If you are the new Dr. Seuss Museum, do you acknowledge Dr. Seuss’ racist past or not? What’s the argument for either side?
Don’t Include Dr. Seuss’ racist political cartoons or racist books:
- The museum is about the author and not the person. Except … that the website specifically addresses Ted Geisel: The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills.
- The museum only features original art by Dr. Seuss and does not own any of his political cartoons. Except … Dr. Seuss’ racist cartoons are being sold at auction and no one is buying them.
- The museum doesn’t cover the racism because the museum is geared towards kids. Except … The Smithsonian via the National Museum of African American History and Culture engages children in reflecting on and raising their awareness of racism. They opt not to display the devastating photograph of Emmett Till’s body at his funeral in the room in which his original casket is displayed. They explained it’s because they want to present the history in an age-appropriate way for kids to be able to see and acknowledge what happened. They are engaging with critical issues of racial injustice and intentionally choose not to shield children from confronting the realities of racism in America and American history.