If you’re feeling as though the first several weeks of the administration of the “most popular presidential ticket of all-time” is just one big troll, I’m afraid that this story isn’t going to do much to dispel that belief. Deadline is reporting that Dr. Seuss Enterprises is closing the book on six titles, including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo and McElligot’s Pool, due to what the organization concedes are “hurtful and wrong” character portrayals.
Former President Barack Obama began a tradition by mentioning Dr. Seuss in each one of his Read Across America Day proclamations from 2009 until 2016. In 2009, Obama said: “On Read Across America Day, we partner with the National Education Association and mark the birthday of Theodor Geisel, whose beloved Dr. Seuss books still inspire children throughout the world to read.” And then in 2016, Obama called Seuss “one of America’s revered wordsmiths,” and said “Theodor Seuss Geisel—or Dr. Seuss—used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear.
President Donald Trump continued the tradition by mentioning Dr. Seuss in every Read Across America Day proclamation except in 2017 when first lady Melania Trump read Dr. Seuss to children at a hospital. At the time, the former first lady said: “Dr. Seuss has brought so much joy, laughter and enchantment into children’s lives all around the globe for generations.
Now more than ever, we must continue to instill in our children a love of reading. On #ReadAcrossAmericaDay , I encourage families across the country to share a book together and inspire our young people to read & learn.
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) March 2, 2021
But this year, Joe Biden did not mention Dr. Seuss in his Read Across America Day proclamation. He said: “The key to developing young learners into engaged, active, and innovative thinkers is instilling in them a love of reading at an early age. Reading is the gateway to countless skills and possibilities—it sets children on the path to a lifetime of discovery. So on this Read Across America Day, we celebrate the parents, educators, librarians, and other champions of reading who help launch our Nation’s children on that critical path.”
During today’s annual ‘Read Across America,’ Mr. Biden did not mention Dr. Seuss, ending the tradition carried out by former presidents Obama and Trump. This year, the National Education Association no longer is partnering with Dr. Seuss. In response to a question asking if the Read Across America Day is partnering with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the NEA says: “There’s a growing need for schools and libraries to include and promote diverse books.”
And on the Dr. Seuss Enterprises website, came the following announcement:
“Today, on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.”
Apparently, following the new tradition of allowing modern cultural norms to dictate what should and shouldn’t be celebrated or read, the Dr. Seuss organization has decided to go woke;
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises writes. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
The organization, which oversees the legacy of the popular and still-lucrative Theodor Seuss Geisel, who died in 1991, said that it had consulted a panel of experts including educators in reviewing its catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication of six titles: 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.
What?!? Who is this helping? Now I better understand what this guy was talking about.