Many on the right have been increasingly complaining about the so-called “cancel culture” that has led to effectively silencing the views of certain individuals and entities deemed offensive.
In the latest development, President Joe Biden is facing criticism for omitting the mention of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss from the annual “Read Across America” proclamation this week.
“A love for reading”
Progressives have called for the writer’s books to be scrapped over allegations of racist undertones in his work.
The yearly reading celebration has historically been held on March 2 — Dr. Seuss’ birthday — in large part to honor the legendary author.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump both spoke of the author, whose birth name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, in their own proclamations regarding the annual reading celebration.
In his 2015 proclamation, Obama credited Seuss for sparking “a love for reading in generations of students,” adding that the author’s “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.'”
Three years later, Trump encouraged 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.”
“Hurtful and wrong”
The two most recent first ladies also celebrated Seuss, including as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move, Let’s Read!” initiative and Melania Trump’s visit to a hospital where she read his books to sick children.
Nevertheless, the Southern Poverty Law Center is now using its “Learning for Justice” program as a way to shed light on the supposed racist stereotypes used across Seuss’ entire canon, arguing that it needs to be either sidelined completely or counteracted by teachers who explain the problematic themes in his books.
The growing backlash has even reached the organization that manages the publication of the late author’s books.
In a statement from Dr. Seuss Enterprises on Tuesday, the group confirmed that six of his books would no longer be published because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
Applying 2021 standards to children’s books first published many decades ago is a symptom of the problem many Americans identify as cancel culture. Instead of using an accurate record of history to demonstrate how much things have improved for all Americans, the progressive ideology seeks to erase our heritage just because perceptions have changed.