The Dr. Seuss Response To Prejudice Adults Should Revisit

From wikipedia:

At the beginning of the story, Sneetches with stars discriminate against and shun those without. A “fix-it-up chappie” named Sylvester McMonkey McBean appears and offers the Sneetches without stars the chance to have them with his Star-On machine, for three dollars. The treatment is instantly popular, but this upsets the original star-bellied Sneetches, as they are in danger of losing their special status.

McBean then tells them about his Star-Off machine, costing ten dollars, and the Sneetches who originally had stars happily pay the money to have them removed in order to remain special. However, McBean does not share the prejudices of the Sneetches, and allows the recently starred Sneetches through this machine as well. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next,

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
whether this one was that one… or that one was this one
or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

This continues until the Sneetches are penniless and McBean departs a rich man, amused by their folly. Despite his assertion that “you can’t teach a Sneetch,” the Sneetches learn from this experience that neither plain-belly nor star-belly Sneetches are superior, and they are able to get along and become friends.

Do you think with all of the turmoil and rhetoric that’s been encouraged, people will reconsider being so reactionary and reaffirm basic kindness and common sense Seuss-style?

9 comments to The Dr. Seuss Response To Prejudice Adults Should Revisit

  • samadhi101

    "As time goes on you may come to realize they know EXACTLY what they're doing! Subversion and Subjugating the interests of Black Women for their own."
    I have to keep reminding myself that they know what their doing. I recently turned 24 so I guess I'm still a little naive and Its a little more comforting to think "These people are just dumb." I've gone through all your old blog post and the ones that kinda shocked me were the blog posts on Jimi Izrael and Toure: They both actually came to your site and commented. Huh? I mean really? Why would two "high profile" black men come to a women's forum (as much as I love the BWE message, I know I would be crucified if I talked about any of the issues with mainstream black folks. Gawd! Its like the French resistance during WW2. I can't imagine this message was exactly mainstream when they commented on your site.) Since, I'm a detective, I wondered if other women sites were calling out Jimi's misogyny and I found an article on Womanist Musing about his book and guess what? He went to that site and commented too! "Subversion and Subjugating the interests of Black Women for their own." You got that right! The outright policing of any negative criticism directed at them was beyond childish, it was downright sinister. Sorry to bring up old topics but recalling those old posts made me click with what your saying.

  • samadhi101

    Hi, Faith! Delurking here :) When it come to "black issues", I sometimes honestly think this will never happen but then I remember it could happen with time *sigh* I've been reading the BWE blogs for months now so it's really hard for me listen black intelligentsia, uber liberals, feminist, and "keepin it real black folks" without wanting to bang my head into a wall. It's both darkly amusing and scary how far all these groups will go to protect BM. I'm always waiting for "real" conversation to start but that never happens. They lack so much self awareness that it could take awhile for them to wake up and I don't want to end up in The Waiting Place lol.

  • Formavitae

    Very good! I'd never read this story before. Although Western civilization has its imperfections, it is one of the few cultures that critiques and challenges its own prejudices and injustices. While watching this video, I thought of someone from a different culture of color who told me about their parents discouraging them from playing with certain children because they didn't have the proper social designation as determined by their society. This is not the only form of discrimination practiced and encouraged by that particular culture. Unfortunately, the only injustices that people of color seem to be primarily concerned about are those they suffer at the hands of whites. They don't seem to be too concerned about the injustices they inflict upon others. I know this isn't true FOR ALL. But, it often seems to me that people of color have more commitment to their traditions and social practices than they have to social justice and equality. Actually, people of color seem to be the most infuriated at the idea that someone they considered their inferior would be "equalized" and considered on their level. Stories like this remind me why I appreciate Western culture.