Tangents and Tirades

by kwheele4 on March 18, 2021


Dr. Seuss Ban: Racism Has No Place in Children’s Literature

A couple weeks ago, Dr. Seuss’s estate decided to pull six of the late writer’s books from stores, citing concerns with their racist imagery. The move ignited a firestorm of backlash, with some saying the decision is an example of “cancel culture.”

While some aspects of cancel culture can be concerning, the removal of children’s books featuring racist caricatures is not.

The audience of Dr. Seuss’s books are young, impressionable children who experience the complexities of society through forms of media. By continuing to read books with outdated stereotypes, children are taught implicit biases that become reinforced as they grow older, thus continuing the cycle of racism.

This is not to say that all books featuring racism should be banned—for example, learning about the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in high school with a dialogue about the history of racism and its current state in our society is crucial to education.

The banning has also been compared to Cardi B’s song “WAP,” which includes sexually explicit lyrics and celebrates sexuality; if kid’s books are banned, why is this song popular on streaming platforms?

This argument compares apples to oranges. “WAP” is a song written by adults for other adults, whereas Dr. Seuss books are written for the consumption and enjoyment of young children—the intended audience of media and its potential ramifications of said media’s content separates these two works.

It is the unique audience of children’s books that makes the Dr. Seuss estate’s decision so critical. Disney has made similar moves in light of this issue, pulling movies like Song of the South from its streaming platform.

While banning racist images from books will not end racism, it is a first step in raising the next generation to have open minds, free from racial biases. If cancel culture enables the erasure of implicit biases from children’s learning, we should welcome it.

—Elizabeth McGinn ’21

De-Cluttering Your Mind and Your Space 

With midterms fast approaching, college students have a lot of stress on their minds. 

There are many ways to deal with this stress, such as taking a walk, watching a movie, or practicing meditation. However, a lot of these activities seem too time-consuming for busy students who want a quick break before getting back to their work. 

College students should use cleaning as a de-stressor because it is a quick and easy way to clear one’s mind and physical space. 

One technique to cleaning that has circulated around social media is the “five-minute” rule. Whenever you need a break, you take five minutes to pick up or neaten anything that is cluttering your physical space. College students should use this technique to take a step away from work for just five minutes. 

A clean space also helps you to be more productive because when your work and your notes are organized, so is your mind. 

“I like to have all of my notes and books laid out neatly on my desk. It helps me to stay focused and be productive,” Maddie Guth ’22 said. 

There are a lot of great ways to take a break from schoolwork and studying. But cleaning, or using the five-minute rule, is the most effective way to step away and come back even more productive. 

—Emily Ball ’22