09 Mar FURY AS DR. SEUSS BOOKS SCRAPPED BY EBAY FOR ‘GLORIFYING HATRED AND VIOLENCE’ – BUT HITLER’S MEIN KAMPF REMAINS
You can’t make this stuff up.
Six of Dr. Seuss’ books “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” were recently deemed offensive and pulled from publication.
After the announcement was made, sales of the titles began skyrocketing on eBay and Amazon, with some being listed for thousands.
They will now not even be able to be bought second-hand through online retailer eBay, which is scrubbing listings.
“At eBay, we have a strict policy against hate and discrimination to ensure our platform remains a safe, trusted and inclusive environment for our global community of buyers and sellers,” eBay Corporate Communications Specialist Parmita Choudhury told the Washington Examiner on Thursday. The statement came after numerous Twitter users noted that their listings for the six Dr. Seuss books recently pulled from publication were delisted on the site.
“We’re currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items. It can take some time to review all existing listings and provide education to impacted users. We’re also monitoring the newly published list to be reviewed,” Choudhury added.
EBay allows people to sell Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” on its site, as well as the infamously false and anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
And it’s fine that all of these are sold. Terrible books with troubling content shouldn’t be erased from all memory. So how is it that the six discontinued books by Dr. Seuss are now banned from auction or sale on the site?
One user outraged on Twitter, writing: “You can’t make this stuff up. @eBay is blocking my listing of @DrSeuss’s “The Cat’s Quizzer” & citing it as offensive material.”
She added that hashtag “cancel cancel culture” to her message.
Another user pointed out that, although the children’s books have been pulled, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” has remained.
“I could sell Mein Kampf but not And to Think that I Saw it On Mulberry Street because it’s ‘hateful’,” the user wrote, with a screen shot claiming to show the book listed on the site.
When asked directly about the seeming contradiction, eBay Corporate Communications Specialist Parmita Choudhury claimed Mein Kampf also violated their policies, though there are numerous listings of it and there have been for years.
“With millions of transactions happening every day on our platform across more than 190 markets, we are constantly evaluating and making improvements to ensure prohibited items remain off eBay,” she said in the company’s defense.
Since Seuss Enterprises announced the axing of certain work by the children’s author for “hurtful and wrong” portrayals, numerous critics have taken to social media to voice their frustrations. Multiple public libraries have also stood defiant and said they will not remove the books from their shelves.
This is an obvious attempt by eBay to brand itself as an anti-racist company, and it’s well within its legal rights to refuse to allow the sale of whatever it wants. But because the venues for purchasing these books are now extremely limited, it also acts as a kind of censor of which books people can decide to collect and place on their shelves, and that’s a shame — and downright hypocritical. If eBay truly thinks that banning offensive books on its site makes it look better, it had better check out a lot more of the offerings up for auction there.
It seems all of this really stems from a misguided notion that #cancelculture will “cancel” racism, gender biases, and other -isms the world considers an outcry- at the moment. It begins with taking Dr. Suess books off the market, changing the names of public schools in California, and changing toys so that they are gender neutral. Some disagree and say that this isn’t a part of cancel culture at all, but rather brilliant marketing strategies instead.
Where does this end? Will the Jewish religion and the Torah be cancelled for all of its ideas that the world deems inappropriate or out of date?
In the words of Martin Niemöller, a German pastor who spoke out against Adolf Hitler during World War II:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
Perhaps it’s time for us to speak up to cancel #cancelculture before it’s too late.