FLOTUS under Trump


#82

Most people outside California think it is “further south” if you get my drift.


#83

We already have yellow ribbons around the palm trees for you down here, Armando. :)


#84

I love (/s) that 45’s administration last the most repulsive, least capable people in every position including FLOTUS for which there is barely any competency required.


#85

Quelle surprise.


#86

Shopping, hiding from Donald and weeping, I assume. Strange she’d want to say that in public.


#87

I think a thick Eastern European accent in Downing Street would cause our Brexiters to shit themselves with rage if our PM was married to a Slovenian. It shows how our right wings differ in their racism I guess.


#88

FLOTUS recently shipped a bunch of Dr. Seuss books to school libraries, and one librarian took the time to explain to her why she wouldn’t be keeping them.

School Librarian in Cambridge, MA: Dear Mrs. Trump

Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day.
[…]
My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp, however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection. I’d like to respectfully offer my explanation.
[…]
And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.

Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art. Grace Hwang Lynch’s School Library Journal article, “Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? Read Across America Shifts Away from Dr. Seuss and Toward Diverse Books,” reports on Katie Ishizuka’s work analyzing the minstrel characteristics and trope nature of Seuss’s characters. Scholar Philip Nel’s new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, further explores and shines a spotlight on the systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.


#89

the trumps are a waste of air, space and money.


#90

Melania probably had little or nothing to do with choosing and shipping those books. I’d be willing to bet it was simply handed off to staff to handle, with her signature on the letter probably the extent of her involvement.

Not that I’m defending her. She and her staff could have consulted literally 100 different experts on Children’s Literature across the country. They could have done a brief email poll or solicited suggestions from a subset of said experts. If they were very lazy they could have simply contacted Scholastic for suggestions off their bestsellers and awards lists. Instead they picked out books that clueless people pick out for kids. “Everyone loves Dr. Suess!”. Shit, Dr. Suess books aren’t even for school age kids really, they were always more a primary learning tool, a pre-school level teaching assist. If you’re sending books to schools they should be actual BOOKS, with compelling stories and subjects that grade school kids can relate to or learn from.

This smacks of typical Trump Administration incompetence. Hand a project off to some clueless lackey who doesn’t have the qualifications to be in the position they hold but is there because they’re a Trump family friend or a family member of a big donor or some such, and watch as they totally fuck it up. Lather, rinse and repeat across the entire Administration. #MAGA


#91

I can’t be fucked, but “school librarian declines donation because Dr Seuss is a terrible racist hatemonger” prooooooooooooobably belongs in the Liberal Stupidity thread.


#92

I was thinking the same thing.

I’m sure Seuss wasn’t perfect, but he was also extremely anti-fascist so… yeah.

Also… it’s fucking Dr Seuss, who the hell thinks Dr Seuss is a bad thing for kids? Maybe not age appropriate at a point, but other than that?


#93

Fuck this person.


#94

I read “The Butter Battle Book” to my daughter the other day. Didn’t even know we had it, she picked it out from her bookshelf and asked for it. I figured, whatever.

Jesus.

My man did not fuck around. Grim.


#95

So I’m an idiot. Please explain how Cat in the Hat is racist. Also understand that I haven’t read it since the dinosaurs died.


#96

Ugh. Or don’t.


#97

He made racist ads way back in the day, but yeah, I got nothing and I don’t trust my eyes to not roll back and get stuck to read any more about it at the moment.


#98

Holy shit. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that was wondering what was going on here. I guess yay for this librarian and her “award-winning” children’s library, but refusing Dr. Seuss books because he’s racist? Whut?


#99

A children’s library without any Dr Seuss is probably a pretty shitty children’s library, at least from the perspective of the kids.


#100

Reading Dr. Seuss books to my daughter, there are definitely bits that are a little eyebrow-raising from a racial caricature perspective. There are some unfortunate sambo-y jungle/pygmy characters, and the generic slant-eyed “asians” are pretty questionable. (IIRC, Oh The Thinks You can Think is the one I’m thinking of, specifically). There’s definitely a kind old-fashioned colonialist racism.

That being said, I still read them to her. My personal feeling is that without the context of racism behind them, they’re just kind of silly pictures. The pygmy-caricature isn’t any more relevant to her life than the goo-goose, or the glove-loving snuvs. (Something like TinTin starts to blur the line there, but she’s not old enough for those yet.)

Also, that kind of benign racism suffuses almost every piece of media written before, like, 1980 (and many written after). Don’t even get me started on the troubling implications of Babar, or the straight up racist allegory behind Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

In my opinion, it’s something kids are going to be exposed to and have to deal with. I can understand why people might not want to have libraries be the context for those kinds of difficult conversations though.

Dr. Seuss is definitely for younger children though. The best thing about them are the sing-song rhythm of the words, and the ones that got the most play in our house were Fox In Socks and Oh Say Can You Say, both of which are basically just tongue twisters.

If I were going to select “favorite” books to donate to a chidren’s library, they probably wouldn’t be Dr. Seuss, but they would probably also be selected explicitly to reflect my own values, so they probably wouldn’t be generic enough for a government program.


#101

I think that we need to understand the historical context… he wrote that stuff in the 30’s and 40’s. Holding him to a modern standard for cultural sensitivity is kind of nonsensical.

And to use it as an excuse to toss out all of his beloved children’s works is exactly the kind of bullshit that gives cover to actual racists who decry political correctness as the greatest danger of our time.