Chinese Americans found the mural displayed at the Amazing World Of Dr Suess Museum in Springfield, Mass., highly offensive. The mural shows illustrations from the authors first book, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” written in 1937. Theodor Seuss Geisel died in 1991 from throat cancer. Dr Seuss, pronounced “Zoice”, illustration have long been the debate of racial stereotyping. Critics often point to “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” where a Chinese man is depicted as slant-eyed and carrying chopsticks-carrying according to detractors or “If I Ran A Zoo” another early work in which Asians are depicted flatteringly. Dr Seuss also made imagery depicting Blacks in racist caricature.
Admirers Of Dr Seuss point out that although the imagery is vile and distasteful in 2017, it was common place in the early 20th century. They also point out that Seuss also seen the unfairness in the way he described and depicted other races and changed a phrase in one of his books from “Chinaman” to Chinese man. His 1954 book “Horton hears a Who!”, which was dedicated to “My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura of Kyoto, Japan,” is said to be an apology for his past racist work towards the Japanese.
The museum issued a statement following the uproar, “We recently learned that a key component of this institution honoring Dr. Seuss features a mural depicting a scene from his first book, ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mullberry Street,’ and within the selected art is a jarring racial stereotype of a Chinese man, who is depicted with chopsticks, a pointed hat and slanted slit eyes. We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and we have concerns about children’s exposure to it.” The mural, part of the museum’s Children’s Literature Festival has been cancelled. Authors who had declined an invitation to the event sent in a joint statement condemning the mural which can be read here.