Biden Cancels Dr Seuss: Scrubs Mention of Books from Read Across America Day
Democrat bucks decades-old tradition of encouraging children to read Dr. Seuss
Democrat Joe Biden has bucked a decades-old tradition of encouraging children to read Dr. Seuss by scrubbing any mention of the iconic books from his Read Across America Day proclamation.
National Read Across America Day is celebrated annually on March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
The annual event, this year marking the author's 117th birthday, is part of an initiative on reading creative by the National Education Association.
Biden made a proclamation on Monday, but he broke presidential tradition when he left out any mention of Dr. Seuss while declaring Tuesday to be Read Across America Day.
Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all recognized Dr. Seuss's contributions several times in their proclamations each year.
The White House has so far refused to explain or acknowledge Biden's snub.
However, Biden's move is likely to be related to the recent call by progressives to cancel the legendary children's author, according to The Daily Mail.
Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Geisel, had been the face of the annual Read Across America Day for more than 20 years.
On Sunday, Virginia's largest school district, Loudoun County Public Schools, reportedly removed Dr. Seuss from its Read Across America Day celebration, citing "racial undertones" in his children's books.
In his 2014 proclamation, President Obama stated: "[Dr. Seuss'] tales challenge dictators and discrimination.
"They call us to open our minds, to take responsibility for ourselves and our planet."
In 2015, Obama stated: "The works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to us as Dr. Seuss, have sparked a love for reading in generations of students.
"His whimsical wordplay and curious characters inspire children to dream big and remind readers of all ages that a person's a person, no matter how small."
The following year, Obama's 2016 proclaimed Seuss as "one of America's revered wordsmiths" who "used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear."
Former First Lady Melania Trump celebrated Read Across America Day in 2017 by reading Dr. Seuss books to hospitalized children.
"Dr. Seuss has brought so much joy, laughter, and enchantment into children's lives all around the globe for generations," Melania said at the time.
"Through his captivating rhymes, Dr. Seuss has delighted and inspired children while teaching them to read, to dream, and to care."
Trump, in his 2018 proclamation, urged Americans to "always remember the still-vibrant words of Dr. Seuss: 'You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.'"
Trump also referred to Dr. Seuss in his 2019 proclamation, but Biden's omission from his 2021 proclamation led to plenty of criticism online.
"Next to go will be nursery rhymes and the lullaby," wrote Amy on Twitter.
"Rock-a-bye baby may just become too tragic when the bough breaks as well as the London Bridge falling down and heaven forbid Ring around the Rosie and its song of plague. WHAT IS NEXT?!?"
"We are so embarrassing as a country," stated David La Torre.
"Dr. Seuss taught us kindness and to look at the world around us.
"What should he apologize for? America isn’t going to take #cancelculture much longer.
"Because this is fascism, and our president didn’t stand against it."
"Heads are exploding on the Republican side because Biden didn't include Dr. Seuss in his proclamation for reading day. Wow," tweeted Lady Ella.
"This is insane and has to stop. He should never have been president," stated Smiley Ginger.
"Barack Obama liked green eggs and ham but Joe Biden is rejecting Sam I am," said Robert Berman, cleverly using two of the author's books in his tweet.
"How did we get here? What racial undertones? This country is exhausting!" posted one exasperated user.
"Can't blame him... Dr. Seuss is above his reading level," joked another.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Loudon County schools are to shift the "emphasis" of the annual day from Seuss and toward books more "inclusive and diverse and reflective of our student community," a spokesman said.
A report has accused his children's stories of featuring "orientalism, anti-blackness and white supremacy."
Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard said recent research had revealed "strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss," The Washington Post reported.
"Given this research, and LCPS's focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction, LCPS has provided guidance to schools in the past couple of years to not connect Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss's birthday exclusively," Byard said.
Byard insisted that the books had not been banned outright - and that students could still access Seuss in the district's libraries and classrooms, but that the March 2 event would not "simply celebrate Dr. Seuss."
His comments come following a 2019 report called 'The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss's Children's Books'.
That report states: "White supremacy is seen through the centering of Whiteness and White characters, who comprise 98% (2,195 characters) of all characters.
"Notably, every character of color is male.
"Males of color are only presented in subservient, exotified, or dehumanized roles.
"This also remains true in their relation to White characters.
"Most startling is the complete invisibility and absence of women and girls of color across Seuss' entire children's book collection.
"In addition, some of Dr. Seuss' most iconic books feature animal or non-human characters that transmit Orientalist, anti-Black, and White supremacist messaging through allegories and symbolism."
Read Across America Day had traditionally featured on Seuss books including classics like The Cat In The Hat and The Grinch.