Melania Trump sent a donation of Dr. Seuss children’s books to a library in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But the librarian rejected the donation claiming that Dr. Seuss books are racist.
CBS News reported:
Librarian explains why she rejected books donated by Melania Trump
A librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementary School in Massachusetts is declining a shipment of books from first lady Melania Trump.
One school from each state was chosen by the White House to receive 10 Dr. Seuss books as part of National Read a Book Day, CBS Boston reports.
“Getting an education is perhaps the most important and wondrous opportunity of your young lives,” Trump said in a letter to the children who will be receiving books.
The school’s librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, wrote a lengthy editorial for the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog explaining why her school does not need the books.
Here’s what the librarian wrote about the books:
So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature.
Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art. Grace Hwang Lynch’s School Library Journal article, “Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? Read Across America Shifts Away from Dr. Seuss and Toward Diverse Books,” reports on Katie Ishizuka’s work analyzing the minstrel characteristics and trope nature of Seuss’s characters.
Question for the librarian: Was Dr. Seuss racist when Michelle Obama was the First Lady?
One last thing. Here’s a picture of the librarian in 2015:
— CPORT | Specialists (@Cport_Special) March 3, 2015