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Elementary school librarian scolds first lady for sending 'racist' Dr. Seuss books

An elementary school librarian scolded first lady Melania Trump in a long public letter for sending their high achievement school "cliched" Dr. Seuss books that had "racist themes." ( Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

An elementary school librarian scolded first lady Melania Trump in a long public letter for sending their high achievement school "cliched" Dr. Seuss books that had "racist themes."

What books did Melania send?

The first lady sent a package of books to one school in every state for "National Read A Book" Day earlier in September. Included were 10 books by Dr. Seuss such as "Oh! the Places You'll Go!," "The Cat in the Hat," and "Green Eggs and Ham."

Why did the librarian reject the books?

Liz Phipps Soeiro wrote a long post outlining why she rejected the books the first lady sent.

"My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp, however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection," she wrote.

She appeared to want to make a political point and critique Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

"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?" she said.  "Why not reflect on those 'high standards of excellence' beyond only what the numbers suggest? Secretary DeVos would do well to scaffold and lift schools instead of punishing them with closures and slashed budgets."

In a latter part of her screed, she sneered at the very choice of the books.

"So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books," she said. "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."

Finally, she said that Dr. Seuss's books were racist.

"Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes," she continued. She also implied that his books enforced "systemic racism and oppression."

One last thing…
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