A half-dozen timeworn titles by beloved children’s author Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, will no longer be offered by the author’s estate for having purportedly racist content, a sad but predictable play in the age of Woke.
But New York Times liberal columnist Charles Blow is one-upping the already overdone outrage, gunning for old cartoon characters like “Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture…”
As a child, I was led to believe that Blackness was inferior. And I was not alone. The Black society into which I was born was riddled with these beliefs.
It happened for children in the most inconspicuous of ways: It was relayed through toys and dolls, cartoons and children’s shows, fairy tales and children’s books.
This was the silliest paragraph:
Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture; Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans; and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset Black maid who spoke in a heavy accent.
Remember how the press howled with laughter when former vice president Dan Quayle criticized fictional character Murphy Brown for being an unwed mother? Perhaps apologies are in order.
Blow cheered on the book burners:
So, this week when the company that controls the Dr. Seuss books announced that they would no longer publish six of the books because of racist and insensitive imagery, saying “these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” I cheered as some bemoaned another victim of so-called “cancel culture.”
Racism must be exorcised from culture, including, or maybe especially, from children’s culture. Teaching a child to hate or be ashamed of themselves is a sin against their innocence and a weight against their possibilities.
The paper’s news coverage solemnly took the site of the Seuss-banners.
But some aspects of Seuss’s work have not aged well, including his debut, which features a crude racial stereotype of an Asian man with slanted lines for eyes. “Mulberry Street” was one of six of his books that the Seuss estate said it would stop selling this week, after concluding that the egregious racial and ethnic stereotypes in the works “are hurtful and wrong.”
….The estate’s decision — which prompted breathless headlines on cable news and complaints about “cancel culture” from prominent conservatives — represents a dramatic step to update and curate Seuss’s body of work, acknowledging and rejecting some of his views while seeking to protect his brand and appeal….
The paper’s moralism over out-of-date imagery in 70-year-old children’s books is quite different from its celebration of children’s embrace of a notorious raunchy song from 2020, hailed by Times critic Jon Caramanica: “‘WAP’ Is Good, Raunchy Fun. On TikTok, It’s at Home.”
The Times thinks “WAP” is totally appropriate for kids unlike such dangerous trash as….Unlike And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.
Loads of the clips made to “WAP” revolve around family in some way: young people trying to make their parents blush, parents trying to make their kids blush, or in some cases, doing the dance alongside them. There are amusing videos of parents reminding their children, tweaking the song’s frisky sample, “There’s some chores in this house.”
(The original line: “There’s some whores in this house.”)
These clips portray “WAP” not as a line in the sand for explicitness in pop culture, but as an in-joke for people who don’t question what women are allowed to talk about….When sexual frankness is viewed through the lens of piety, it gets flattened….
Speaking of “piety,” it’s worth noting the oh-so-with-it Times didn’t actually spell out the obscene non-abbreviated name of the song (here, if you must).