Green eggs and spam
It’s one thing for a Cambridge school librarian to succumb to a bout of Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is Cambridge, after all. But did she really need to dis Massachusetts’ own beloved Dr. Seuss in the process?
Liz Phipps Soeiro, librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementary School, rejected a bundle of books that came as a gift from first lady Melania Trump intended to mark National Read a Book Day. One school in each state was selected to receive 10 copies of books by Dr. Seuss.
What the White House got in return was a lengthy screed in the form of an from Soeiro praising her school’s library of “nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science” — albeit one who would flunk common sense and courtesy.
“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?” Soeiro suggested.
She could have stopped there and appeared to be merely a politically inspired jerk. But no, she had to show how very, very clever she is by disparaging one of the most beloved authors of children’s books ever.
“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,” Soeiro wrote.
“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.”
That a gentle, loving and gifted author is subjected to such breathtakingly mindless abuse is beyond belief.
Cambridge Public Schools issued a statement in reaction to the brouhaha saying, “In this instance, the employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district. We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes.”
And who will correct the slander to the late Theodor Seuss Geisel?