While Dr. Seuss is being summarily canceled by the Joe Biden White House for allegedly having “racial undertones,” previous Democrats in the Oval Office adored and celebrated the popular children’s author, with Barack and Michelle Obama hosting reading events with kids dressing up as characters from the books.
The Biden administration recently stripped Dr. Seuss’ name from Read Across America Day, but back in 2015, then-President Obama told White House interns that “pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.”
“It’s like the Star-Belly Sneetches, you know? We’re all the same, so why would we treat somebody differently just because they don’t have a star on their belly? If I think about responsibility, I think about Horton sitting on the egg up in the tree, while Lazy Mayzie’s flying off, doing whatever she wants. You know what I mean?” President Obama asked, alluding to Seuss classics “Horton Hears a Who!” and “The Sneetches.”
“All I’m saying is that as you get older, what you will find is that the homespun basic virtues that your mom, your dad, or folks you care about or admire, taught you – about hard work, being responsible, being kind, giving something back, being useful, working as a team … turns out that’s all true,” he continued.
During a previous Read Across America Day, former First Lady Michelle Obama also praised the author who died in 1991, as she read a “Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You,” an updated version of the children’s classic “Oh, The Things You Can Do,” as healthy-living tidbits were added.
“You know who saw this book this morning before he got on the helicopter? The president,” Michelle Obama said. “We love Dr. Seuss in this house.”
Even Kamala Harris, before she became Biden’s vice president this year, celebrated the author, tweeting in 2017: “Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.'”
Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 2, 2017
The irony did not go unnoticed on social media.
“So Dr. Seuss is racist according to the old white president, but wasn’t according to the black president?” asked Kaitlin Bennett on Gab.
Others posted humorous memes, with one changing the title of “Horton Hears a Who!” to “Horton Hears a Microagression.”
On Wednesday, Universal Orlando yanked some Dr. Seuss books from its gift shops, announcing it was considering making changes to its theme park in central Florida.
“We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too,” a Universal spokesperson told Fox Business.
The company in charge of publishing of Dr. Seuss stories said this week it was dumping six of his books: “If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
Last week, a public school district in Loudoun County, Virginia, addressed a rumor that it had banned books written by Dr. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Dr. Seuss books have not been banned in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). LCPS believes this rumor started because March 2 is “Read Across America Day.” Schools in LCPS, and across the country, have historically connected Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Examples include anti-Japanese American political cartoons and cartoons depicting African Americans for sale captioned with offensive language. Given this research, and LCPS’ focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction, LCPS provided this guidance to schools during the past couple of years to not connect Read Across America Day exclusively with Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We continue to encourage our young readers to read all types of books that are inclusive, diverse and reflective of our student community, not simply celebrate Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss books have not been banned and are available to students in our libraries and classrooms, however, Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of Read Across America Day in Loudoun County Public Schools.
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