They’ve long since run out of legitimate targets, so now Fox News must search for new opportunities to feed their audience of the aggrieved. Last week, several hosts on the channel completely misconstrued the Potato Head rebranding and now comes a new target: Dr. Seuss. A report on FoxNews.com claims, “Virginia school system cancels Dr. Seuss, citing racial ‘undertones.'”
In reality, Dr. Seuss has not been canceled and he hasn’t been called a white supremacist either. According to the Washington Post the Loudoun school district in Virginia merely decided not to include Dr. Seuss in this year’s “Read Across America Day.”
Since 1997, Seuss Enterprises and the National Education Association have partnered to promote childhood literacy on Seuss’s birthday, March 2nd. But 20 years later, the Wall Street Journal reports, the NEA announced it would reduce its emphasis on Dr. Seuss after a report described some of the author’s early works as racist. The Journal writes:
Some of Seuss’s early works were indeed racist. He drew on crude and offensive stereotypes in several drawings of blacks and Asian-Americans. Seuss Enterprises doesn’t shy away from this controversy: “These racially stereotypical drawings were hurtful then and are still hurtful today,” it acknowledges in an online essay titled “Dr. Seuss Use of Racist Images.”
But Dr. Seuss changed. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel (1904-91) later criticized “isolationism, Racism, and Anti-Semitism with a conviction and fervor lacking in most other American editorial pages of the period,” another well-known illustrator, Art Spiegelman, wrote in 1999.
He also wrote “Yertle the Turtle,” an antifascist tale on “the rise of Hitler,” and a magazine story that would become the antidiscrimination classic “The Sneetches.”
Back in suburban Virginia, The Washington Post cites a statement from Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard addressing the “false reports.”
Dr. Seuss books have not been banned in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). LCPS believes that rumor started because March 2 is “Read Across America” day. Schools in LCPS, and across the country, have historically connected Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Given this research, and LCPS’ 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’ birthday exclusively… That being said, Dr. Seuss books have not been banned; they are still available to students in our libraries and classrooms.
This isn’t stopping Ted Cruz from spreading misinformation which make it seem like the entire “left wing” has canceled the children’s author.