The 2nd March is Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday, the author of the Dr Seuss books. It’s also ‘Read Across America Day.’ For many Americans, Read Across America Day is celebrated alongside Geisel’s birthday.
But Dr Seuss has fallen out of favour.
This year Joe Biden, unlike presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, left Dr. Seuss out when he observed ‘Read Across America Day.’
The Read Across America organisation have announced they’re no longer synonymous with Dr. Seuss, they’re diversifying. From the fourteen themes on their site, six of those themes deal with agendas: 26 books are on activism, 33 on identity, 13 on immigration, 6 on LGBTQ, 30 on Racial and social justice, and 26 on Trauma. Why can’t they let kids be kids? I thought a good book was something to escape into! Kids today have got enough to deal with, without having to read about trauma, activism or sexual confusion.
As for the themes, there’s no white people on their page, except for a lesbian couple! There’s no men either. Books by Theme
I’ve taken a screenshot. This is March, 2021. Will the theme change, or will the culture war prevail?
To add insult to injury, Dr. Seuss was accused of racism. Six books won’t be published anymore because, according to Dr Seuss Enterprises, they portray people in ‘hurtful and wrong’ ways. The books are: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.
Geisel understood racism, having gone through World War 1 in America with German parents. He wrote four books about tolerance, diversity, and compromise, The Sneetches and Other Stories.
I think diversity meant something different back in the 1950s.
After hearing the news of the book banning, the first thing I did was look to see if I could get the books, but as I expected the values have sky rocketed. I did manage to download and read the eBooks, if you want them ask and I’ll send you the links.
Here are a couple of protest poems that are currently circulating around the internet. I don’t know who the authors are, but they echo my feelings. Anyway, enjoy or come and share my sympathies.
Alas they’ve come for Dr. SEUSS, they wish to hang him with a noose.
They claim his tales were racist bent, they judged him fast, missed what he meant.
But if we look inside his tales, you’ll find the balance of the scales.
Remember when Horton heard a Who, and we heard the wisdom of the Lorax too.
The lesson behind Green Eggs and Ham, that changed the mind of Sam I am.
Remember too the rotten Grinch, who once would never give an inch.
He taught us lessons, one and all, boys and girls, big and small.
So if you’ve judged his works as poor, you should re- read them, I implore.
The man we know as Dr. SEUSS, turned our imaginations loose.
His impact was beyond compare, he taught us it was good to care.
To accept the red, the blue, the green, and on each other we can lean.
So if you still won’t give an inch, your heart has hardened like the Grinch.
Release the grudge, the hate, the rue, and embrace the hope of Cindy Lou.
Hi, I live in beautiful New Zealand. I write, I blog, I work, and in my time off I enjoy the great outdoors. I am the mother of two grown children and inheritor of their cats. I work in IT with my husband and son.