Surely, no one would think to politicize this simple gesture from the first lady, right?
Meet Cambridgeport Elementary School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, who rejected the donation this week in an extraordinarily condescending and ungracious open letter to the first lady.
"[S]chool libraries around the country are being shuttered. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school "choice" with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools," she wrote on the Horn Book's Family Reading blog.
Soeiro, who works as a library media specialist, added, "Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? … [M]y school doesn't have a NEED for these books."
Hold onto your hats. It gets wilder from here:
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. … 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.
It's true: Seuss' anti-Japanese cartoons during World War II have all the subtlety and nuance of Mickey Rooney's performance in "Breakfast At Tiffany's," but it's insane that someone would relegate the author's entire body of work to the dustbin of history for that reason alone. What a shame it would be to deprive children of the joy found in the vocabulary, rhyme and meter found in Seuss' books. What a shame it would be to deprive them of the beautiful and big-hearted lessons found in books like Horton Hears a Who, the Lorax or the Butter Battle Book.
(Social Justice trolls look for racism everywhere and make sure they find it)