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Th. Nast Should Follow Dr. Seuss to the Dustbin

[T]he banishment of Dr. Seuss raises the question as to why another, and far more deliberate, the proponent of racist imagery, is habitually given a pass: Thomas Nast. Thomas Nast is frequently credited as “The Father of the Political Cartoon.” Nast is credited with creating the popular image of Santa Clause, the use of the elephant as a symbol of the Republican party, and the female character of Columbia as a personification of the United States.

However, there is one other truth about Nast: he was a bigot by any reasonable definition of the word. He consistently depicted Irish Americans as ape-like brutes and Catholic Bishops as crocodiles while promoting the fake news that there was a Catholic conspiracy to take control of the United States.

Neil Cosgrove of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians writes for IrishCentral:

At the same time that Dr. Seuss is being expelled from popular culture, the Massachusetts Historical Society is running a feature “Thomas Nast: A Life in Cartoons”, which perpetuates the Nast myths without touching on his bigotry. Similarly, the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in New Jersey, which claims it has the most extensive collection of Nast works, likewise avoids mentioning his prejudice on their website.  In past years there were efforts even to elect Nast to the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

It should be noted that those efforts to install Nast into the N. J. Hall of Fame failed, in no small part, due to The Ancient Order of Hibernians. The AOH has also managed to have Thomas Nast‘s name removed from an editorial cartoonist award. So their part of the “cancel culture” has met with some success.

Also note that Thomas Nast websites do not ignore his bias.

 

Community Comments

#1 Mike Corrado
March/17/2021
@ 1:49 pm

I had not heard that Seuss had been “expelled from popular culture.” I must be behind in my reading. All that I had heard was that his estate would no longer publish a small number of his books, books that were nevertheless still on shelves everywhere. I was not distressed because I had only known one of those books. But now to find out that he has been banned . . . .

#2 Ignatz
March/18/2021
@ 6:39 am

Dr. Seuss is not banished, and the decision to stop publishing a few of his books probably had as much to do with poor sales. (It includes one of my favorites, “On Beyond Zebra,” but it was NOT a good seller.)

On the other hand, Thomas Nast was a foul bigot, and any retrospective should include his anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry.

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