Online retailer eBay is banning the sale of six Dr. Seuss books, claiming that the books are "offensive." However, despite eBay's own offensive material policy, there are controversial books listed on the website, including Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf."
EBay is removing six Dr. Seuss books from its platform: "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." The books are said to have "offensive imagery."
"EBay is currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items," an eBay spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
"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. "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 cited eBay's offensive material policy, which states: "Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren't allowed."
"In order to promote trust and respect among our diverse community of members, eBay does not allow items that promote or glorify racial, sexual or religious intolerance, or promote organizations that hold such views," the e-commerce giant says in its policy.
The company's policy bans:
- Slavery items, including reproductions, such as tags, shackles, documents, bills of sale, etc.
- Slurs or epithets of any kind
- Items with racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise demeaning portrayals, for example through caricatures or other exaggerated features, including figurines, cartoons, housewares, historical advertisements, and golliwogs
- Confederate battle flag and related items with its image
- Historical Holocaust-related and Nazi-related items, including reproductions
- Media identified as Nazi propaganda
Benito Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism" is also sold on eBay. Joseph Stalin's book "Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR" and North Korea's Kim Il Sung's book are available on eBay. "The Anarchist Cookbook," a book with instructions on how to build explosive devices and other weapons, is also available for sale on eBay. The retailer also sells a variety of products celebrating Louis Farrakhan.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that manages the estate of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, announced on Tuesday that it would stop selling six Dr. Seuss titles. The books were alleged to have "racist and insensitive imagery."
Following the announcement that the company was discontinuing the six books, the prices skyrocketed online, including a copy of "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" going for $1,500 on eBay.
President Joe Biden erased Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.
A 2019 study claimed that Dr. Seuss books featured "orientalism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy."