New Study Claims Dr. Seuss and His Books Are Racist
But a study published this month claims Dr. Seuss’s work is racist, and it joins a growing chorus of voices deeming the iconic author problematic.
The study is titled “The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books.”
It is co-authored by Katie Ishizuka of the The Conscious Kid Library and Ramón Stephens, a PhD student in education at the University of California, San Diego. They describe themselves as “critical race scholar-activists.”
The two interpreted the late author’s works as “dehumanizing and degrading” to “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and people from other marginalized groups (including Jewish people and Muslims),” largely because non-white characters were illustrated in stereotypical fashions, they argued.
The study also found that Seuss’s work on children’s stories was problematic because he did not sufficiently represent people of color. Only 2 percent of Seuss’s characters were people of color, it states, continuing:
White supremacy is seen through the centering of Whiteness and White characters, who comprise 98% (2,195 characters) of all characters. Notably, every character of color is male. Males of color are only presented in subservient, exotified, or dehumanized roles. This also remains true in their relation to White characters. Most startling is the complete invisibility and absence of women and girls of color across Seuss’ entire children’s book collection.