works as academically valuable without working through these issues. In my experience, which is not any different from what DD is experiencing, shallow analysis is the norm b/c the very people ‘teaching’ these works haven’t ever wrestled with these issues themselves.

And that's why I, as parent, read these books with my kids and discuss them to the best of my ability.

(As for writing from Jim's point of view, I've seen many similar teacher ideas get attacked as racist, so that may be why we don't see much of that in school.  I do agree it would be a useful exercise if done with the right attitude.)

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9 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

One of the things that happens when the bulk of reading you grew up with books that have people who do not look like you is you start finding ways to identify. Pride and Prejudice is one such.

The starting sentence of Pride and Prejudice is half jokingly even now said describes all men of my country of origin, Mrs. Bennet is called Mrs. Besharam (Shameless in Hindi) because her desperation to marry off her daughters is very cultural. But the most identifiable for many girls of my generation was Elizabeth Bennet, Lizzie. I call her my Lizzie, she was who I aspired to be because she was outspoken in a world where women were expected to confirm, had rigid gender roles.Had opinions even when she was young and was not shy about it. She did not let her lowly birth stand in the way of proclaiming herself as an equal in a society where birth order played an important part. In a caste based, gender role oriented society I grew up in Lizzy was my heroine. She still is, the singular person in all of literature who wholly exemplified and still does all I want to be even though I have read hundreds of books about people who look like me. Jane Austen through Lizzie showed me something different, something better though she lived in a country and time other than my own.

Not to cheapen the rest of your post, but have you watched Bride and Prejudice?  (Indian movie.)  My kids found it hilarious.

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13 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

for me personally, I lean towards as much art being available as possible for as many people.  From all places, from all time periods, including (but not limited to) the now. Including work marred (as work from 2021 will be, at some future time) by authors sharing prejudices common to their times).

But does that mean an author who no longer wants those books associated with them, or the ideas in them associated with them, should keep printing them when they don't want to? 

If you had put something out into the world and later regretted it, wouldn't you want to be able to stop publishing it? 

This isn't about others saying it shouldn't be published, it is the people who own the rights, who don't want to publish it. Shouldn't that be an understandable position?

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Legally , whoever owns the rights does, in fact, have the right to publish something or to lock it up and never publish it. That's what "owning the rights" means.

And usually, it *isn't* the author who owns the rights - it's the publisher. There are many books which are not in print, not because the author doesn't want them in print, but because the publisher does not care to print them. There are so many sequels that aren't even written for that very reason.

Until Seuss' work enters the public domain, his estate has the rights to choose not to publish it.

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1 minute ago, Tanaqui said:

Legally , whoever owns the rights does, in fact, have the right to publish something or to lock it up and never publish it. That's what "owning the rights" means.

And usually, it *isn't* the author who owns the rights - it's the publisher. There are many books which are not in print, not because the author doesn't want them in print, but because the publisher does not care to print them. There are so many sequels that aren't even written for that very reason.

Until Seuss' work enters the public domain, his estate has the rights to choose not to publish it.

truth, one of mine (at least) is out of print and the publisher is not reprinting it in that format anymore. (they have reprinted it as part of compilations, but not on its own)

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If this was just about the legal right not to continue printing, this never would have made the news.

I think the owners had one of two motives, or maybe both:

  • To mitigate the already existing movement to cancel Dr. Seuss all together, by being a bit proactive regarding 6 titles that are probably not making money anyway.
  • To make a statement they honestly feel in their hearts about racism and responsibility.

Most books are out of print.  Extremely few of them received any public attention when they went out of print.

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59 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

That seems like a stretch.  He is popular because his illustrations are fun and imaginative in a way that kids in his target age range love. Also, the word are easy to remember and a great source for early readers.  I've never celebrated Seuss' b-day but I do have fond memories of just flipping through the pages enjoying the visuals. The Lorax stands out as a book I loved looking at more than reading.

It's not just the reading aloud or early readers though-it's that there is an entire Dr Seuss section in school supply catalogs because it is celebrated as a holiday in school. There are other books that are well loved by early readers, but they aren't celebrated to the same degree. This is even more the case in schools that do not celebrate some of the other holidays because of concerns about Religious diversity-Dr Seuss replaces the Easter Bunny or Valentine's Day. 

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43 minutes ago, SKL said:

I think the owners had one of two motives, or maybe both:

  • To mitigate the already existing movement to cancel Dr. Seuss all together, by being a bit proactive regarding 6 titles that are probably not making money anyway.

Why would liberals want to "cancel" Dr. Seuss? Before she passed away, his widow Audrey Geisel was a known supporter of Planned Parenthood. Her lawyer brought suit against a pro-life group that used the slogan "A Person's a Person No Matter How Small" (a quote from Horton).  Not quite sure why conservatives are rallying around Dr. Seuss. 

Edited by MercyA
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14 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Why would liberals want to "cancel" Dr. Seuss? Before she passed away, his widow Audrey Geisel was a known supporter of Planned Parenthood. Her lawyer brought suit against a pro-life group that used the slogan "A Person's a Person No Matter How Small" (a quote from Horton).  Not quite sure why conservatives are rallying around Dr. Seuss. 

Indeed. Theodor Geisel was well-known in his life for being a strong liberal Democrat. I suspect he'd be embarrassed by the offensive images that have come to light and that he'd endorse his family's decision. I believe he recognized that during his lifetime.

If Vision Forum were still around I suspect they'd rush the books back into print the moment they went into the public domain. Life is strange sometimes.

Bill

 

 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

Side topic. I own this book and it’s a family favorite. I pulled it out just now bc I’m not seeing racism in it. The whole book is cartoon, but I’m not seeing anything like Africans as monkeys in it. It looks.. culturally diverse to me?  I’m not reading it and hearing subservient or derogatory.  Some people ARE culturally different and do dress differently - is that racist to show that?  I’m not being at all snarky. Genuinely trying to figure it out on this particular book. 

If the decision comes from the estate, then I don’t care.

As for books in general - I’m a fan of reading them with PSAs. 

I was just telling Scarlet that one of our house favs is Honeybunny Funnybunny but it’s a horrible book about sibling abuse. Really. PJ Funnybunny would get a spanking in my house and I rarely spank. So when I read the story I narrate with PSAs. “Gasp of horror! Can you believe what he did?! Yeah I BET amok and dad were upset with him! How rude and mean!”  And “oh see now. This is what happens in abusive relationships. That poor bunny starts to actually think she isn’t loved unless she is being mistreated! How awful and sad. Mom and dad should have a good talking to PJ about how big boy bunnies are supposed to treat people, especially girls and family better. And to Honeybunny about how she is right to feel hurt and angry when treated I lovingly by someone who is supposed to care about her.”

My kids LOVE that book even with my PSAs. LOL

Mulberry Street includes a stereotyped caricature of a Chinese man portrayed with slanted eyes, carrying a rice bowl and chopsticks, and wearing a "coolie hat" and geta sandals (which are Japanese not Chinese). If I Ran the Zoo also includes caricatures of Asians "who all wear their eyes at a slant," in addition to the incredibly racist depiction of Africans, and a line about kidnapping a turbaned "chieftain" to put in the zoo with the animal he's riding.

The FunnyBunny story is not comparable, because children are not bunnies. They are not going to be sitting in a classroom full of little kids while a teacher reads a story that depicts them as weird, exotic, barely human characters. What kind of PSA could a teacher possibly give that would make the experience of a Black or Asian child seeing themselves depicted that way a worthwhile or "educational" experience? 

 

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From the ALA and Association of American Publishers

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

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Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

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1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

A Joint Statement by:

American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses
The Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomreadstatement

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I have zero problem with publishers choosing not publishing a book anymore and I certainly don't think these books should be read in classrooms. 

The first thing that bothered me was ebay not allowing people to sell them. If I have read the list of prohibited items in ebay and agreed and chose to invest in making ebay my storefront and they decide out of the blue to just prohibit my item because they don't like it then it seems they are no use to me. I'm not sure what I think of selling platforms deciding what's moral or immoral. They need to specify conditions and stick to it.

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

But does that mean an author who no longer wants those books associated with them, or the ideas in them associated with them, should keep printing them when they don't want to? 

If you had put something out into the world and later regretted it, wouldn't you want to be able to stop publishing it? 

This isn't about others saying it shouldn't be published, it is the people who own the rights, who don't want to publish it. Shouldn't that be an understandable position?

I think the book should go OOP if there is no demand, or if the profit in a reprint isn't there. To reprint or not to reprint is a reader-publisher relationship. 

No, I don't believe authors should be able to withdraw books on the basis they no longer like their own books, or feel their own books are now bad PR. 

I do believe authors should be able to write and publish better books for better PR  and personal conscience.

The Suess estate could, for example, commission, publish and promote 4 new inclusive readers in the Suess (text) style. They could commission black writers and illustrators. 

I'll admit to being a free art absolutist (almost) though. Short of direct incitement to violence, I don't think any art should be verboten, and for me that value predominates other values, because it's in exposure to art - all of it - that other values are gestated. 

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31 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Mulberry Street includes a stereotyped caricature of a Chinese man portrayed with slanted eyes, carrying a rice bowl and chopsticks, and wearing a "coolie hat" and geta sandals (which are Japanese not Chinese). If I Ran the Zoo also includes caricatures of Asians "who all wear their eyes at a slant," in addition to the incredibly racist depiction of Africans, and a line about kidnapping a turbaned "chieftain" to put in the zoo with the animal he's riding.

The FunnyBunny story is not comparable, because children are not bunnies. They are not going to be sitting in a classroom full of little kids while a teacher reads a story that depicts them as weird, exotic, barely human characters. What kind of PSA could a teacher possibly give that would make the experience of a Black or Asian child seeing themselves depicted that way a worthwhile or "educational" experience? 

I don’t own the zoo book bc I didn’t like those portrayals either. 

In Mulberry, Idk about the clothing issues. Is there something insulting about the Japanese clothing of it had said Japanese man instead of Chinese? Is there something insulting about differently shaped eyes? Again. I’m not being sarcastic. I genuinely do not know.    I do know that many Asians of affluence in Asian countries like South Korea get cosmetic surgery to “fix” their eyes to look more Caucasian-shaped so I guess for whatever sad reason they obviously think their natural eye shape is undesirable. 

eta: so I just got off the phone with my son and his friends who were telling me calling them “people with slanted eyes” is a racist term not because they do not have slanted eyes, but because it dates back to world war days when that characteristic is what determined who got put in camps. Just like the N word isn’t racist because it’s a color but bc of the attitude it references.  Idk know that.  I mean I knew asians were put in camps but not that that phrase was like white people saying the n word to POC.  Now I do. 
 

eta2 as for educational experience. Idk. Otoh I’m not out to hurt little kids. Otoh, when should lighter shaded classmates learn why these things are racist and insulting? Personally, I will read this book to my kids on more time and explain that the reason the estate of Dr Seuss is no longer going to publish it is bc of these things that *I* just learned today. They are ages 4, 9, 12, 14, 16, and 18. I do not think any of them will have difficulty understanding my explanation. 

Edited by Murphy101
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4 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

There aren’t enough ‘wise’ teachers on Earth to give it appropriate context. Most of it is offered up without any literary counterpoint, only the ill-informed opinions of ‘peers’ for discussion, with those on the receiving end of biases having to inform those who are ignorant or swallow their BS whole. Unless/until Native Son is read alongside other similarly difficult high school works, it’s all lip service.

ETA: Let’s take the perennial favorite Huck Finn. How many teachers require students to critically analyze the story from Jim’s perspective? How many encourage kids to think about the perspective that doesn’t exist b/c Twain wasn’t privy to it? How many critically consider the language/cant for authenticity? Is Jim stupid or shrewd? How did he really feel caring for/saving and also relying on this clueless little white boy? These aren’t the questions being asked when these books are read.

You can’t credibly talk about works as academically valuable without working through these issues. In my experience, which is not any different from what DD is experiencing, shallow analysis is the norm b/c the very people ‘teaching’ these works haven’t ever wrestled with these issues themselves.

We read Native Son in my high school lit class. We also addressed pretty much all of those questions (if memory serves) when reading Huck Finn, as well as the question of whether that book should be read in school at all and its emotional impact on black people. It sounds like maybe my experience was unusual though?

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Six books were pulled by the PUBLISHER. That means they won't be printed anymore. People can do whatever they want with the copies they have, That said, if a book contains racist elements, one needs to consider it when choosing the book for their child.

 

Edited by QueenCat
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I'd be extremely surprised if any of the problematic  titles are routinely read aloud in schools or are being purchased for school libraries. 

I'd be willing to bet the titles in question have made the estate pennies in the last decade. Let them go OOP because there's low reader demand for the minor Suess books. 

None of them have made any shelves I've ever seen (and I've worked in a bookshop on and off over the last 15 years, and checked our school library yesterday AND had a 5 year old Suess fan at one stage).

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I think the book should go OOP if there is no demand, or if the profit in a reprint isn't there. To reprint or not to reprint is a reader-publisher relationship. 

No, I don't believe authors should be able to withdraw books on the basis they no longer like their own books, or feel their own books are now bad PR. 

 

So, the author should be forced to publish books they no longer wish to publish? For any reason, other than monetary? 

It seems like you are giving the consumers of the art way more rights than the artist. 

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Just now, ktgrok said:

So, the author should be forced to publish books they no longer wish to publish? For any reason, other than monetary? 

It seems like you are giving the consumers of the art way more rights than the artist. 

Once it's in the public arena, and not in your drawer, there's a moral contract and relationship  between you and the reader. It's breaking that contract, imo, to disappear one's own work. 

Write more work, better work. Develop your moral contract with your readers through the trajectory of your work. 

I think the publisher has the right to make a profit, and not reprint on that basis. I support the publisher of the Sues books to make a business decision re their publication.

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1 minute ago, Melissa Louise said:

Once it's in the public arena, and not in your drawer, there's a moral contract and relationship  between you and the reader. It's breaking that contract, imo, to disappear one's own work. 

Write more work, better work. Develop your moral contract with your readers through the trajectory of your work. 

I think the publisher has the right to make a profit, and not reprint on that basis. I support the publisher of the Sues books to make a business decision re their publication.

It isn't disappearing if you just stop publishing new copies. No one is grabbing back the ones out there. 

And I cannot even begin to agree that I have a moral obligation to publish ANYTHING I don't want to publish. For any reason. 

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3 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

It isn't disappearing if you just stop publishing new copies. No one is grabbing back the ones out there. 

And I cannot even begin to agree that I have a moral obligation to publish ANYTHING I don't want to publish. For any reason. 

That's fine. We can disagree. I am not your publisher forcing you to publish books you now disavow, so my opinion has no effect on you. It's just a discussion. 

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27 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

That's fine. We can disagree. I am not your publisher forcing you to publish books you now disavow, so my opinion has no effect on you. It's just a discussion. 

Right, and I don't have any books I want to pull anyway. But the idea that I should be forced into publishing things I don't want, outside of contractual obligation, is pretty major. 

I'm wondering now, does a designer have an obligation to keep producing a dress style they don't want to make anymore? Or a restaurant keep making a dish they don't want to serve anymore? I'm kind of trying to figure out this idea that the consumer dictates the action of the artist. 

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49 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Once it's in the public arena, and not in your drawer, there's a moral contract and relationship  between you and the reader. It's breaking that contract, imo, to disappear one's own work. 

Write more work, better work. Develop your moral contract with your readers through the trajectory of your work. 

I think the publisher has the right to make a profit, and not reprint on that basis. I support the publisher of the Sues books to make a business decision re their publication.

 

That;'s the most bizarre and backwards thing I've ever read.

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2 hours ago, MercyA said:

Why would liberals want to "cancel" Dr. Seuss? Before she passed away, his widow Audrey Geisel was a known supporter of Planned Parenthood. Her lawyer brought suit against a pro-life group that used the slogan "A Person's a Person No Matter How Small" (a quote from Horton).  Not quite sure why conservatives are rallying around Dr. Seuss. 

There was an interesting piece in WaPo today that argued basically they don't, but conservative media needs something to be outraged about.  That Biden's stimulus bill is setting up to be the most popular piece of legislation ever, even the majority of Republicans support it, without a single Republican vote. That current conservative positions are against what even conservatives believe, and there's nothing about that to rally around, so better come up with some other completely misleading headlines to infuriate people today.

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4 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

Side topic. I own this book and it’s a family favorite. I pulled it out just now bc I’m not seeing racism in it. The whole book is cartoon, but I’m not seeing anything like Africans as monkeys in it. It looks.. culturally diverse to me?  I’m not reading it and hearing subservient or derogatory.  Some people ARE culturally different and do dress differently - is that racist to show that?  I’m not being at all snarky. Genuinely trying to figure it out on this particular book. 

 

I'll  have a go:

Both the illustration and its place in  the plot are racist because:

1) The illustration itself is both a caricature of racial features (yellow skin, slanted eyes), and stereotypes (clothing such as hat, robes, footwear, pigtail; and behaviours such as "eats with sticks").  In fact, I don't think there is a single component of this image that is not a caricature of racial features and stereotypes.

2) The plot itself:  The narrator tells a fantastical story that becomes more outlandish and crazy with each page.  East Asian person = outlandish and other.  The image of the East Asian person serves as yet another outlandish and crazy object in the story.  It has no other purpose in the narrative.

Edited: missed a bracket.

Edited by wathe
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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

It isn't disappearing if you just stop publishing new copies. No one is grabbing back the ones out there.

Not sure, but it sounded like some places were indeed taking existing books out of circulation.

Maybe that is appropriate, depending on which shelves they were pulled from.  But I do think this situation goes a bit further than just deciding not to print more of one's old book.

I also agree with the pp who said it's not right for reseller platforms to ban the resale of existing print copies.  However offensive the drawings are, there are tons worse things out there that people are free to exchange on ebay etc.  So to me, making an exception for these books all of a sudden smells like cancel culture.

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33 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Right, and I don't have any books I want to pull anyway. But the idea that I should be forced into publishing things I don't want, outside of contractual obligation, is pretty major. 

I'm wondering now, does a designer have an obligation to keep producing a dress style they don't want to make anymore? Or a restaurant keep making a dish they don't want to serve anymore? I'm kind of trying to figure out this idea that the consumer dictates the action of the artist. 

Separate discussion, but I am curious if you have rights to curtail the publication of a book you've been paid to write.  I assume it would depend on whether the contract explicitly gives you those rights.

I could imagine a lot of situations where an artist would wish s/he could take back something, but it isn't that simple.  I remember hearing that Angelina Jolie decided she didn't want to show any more nudity in films because she didn't want her kids to see that.  But I assume she had no rights to go back and ban or edit the films she had already made.  It's something to think about before sending to the publisher / signing that contract in the first place.

[I also have some things published with my name on them that I have zero control over.  I don't think any of it is seriously cringe-worthy, but if it was?  Tough for me.]

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1 hour ago, mitten said:

We read Native Son in my high school lit class. We also addressed pretty much all of those questions (if memory serves) when reading Huck Finn, as well as the question of whether that book should be read in school at all and its emotional impact on black people. It sounds like maybe my experience was unusual though?

Definitely not typical but glad to hear that it happens.

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

eta: so I just got off the phone with my son and his friends who were telling me calling them “people with slanted eyes” is a racist term not because they do not have slanted eyes, but because it dates back to world war days when that characteristic is what determined who got put in camps. Just like the N word isn’t racist because it’s a color but bc of the attitude it references.  Idk know that.  I mean I knew asians were put in camps but not that that phrase was like white people saying the n word to POC.  Now I do. 
 

 

"slant eyes"  and "slanted eyes" are slurs in my part of the world.

1) East Asian people objectively do not have "slanted" eyes - their eyes are not at an angle or crooked.  They are as straight on their faces as anyone else's.   Many East Asians have a distinctive fold of skin (epicanthic fold) that partially covers their upper eyelid.  (Not all East Asians have this feature, and plenty of non-asians  do have it). 

2) Slant vs straight has moral implications with slant = crooked, corrupt,  vs straight = morally straight and upstanding.

 

Edited by wathe
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43 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Right, and I don't have any books I want to pull anyway. But the idea that I should be forced into publishing things I don't want, outside of contractual obligation, is pretty major. 

I'm wondering now, does a designer have an obligation to keep producing a dress style they don't want to make anymore? Or a restaurant keep making a dish they don't want to serve anymore? I'm kind of trying to figure out this idea that the consumer dictates the action of the artist. 

Lol, in my opinion, writers enter, through the act of publishing, into a moral contract with their readership, one that is violated by the act of removing their own work from circulation. The reader is not a mere 'consumer'; the reader co-creates the text.

That's just my opinion as a writer and a reader. I understand you disagree with my opinion. OK. I'm not sure what else there is to discuss. I 100% back your right to disagree and believe differently. No problem. It's all ok. One random woman's (my) beliefs about art don't really require changing. I just see things my way. 

 

 

 

 

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If an artist wants to take a machete to their most famous painting, that's okay with me too. If their heirs want to do it, or if the person who owns their best piece wants to lock it away in a vault and never let the public see it, or toss it in the Mariana Trench, that's also okay.

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2 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Books to me are art. So who does art belong to once it comes in the public domain. I absolutely have no clue about the legal side of it, but it enters the realm of ethics for me. 

Do we as the reading public get a say in which existing books are published further if the publisher or an author decides to not do so ?

I see similarities in the discussion about who does English belong to ? Can people who were colonized by the British truly claim English as theirs ? Does a person of non-English descent lay claim to Shakespeare, Jane Austen when their primary reading language from a child was English, they were schooled in English yet they are not English ? 

 

I agree. While I totally understand the desire to be able to take back things that one regrets, writers sometimes regret great works of literature. If Tolstoy had had his way, we might not have "Anna Karenina" or "War and Peace," as he was ashamed of them in the later part of his life.

And I believe that the English language, classical European arts, etc, belong to anyone who wants to lay claim to them. There is an essay by the poet Marilyn Nelson about the dilemma of writing in classic verse forms as a black woman. It's called "Owning the Masters." I don't expect everyone to agree with this view or to want to lay claim to these cultural artifacts, but they are there for the taking, for engagement, for reinterpretation, for those who want to engage in these ways.

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t own the zoo book bc I didn’t like those portrayals either. 

In Mulberry, Idk about the clothing issues. Is there something insulting about the Japanese clothing of it had said Japanese man instead of Chinese? Is there something insulting about differently shaped eyes? Again. I’m not being sarcastic. I genuinely do not know.    I do know that many Asians of affluence in Asian countries like South Korea get cosmetic surgery to “fix” their eyes to look more Caucasian-shaped so I guess for whatever sad reason they obviously think their natural eye shape is undesirable. 

eta: so I just got off the phone with my son and his friends who were telling me calling them “people with slanted eyes” is a racist term not because they do not have slanted eyes, but because it dates back to world war days when that characteristic is what determined who got put in camps. Just like the N word isn’t racist because it’s a color but bc of the attitude it references.  Idk know that.  I mean I knew asians were put in camps but not that that phrase was like white people saying the n word to POC.  Now I do. 
 

eta2 as for educational experience. Idk. Otoh I’m not out to hurt little kids. Otoh, when should lighter shaded classmates learn why these things are racist and insulting? Personally, I will read this book to my kids on more time and explain that the reason the estate of Dr Seuss is no longer going to publish it is bc of these things that *I* just learned today. They are ages 4, 9, 12, 14, 16, and 18. I do not think any of them will have difficulty understanding my explanation. 

Funnily enough, my oldest just came in to the kitchen (dinner!) and had some relevant thoughts. She first asked, “February is black history month, right?” (Which makes sense if you understand that we don’t treat any month as black history month in this house, black history is American history.) When I confirmed that it was, she said her English teacher is giving them extra credit for reading/discussing Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem. I asked her how she felt about that. She explained that she was excited b/c she enjoyed the work and would love to talk about it but quickly pivoted to say that she’s noticed that works that appeal to her are usually only covered in February. She said she’s waiting to see how the rest of the term goes and what else is read before drawing any conclusions. Whatever my own thoughts, and I always keep them to myself and allow my kids to draw their own conclusions, it’s interesting to watch my oldest (my youngest has always been wise beyond his years) absorb the culture. She comes to me with these little ‘revelations’ regularly.

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And to expand on the most recent posts about art being part of everyone's heritage - similar arguments have been made regarding the destruction / erasure of historical monuments, etc. that are evidence of "how things used to be."  Elements of our past that we are not proud of.  Some people think that erasing the past, erasing a truth we aren't proud of, will also prevent important lessons from being learned.  Others apparently believe that evidence of past wrongs extends those past wrongs into the present / compounds past injuries.  I think the truth is somewhere in between.  We should preserve the sad truth, accept it for what it is, but not glorify it.

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19 minutes ago, wathe said:

"slant eyes"  and "slanted eyes" are slurs in my part of the world.

1) East Asian people objectively do not have "slanted" eyes - their eyes are not at an angle or crooked.  They are as straight on their faces as anyone else's.   Many East Asians have a distinctive fold of skin (epicanthic fold) that partially covers their upper eyelid.  (Not all East Asians have this feature, and plenty of non-asians  do have it). 

2) Slant vs straight has moral implications with slant = crooked, corrupt,  vs straight = morally straight and upstanding.

 

And lest anyone think the "slanty eyed" trope is nothing but a relic of a bygone era, this just happened a few days ago — a high school teacher in a zoom class mocked Asians, making her eyes "slant" up and down while saying "if your eyes go up you're Chinese, if they go down you're Japanese, if they go straight you don't know."  

 

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5 minutes ago, SKL said:

And to expand on the most recent posts about art being part of everyone's heritage - similar arguments have been made regarding the destruction / erasure of historical monuments, etc. that are evidence of "how things used to be."  Elements of our past that we are not proud of.  Some people think that erasing the past, erasing a truth we aren't proud of, will also prevent important lessons from being learned.  Others apparently believe that evidence of past wrongs extends those past wrongs into the present / compounds past injuries.  I think the truth is somewhere in between.  We should preserve the sad truth, accept it for what it is, but not glorify it.

Yeah, no, not the same. Preservation doesn’t require prominent displays in city centers and public squares. It equally applies to objects in museums and archives. In one case, they are preserved for future study. In the other, they remain glorified in public life.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

Yeah, no, not the same. Preservation doesn’t require prominent displays in city centers and public squares. It equally applies to objects in museums and archives. In one case, they are preserved for future study. In the other, they remain glorified in public life.

I agree they should not be in locations where they are effectively glorified.  But they should be kept intact (where possible) in a place where their status is neutral.

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6 minutes ago, SKL said:

I agree they should not be in locations where they are effectively glorified.  But they should be kept intact (where possible) in a place where their status is neutral.

Unfortunately, it's the removal from the public square people are upset about. They're not interested in how they're being preserved or relocated to museums and confederate cemeteries. There's nothing neutral about confederate iconography.

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51 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Lol, in my opinion, writers enter, through the act of publishing, into a moral contract with their readership, one that is violated by the act of removing their own work from circulation. The reader is not a mere 'consumer'; the reader co-creates the text.

That's just my opinion as a writer and a reader. I understand you disagree with my opinion. OK. I'm not sure what else there is to discuss. I 100% back your right to disagree and believe differently. No problem. It's all ok. One random woman's (my) beliefs about art don't really require changing. I just see things my way. 

 

 

 

 

A moral contract by simply publishing a piece of work?  That seems like quite a burden for anyone who likes writing and wants to share it.

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