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Dr. Seuss was a racist cartoonist

Dr. Seuss was one of my favorite writers during my childhood, and I absolutely adored his Cat In The Hat (hated the movie version though). He was also a political cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM, and did his bit for the American war effort during World War II.

Dr. Seuss opposed racism in America, and his cartoons deplored the unfortunate treatment of Jews and African Americans in America during the war. But paradoxically, he considered all Japanese Americans as traitors or fifth-columnists. He created some nasty cartoons which depict the flawed Japanese stereotypes of those times, complete with slanted eyes and pig noses – something which no self-respecting newspaper would dare to print today.

The following picture shows Japanese Americans being taken to the internment camps, a sad and disgusting chapter in American history.


This following Dr. Seuss cartoon was printed on February 13, 1942, in which he questions the loyalty of Japanese Americans just weeks before the internment was announced.

Dr.Seuss racist cartoon on Japanese Americans You can see the other cartoons in the set at Who Sucks. (Thanks, Sujay Daniel !!)

7 thoughts on “Dr. Seuss was a racist cartoonist

  1. when I read the biography of Dr. suess realy I suprised beacause finally I understand he had no children but he loves children than he could write for them.also I think a human must have a child soul that could be with them.

  2. Look at the below website before you make assumptions of whether Dr. Seuss was a racist. Fact: he drew the Axis Powers leadership in a cartoon ability, but he did not agree with the racial prejudice of the government…clearly displayed in these cartoons. Fun Fact: Dr. Seuss was a captain in the U.S. Army during WWII. http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/Frame….

  3. guys, he was not a racist cartoonist. He had a job in america somewhere where he had to make these cartoons in WW2. all of his cartoons have a meaning, however, it is not always from his point of view. sheesh.

  4. I’m afraid it’s impossible (for me, at least) to look at that last cartoon (“Waiting for the signal”) without seeing racism. The cartoons of Hirohito are severely caricatured, of course, but one might at least make the case that they’re lampooning one man, not an entire race or ethnic group. But “Waiting for the signal” is clearly aimed at all of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast, not just one man, so that argument no longer holds.

  5. The media during a war can do a lot to people especially those of the dominate culture. I am Black and knew my parents and other Blacks who didn’t trust the Japanese during WW2 either now is that crazy or what? Considering Slavery and our history with American!? I think what is more important is who a person is before they leave this life…what has changed them…where did their heart end up in the wiser years and what did they do with that. As a little Black girl reading Dr. Seuss I wanted to thank him for making most his characters in forms that didn’t reproduced ANY person in the world! But he taught that there were always those who felt superior but that we ALL had gifts to give and no one who looked or acted different was any better than anybody else – that we ALL contributed in some way. That’s the lesson I learned from Dr. Seuss’s books.

  6. It’s funny, though, how the government assumed Japanese Americans were plotting against the U.S. because thet were at war with us, but no one ever did anything about the German Americans living in the U.S.

  7. Dr. Seuss was racist? While the japanese army was in China murdering un-armed civilians, killing their children and raping theyre woman… hmm.

    Not to mention the lies they spread about americans to presuade theyre people that they would do the same to their people…

    Just to top that they were Nazi’s… so was anyone saying that his depiction of hitler was racist as well? Japanese were supremists just as germans were and were doing things almost equally attrocious…

    These images are not even close to as bad as the things Japan did during WWII so dont speculate on this if you dont know what you are talking about.

    The only image i thought was of bad humor was the one about the japanese internment camps, and let me say right now that americans that were in Japan during the start of WWII got a far worse fate then any Japanese american suffered.

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