And now: Oh, for the luvva Pete, this is ridiculous. Now they’re coming after Dr. Seuss. Excerpt:
Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s author that has taught generations of Americans to love reading at very early ages, has suddenly come under fire for supposedly displaying “racial undertones” and “white supremacy.” A radical education group associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report that declares Dr. Seuss books display troubling signs of “Orientalism” and “anti-blackness.” Now at least one school district, with a board dominated by liberals, has instructed its libraries to remove Dr. Seuss books from its shelves.
The Daily Wire reports:
Learning for Justice — a left-wing educators group — is demanding that Dr. Seuss be canceled. A prominent Virginia school district has taken marching orders and ordered its schools to avoid “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss.”
Loudoun County Public Schools, one of the nation’s most affluent school districts, announced that it will no longer recognize Dr. Seuss on his birthday. In an announcement obtained by The Daily Wire, the school district said that Dr. Suess’s children’s books contain “racial undertones” that are not suitable for “culturally responsive” learning.
Learning for Justice, formerly known as Teaching Tolerance, is the education arm of the SPLC. It issued a report critical of Dr. Seuss in advance of the national Learn to Read Day, which coincides every year with his birthday on March 2. The group has been at this effort for a while. In a 2019 article,Teaching Tolerance wrote:
Until recently, Read Across America Day was—in everything but title—National Dr. Seuss Day. It’s even celebrated on March 2, his birthday. If you’re like me, you remember teachers wearing the iconic Cat in the Hat top hat/tie combo. You might recall school librarians or administrators dressing up as Thing One and Thing Two or a school lunch when Green Eggs and Ham were served. This is America, and it’s probably not much of a stretch to guess that you probably have a favorite Dr. Seuss book (mine is probably Hop on Pop).
You may have noticed that Read Across America has looked a little different for the last few years. Rather than exclusively celebrate the works of Dr. Seuss, as it had done since 1998, in 2017 the NEA shifted its focus to “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.” They began prominently featuring titles focused on diverse American experiences.
Now this here is some stupid, stupid shit.
What’s left when these people are done proscribing anything that might, at some point, ever, given offense to the most hypersensitive among us? I think the safe and, indeed, prudent answer to that is “nothing.”
When I was in high school, a group of parents was going around trying to get signatures from parents on a petition to have The Grapes of Wrath removed from our school’s curriculum and the school library. Why? Because it used naughty words. John Steinbeck, in the course of writing that book, actually spent time with displaced farmers working as transient labor in California in the 1930s and he represented their language as they actually spoke.
I was always pleased that when they came around to our place and stated their intentions and presented their petition, the Old Man politely and not in so many words, told them to go fuck themselves.
Accuracy and truth are apparently no proof against drawing the ire of the cancel-culture crowd. As to where this ends, well, Ray Bradbury had an idea.