Monday, March 6, 2017

The confusion over Dr. Seuss' alleged discriminatory political cartoons against Japanese explained - Mary Cummins

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler
I recently saw numerous articles about Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, being a racist against Japanese. As I'd seen his older political cartoons which were against racism I found it hard to believe. Someone even said that he is quoted as saying he regretted some things he drew, wrote about Japanese. I did some digging to help clear up the matter.

As WWII began in 1939 Seuss worked for a liberal New York newspaper named PM making political cartoons. The cartoons were against racism and isolationism. The one above made in 1942 depicts the view some Americans had about Japanese. Seuss is making fun of racist people who think all Japanese Americans want to bomb the country. The "honorable fifth column" is a group of non-native born people who want to attack a country from within. The people are caricatures of Japanese. This cartoon is satire.

Below is another cartoon about Japanese. Seuss is again making fun of people who considered the Japanese a major threat of war. They weren't a major threat of war. They were just a jack-in-the-box toy which merely startles. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor we destroyed 67 cities with regular bombs then detonated nuclear bombs on Hiroshim and Nagasaki in  1945 killing 129,000 people. The Japanese surrendered.

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler

In late 1942 Seuss was commissioned to make the art for posters to sell US saving bonds to fund the war efforts. These posters were discriminatory and offensive against Japanese and Hitler. Below are those offensive posters. This is the work that Seuss regretted. He is making fun of the leader of Japan who ordered the military to bomb Pearl Harbor. My grandfather died overseas in WWII.

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler
Here is another political cartoon which he made to show that racism and discrimination is wrong. This is from early 1942.
Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author, cartoonist, political cartoon japan japanese wwii war bonds propaganda Hitler
In Richard Minear's book "Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss" it is allegedly stated that Seuss made this statement per Minear,

"... right now, when the Japs are planting their hatchets in our skulls, it seems like a hell of a time for us to smile and warble: "Brothers!" It is a rather flabby battle cry. If we want to win, we’ve got to kill Japs, whether it depresses John Haynes Holmes or not. We can get palsy-walsy afterward with those that are left."

So far I can't find physical evidence that proves Seuss made that statement. I will continue to look. I can understand how Americans felt after Pearl Harbor. They probably wanted to kill Japanese. Unfortunately our government and citizens started attacking legal Japanese Americans. They were rounded up and sent to internment camps which was horrible.

Below is from filmmaker Ron Lamothe who is quoting Minear again,

"The only evidence I have comes from his biographers, who told me that years later—although still recognizing its necessity due to the war—he was regretful about some of his cartoons for PM and some of the propaganda work he did for the Army Signal Corps. I do think the fact he dedicated Horton Hears a Who—a parable about the American postwar occupation of Japan—to “My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura of Kyoto, Japan,” says something of his changing attitudes toward the Japanese (this following a trip he made there in 1953). Though, as Richard Minear has pointed out, Horton Hears a Who still smacks of American chauvinism, and it makes no reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

So far all of Seuss' Japanese cartoons from PM were anti-discrimination. The posters he made for Army Signal Corps were indeed racist against Japanese. Seuss depicted the rule of Japan as an ugly caricature. I can believe that he regretted the war bond posters. I will update this article if I find anything new.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, single family, condo, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls,

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