Was Dr. Seuss a Racist?

Think of this as a public service announcement: Dr. Seuss was a racist. Yes, the lovable creator of all those wonderful childrens books was bigoted.

Check out some of his lovely cartoons here – most people don’t know that during the Second World War Dr. Seuss made political cartoons that were not only flat out anti-Japanese, but anti-Japanese American.  I get the anti-Japanese sentiment; we were at war with the country of Japan. (I don’t think it was right, but I get that.) What I can’t forgive though is his anti-Japanese American cartoons. He — like too many people of his day — didn’t understand that there was a fundamental difference between those from Japan and those that were born and living in the United States. The most offensive cartoon shows Japanese Americans waiting in line to get instructions from Japan; the idea, of course, being that our loyalties were in question.  Needless to say, he did not make similar cartoons for people of Italian or German descent. I wonder why.

Because of these cartoons, I will never read a Dr. Seuss book to my child. I will not even allow one in my house.

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About Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.
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