A librarian momentarily becomes the vanguard of the resistance.
The holy progressive resistance rolls ever onward, and there is no topic, no cultural touchstone, escapes its vigilant gaze. Only recently have we learned Dr. Seuss—the Dr. Seuss books, such as The Cat In The Hat—are racist, and the primary purveyor of such racism is First Lady Melania Trump. Fox New reports:
First lady Melania Trump fired back Friday at a Massachusetts elementary school librarian who rejected her donation of Dr. Seuss books, claiming their illustrations are examples of ‘racist propaganda.’
Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady’s office, said in a statement to Fox News that the response was ‘unfortunate,’ and Mrs. Trump wanted to use her platform ‘to help as many children as she can.’
‘She has demonstrated this in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to children across the country is but one example,” she said. ‘To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere.
How dare Mrs. Trump infect our nation’s children with racism! And how did she do this? She sent ten Dr. Seuss books to one school in every state, paid for not with taxpayer money, but her own resources. She wrote, addressing the children in those schools:
I wanted to send you a special gift. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a book my son and I have read over and over again, and one that we want to share with all of you,’ … ‘Please also remember that you are the future of America and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
The books were presumably well received everywhere but in Massachusetts:
But despite the gesture, Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at a public school in Cambridge, wrote a letter to the first lady, which was then published on The Horn Book blog, notifying Mrs. Trump that her school would ‘not be keeping the titles’ for their collection, explaining that her school didn’t have a ‘NEED’ for the books, due to her school and library’s ‘award-winning’ status.
Massachusetts must be different than every place I’ve ever been (I’ve actually been there, by the way). I’ve never met a librarian that would not be delighted to receive good books, and particularly classics like Dr. Seuss.
‘I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to ‘excellence,’ Soeiro wrote. ‘My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science.’
Isn’t she precious and special?
Soeiro went on to slam the White House and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for not gifting the books to ‘underfunded and underprivileged communities,’ which she suggested ‘continue to be marginalized’ by DeVos’ policies.
Hmm. You don’t suspect Soeiro was politically motivated, do you? She certainly knows better than Mrs. Trump, a successful model and business woman who speaks multiple languages, and she let her know it in a reply letter/lecture:
Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes,’ Soeiro wrote, giving examples of ‘If I Ran a Zoo’ and ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street’ as clear ‘racist mockery’ in Seuss’ art.
Soeiro seemed to recommend journal articles, reports, and books for Mrs. Trump, to inform her on the ‘systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.
Oh dear. “Systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.” It’s everywhere! And who else has been spreading such oppression and racism? Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and even Michelle Obama, all of who read Dr. Seuss to children during their tenures in the White House. I don’t recall Ms. Soeiro—or anyone—complaining when they did that. And lo and behold, apparently Ms. Soeiro was late in coming to the realization of the racism and oppression of Dr. Seuss.
One is almost tempted to think Ms. Soeiro’s objections are motivated not by sincere, professional pedagogical concerns, but by raw political hatred of Mr. Trump, and even Mrs. Trump. With this in mind, I have prepared a note for Ms. Soeiro’s mother:
Hopefully, this will help the “librarian with a graduate degree in library science,” behave more appropriately.
Dr. Seuss, Melania Trump, Ironhawk, Liz Phipps Soeiro, Cambridge Mass, Betsy DeVos, Just as criminals sometimes commit copycat crimes, politically correct insanity often spreads like a pestilence, particularly in territory susceptible to such contagion–like Massachusetts, where several authors refused a museum’s invitation to appear because of the racism of Dr. Seuss, as Fox News reports:
Authors Mo Willems, Mike Curato and Lisa Yee signed a letter and posted it to social media explaining why they take issue with the mural’s depiction.
‘We recently learned that a key component of this institution honoring Dr. Seuss features a mural depicting a scene from his first book, ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mullberry Street,’ and within the selected art is a jarring racial stereotype of a Chinese man, who is depicted with chopsticks, a pointed hat and slanted slit eyes,’ the complaint reads. ‘We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and we have concerns about children’s exposure to it.
I suspect such people find unfavorable weather deeply hurtful, but only if it can be blamed on Republicans or Donald Trump.
The museum, which is located in the author’s hometown of Springfield, said Thursday that the mural will be replaced by images from later books.
But of course! History must be purged to reflect contemporary, special snowflake sentiments.
This is what Dr. Seuss would have wanted us to do. His later books, like ‘The Sneetches’ and ‘Horton Hears a Who,’ showed a great respect for fairness and diversity,’ a statemen from the Museum read, via MassLive. ‘Dr. Seuss would have loved to be a part of this dialogue for change. In fact, Ted Geisel himself said, ‘It’s not how you start that counts. It’s what you are at the finish.’
This is textbook communism: rewriting history to affect the present and future. It also takes enormous liberties with Geisel’s quote, which is, without a doubt, taken out of context. Geisel, who died in 1991, could not possibly have been commenting on an attempt to censor his work, particularly not a specific piece of children’s book art.
One can only recoil at the horror experienced by sensitive children all those years the mural existed—and no one realized it was racist and “deeply hurtful.” Of course, sane people gazing on the mural likely saw nothing but a pleasant image of a smiling Asian person done in the Seuss style. Asian people do, as I recall, eat with chopsticks, and their eyes are, well, Asian in character, which are often depicted in cartoons with a bit of a slant for the simple reason that’s the easiest, most recognizable way to assign a regional appearance in a simple line drawing.
Presumably the special snowflake authors would never appear anywhere American Indians are depicted in traditional tribal dress? Would black people depicted in contemporary—stereotypical–urban attire be hurtful to them? Where, one wonders, does one draw the line between purposefully insulting depictions in a context intended to cause injury, and commonly understood, non-obscene cartoon imagery enjoyed by children for decades.
The stupid, it burns!