The public backlash against the PC thought police who seek to ban Dr. Seuss continues — as does the campaign by the enforcers of political correctness. Even the ultra-liberal, politically correct Boston Globe says the PC attack on the beloved children’s author is a step too far. After all, political “progressive” individuals and institutions such as Jesse Jackson, Saturday Night Live, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Senator Max Baucus, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, and many others have promoted Dr. Seuss without being subjected to the vicious raking that has greeted President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at Cambridgeport Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, kicked off the current hubbub by refusing to accept First Lady Melania Trump’s gift to the library of 10 Dr. Seuss books, claiming they are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”
It quickly became apparent that Phipps Soeiro’s rejection of the books was a malicious anti-Trump propaganda action, rather than a genuine reaction against alleged racism by the fabled children’s author. How so? Well, for one thing, inquisitive people quickly dug up a tweet from Phipps Soeiro in 2015 with a photo of herself in the library dressed up as the Cat in the Hat and hugging a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. Not only that, but an additional photo in her tweet also proudly displayed her Seuss-themed breakfast of green eggs and ham. Still another photo shows her in a different Cat in the Hat costume holding a stuffed Cat in the Hat toy, standing next to a poster proclaiming, “Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.” And yet another photo from her Twitter account is a close-up of two young school boys, one of whom is holding a copy of The Cat in the Hat. So, either Phipps Soeiro has herself only relatively recently been educated on the evils of Dr. Seuss (in which case she is being uncharitably intolerant of us lesser, slower beings who are not yet so enlightened), or she is shamelessly hypocritical, devious, and politically exploitive. The evidence leans heavily toward the hypocritical-devious-exploitive side. Consider that, in addition to her own documented non-politically correct previous embrace of Dr. Seuss, “Liz the Librarian,” as Phipps Soeiro calls herself, did not send a discreet letter to Mrs. Trump explaining her reasons for being critical of the famous author. No, she publicly posted it to The Horn Book Magazine in order to make a political statement and to publicly embarrass President Trump and the First Lady.
The publishers of The Horn Book Magazine, which has been around since 1924, promote the magazine with the claim that it “has long been essential for everyone who cares about children’s and young adult literature.” Indeed, it is a Bible, of sorts, for many children’s librarians, despite (or because of) its leftward tilt and increasingly radical multiculturalism and political correctness.
Blatant Hypocrisy, Radical Activism
Apparently, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has never been averse to playing the race card, was unaware of Dr. Seuss’s deplorable “racist” history when he read Green Eggs and Ham in a comic sketch for the leftish Saturday Night Live (see video above). This is far from the only example of liberal-left “progressives,” including black activists, promoting Dr. Seuss. We are unaware of any evidence that “Liz the Librarian” sent any letters lecturing President Obama or First Lady Michelle Obama on their many public promotions of Dr. Seuss, as seen in the videos below.
In another White House video from 2015, President Obama is shown visiting the Community Children's Center in Lawrence, Kansas, where the preschoolers were reading Dr. Seuss' Sneetches and Other Stories. Obama told the youngsters, "That is one of my favorite stories. In fact, most of the things I deal with as president would be solved if everybody read about the Sneetches."
Yet another video posted on the Obama White House website under the title “Dr. Seuss Was Right, April 23, 2015,” records President Obama chatting with White House interns on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Obama tells the interns: “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss. It’s like the Star-Belly Sneetches, you know?”
Again, no lecturing for Obama from Liz Phipps Soeiro and her fellow PC thought police, despite his many repeat offenses. No lecturing or hectoring either for other famous liberal offenders who have promoted the racist books: actor Dustin Hoffman, Senator Max Baucus, actor Morgan Freeman, Rapper LL COOL J, or pop music star and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber.
Red Guards Enforcing America’s Cultural Revolution
In the bio section at the bottom of her letter to First Lady Melania Trump, as published in The Horn, the Cambridge librarian provides this personal sketch:
About Liz Phipps Soeiro
Liz Phipps Soeiro is an elementary school librarian in the Cambridge, MA, Public Schools. She is an advocate for inclusive libraries and active in her community to create spaces that are welcoming to all students. She tweets @Cport_Special @ReflectLibrary and blogs at reflectivelibrary.blogspot.com
“Inclusive”? “Welcoming”? The hypocrisy is stunningly flagrant. Following the publicity from Phipps Soeiro’s anti-Seuss tirade, three children’s authors announced a boycott of a Children’s Literature Festival scheduled for October 14 at the Dr. Seuss museum in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. Capitulating in the face of negative publicity, the museum’s board canceled the festival and announced that a mural that had been targeted as racially offensive would be removed.
The ever-politically-correct Boston Globe, surpisingly, summoned sufficient outrage to issue an editorial on October 10 defending Seuss entitled “The PC knives are out for Dr. Seuss. Really?” It begins wwith this Seussian doggerel:
Every Who down in Whoville liked Dr. Seuss a lot.
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville — in Cambridge, natch — did not.
The Grinch hated Dr. Seuss, and his whole children’s canon.
Why wrestle with books when it’s so easy to ban ’em?
The Boston Globe’s editors find that “to caricature Dr. Seuss as a bigot, and to condemn his books on the basis of a tendentious overreaction, is as grinchy as it gets.” Nevertheless, unable to shake off completely their PC bias, the Globe opined that the museum’s cave-in to the demands to remove the Seuss mural is “a reasonable response.”
Many critics have been quick to write off the attack as just another example of craziness by the Never-Trump fanatics. Some on the Left are even beginning to sense that their far-left comrades are going a bit off the rails in a dangerous direction, as the Globe editorial above hints at. However, it is much more profound and troubling than that. The anti-Seuss/anti-Trump campaign is another prime example of the escalating mimicry by the American Left of Communist China’s horrifying Cultural Revolution.
The violent, masked Antifa thugs who are rampaging and rioting in our cities and on our campuses aspire to be the equivalent of the Red Guards, Chairman Mao’s vicious political correctness enforcement arm. It is Phipps Soeiro and her ilk — teachers, professors, librarians — who are the indoctrinators that are forming these young activists. A flattering article in the School Library Journal (an influential national publication) on August 24, 2017, entitled “’Liz the Librarian:’ Liz Phipps Soeiro, 2017 Hero of Family Outreach,” praises Soeiro’s “commitment to social justice.” It particularly commends her work with the radical Council on American Islamic Relations and Muslim Justice League. Yes, she is a certified Social Justice Warrior (SJW). The photo accompanying the article shows Phipps Soeiro (in “pre-stressed” jeans with a large, conspicuous hole in one knee — de rigueur among the fashionistas of the SJW progressive set) sitting beneath photos of Barack Obama, Noam Chomsky, and other demigods of the radical pantheon. She is holding a copy of RAD American Women A-Z, an alphabet book to indoctrinate toddlers in the glories of the global Marxist revolution. The entry for the letter “A” is Angela Davis, the communist terrorist who was awarded a professorship rather than a prison sentence for her violent criminal activities. She has become an icon of Marxist/lesbian/racial politics and “social justice.”
However, “the revolution eats its own,” as we pointed out in “America’s Cultural Revolution.” Dr. Seuss, who died in 1991, was a left-wing Democrat, a supporter of FDR, an apologist for Joseph Stalin, and an internationalist. Those credentials, however, have not conferred upon his memory immunity from the new PC Red Guards. Like the Confederate flag, and the statues of Robert E. Lee, St. Junipero Serra, Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, and many others, he is marked for expungement by the Cultural Marxists. Ditto for white male heterosexuals, patriarchy, the traditional family, traditional male-female marriage, our national anthem, and, most especially, Christianity and all of its “toxic” moral influences.
“Liz the Librarian” and her Red Guard confreres will not stop at Dr. Seuss. But they should pause to consider that, like Robespierre in the French Revolution and the Communist Party elite in Stalin's Russia and Mao's Red China, they may find themselves also facing the wrath of the thought police and the guillotine. As we have noted previously, attorney Hiram Mann put it well:
No Man escapes when freedom fails
The best men rot in filthy jails,
And they who cried: Appease, appease!”
Are hanged by men they tried to please.
Image: Screenshot of an ad by Random House for Seuss goods