News and Commentary

Now It’s eBay: Website Reportedly Bans Sale Of Some Dr. Seuss Books

"Mein Kampf" is still available, though.

   DailyWire.com
eBay
Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Thursday, reports surfaced that eBay, the online auction and shopping website, had blocked the sale of certain Dr. Seuss books. One eBay lister received the following response:

We had to remove your listing because it didn’t follow our Offensive material policy. Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.

What activity didn’t follow the policy[:]

Dr. Seuss Enterprises has stopped the publication of this book due to its negative portrayal of some ethnicities. As a courtesy, we have ended your item and refunded your selling fees, and as long as you do not relist the item, there will be no negative impact to your account. Please review our Offensive Materials Policy prohibits this item for more information.

What you need to do next.

You can’t relist items we’ve ended. Please ensure your current and future listings follow this policy.

In light of the fact that books such as “Mein Kampf” can be offered on eBay while some Dr. Seuss books are banned, it is important to examine what the company’s Offensive materials policy states:

Listings that promote, perpetuate or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination, including on the grounds of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation, aren’t allowed. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Slurs or epithets of any kind

  • Slavery items, including reproductions, such as tags, shackles, documents, bills of sale, etc.

  • 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

  • Black Americana items that are discriminatory

  • Confederate battle flag and related items with its image

  • Historical Holocaust-related and Nazi-related items, including reproductions

  • Any item that is anti-Semitic or any item from after 1933 that bears a swastika

  • Media identified as Nazi propaganda

  • Listings that imply or promote support of, membership in, or funding of a terrorist organization

This week, Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press that the 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” portrayed “people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” adding, “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”

“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process,” the company continued. “We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles.”

After Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would stop selling the titles “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” — those books could not be found on Amazon.com for their normal prices, and any editions for sale had astronomical prices, The Daily Wire reported, adding:

For example, when searching for “If I Ran The Zoo,” the Amazon site listed “1 new,” “1 used,” and “1 collectible,” but when clicking on the links for “new” or “used,” a message popped up reading, “Currently there are no other sellers matching your location and/or item specification.” Yet a “collectible” link showed the book available for $1,500.

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