I ban because I can, said the man!
Schools in Loudoun County, Virginia will not be focusing their reading on any Dr. Seuss books during “Read Across America Day.”
School spokesperson Wayde B Byard is quoted by the website as saying, ”Research uncovered strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Given this research, and LCPS’ focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction, LCPS has provided guidance to schools in the past couple of years to not connect Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss’ birthday exclusively.”
A study published in 2019, as described by Learning for Justice, a nonprofit linked to the Read Across America campaign, concluded that:
Of the 2,240 (identified) human characters [in 50 Dr. Seuss books], there are forty-five characters of color representing 2% of the total number of human characters.” Of the 45 characters, 43 exhibited behaviors and appearances that align with harmful and stereotypical Orientalist tropes. The remaining two human characters “are identified in the text as ‘African’ and both align with the theme of anti-Blackness.” It’s also important to note that each of the non-white characters is male and that they are all “presented in subservient, exotified, or dehumanized roles,” especially in their relation to white characters.
The school system has not banned them but does not encourage kids to read them either.