Calling out racism leads to a more inclusive future

Confronting offensive content beneficial for next generations


Tobias Khabie

For generations, children have been raised on the iconic books of Dr. Suess. As he was an integral part of so many people’s childhoods, outrage ensued after Dr. Suess Enterprises said they would no longer publish six of his books due to offensive content March 2 according to the New York Times.

Many have dubbed Suess as the latest victim to “cancel culture” and do not understand why the books were pulled. Those opposed to the move have made it seem as if all of Suess’s work has been tarnished. However, this could not be further from the truth, as only six of his many books were pulled.

We cannot put our childhood heroes on a pedestal just because they have had a positive impact on our lives.”

— Tobias Khabie

Putting a stop to the publication of these books is a major step in the fight against racism. Prejudice stems from our childhood experiences; no one is born racist, racism is taught. If a child was exposed to a Black man portrayed as a prehistoric African nomad, an image Suess drew in one of the pulled books, that child could develop prejudicial thoughts towards Black people.

Admittedly, it was difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that someone so impactful to my childhood had published these images. However, confronting the fact that racism and prejudice are still very prevalent in all aspects of our society is the first step in progressing towards a more inclusive future. 

For those who are upset by this move, this does not mean Dr. Suess is cancelled; we are still allowed to read and enjoy his books. However, we also need to recognize his offensive content to ensure children aren’t exposed to it. For generations, we have believed that all of our childhood heroes were great people, from George Washington to Walt Disney to Dr. Suess. While they all achieved greatness in their respective professions, we must acknowledge that in doing so they caused pain and suffering to many. This does not completely negate their achievements, but it does help current and future generations build a society where discrimination doesn’t exist.  

In the future I plan on giving my kids Dr. Suess books that don’t contain offensive images, as his books introduced me into the world of storytelling. However, no one is above accountability. We cannot put our childhood heroes on a pedestal just because they have had a positive impact on our lives.