Lecture by Cat in the Hat Woman

Thanks to a reader who sent me this ten-minute video of Massachusetts elementary school teacher Liz Phipps Soeiro, the woman who wrote a mean letter to Melania Trump after receiving a copy of The Cat in the Hat, which Soeiro characterized as not only a “clichéd”, but “racist propaganda”. She apparently forgot that she had been photographed earlier celebrating that very book, and in fact dressed up as The Cat in the Hat.

I’m not putting this up to whale on her further, as she’s already been the subject of national attention, much of it unfavorable.Besides, it sounds as if she’s done some good stuff.

I just thought you’d like to see her giving a talk. If you have any comments, please put them below.

88 Comments

  1. Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Essentially,she outlines her methods of turning other people’s children into little SJW cadres.

    • yazikus
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I can’t watch it- care to give the quick and dirty on the content?

      • Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        I suffered; you must too.

        • Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          I think it is quite nice.

  2. Historian
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your many comments on this subject. I can only imagine how much you miss the 19th century.

    • Historian
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Sorry, this in response to comment #1.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I’m trying to get people to avoid snarky remarks like this toward other commenters. Can you say the same thing with less sarcasm?

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      I can barely remember what I was doing in the 20th.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Gotta confess, boss, I thought the idiom was to “wail on” — and was gonna accuse you of goin’ all Captain Ahab on the librarian’s ass — but the cunning linguists at Language Log say you’re right: it’s “whale.”

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) rarely makes mistakes with language.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        I’ve noticed,and have been duly impressed.

        I’m forever mixing up my homophones.

        • Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          That makes you a homophobe! (Just kidding, just a pun, gay guy here, no outrage please!)

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            Yeah, I’ve referred to myself as a homophone-phobe before. But nowadays, when you can get in trouble for using an adverb like niggardly, a fella can’t be too careful. 🙂

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

              Homophonophobe.

              Go stand in the corner with the pedagogues and podophiles.

              😉

              cr

              • bobkillian
                Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

                Cosmologists and cosmetologists.

        • Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          Well that makes you a homophobe. (Just kidding, it’s just a pun, gay guy here, no outrage please!)

        • Diane G.
          Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

          I think you just have a thing for ail-ing. Way back I had to tell you you were using bail for bale, ‘member?

          😀

          FWIW, I’d always thought it was “wail,” too, till I looked it up a few years ago…Now I hardly ever use the phrase “whale on” in writing as I fear it’s gonna look wrong to a lot of people! You can’t win.

      • Craw
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        I corrected your misuse of “evince” a few months ago.

    • John Taylor
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I think we’ve been through this once before if I remember correctly. The last time the commenter didn’t bother to check and ended up looking quite foolish.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve acted the fool here. Learned the hard way the old carpenter’s adage: “measure twice, cut once.” 🙂

    • mordacious1
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Wale: to strike the skin in such a way to produce a wale (welt).

      I think that this is an instance where a new usage replaced an older usage. I personally will continue to use “wale on”. Matt may be stuck in the 19th Century, but I’m stuck in the 12th.

      • Diane G.
        Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        Ah, I like that much better! It even looks familiar, now that you bring it up.

  4. Historian
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I notice that the first word in her talk is “so.” From watching cable news show, it is apparent that the use of this superfluous word is now commonplace in the beginning of a response to questions. Why is this so? I find it quite annoying.

    • Historian
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I think my use of the word “so” is appropriate.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      So, you gotta problem with it?

      I’ll use “so” at the start of a sentence (most often a question, as above), but almost exclusively in a humorous or jocular context. For me, it’s got an in medias res feel to it, like a man with a briefcase dashing through the subway door.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      It’s always used by the tech geeks in police procedurals like CSI, Bones or NCIS.

      The shooty ones will be swapping banter about guns or cars or health dads, the boss will slap them on the head (except in NCIS: Los Angeles because Hetty can’t reach: a stern look will suffice), geek boy or geek girl will appear with their iPad, swipe something onto the big screen and announce ‘So… the results of the autopsy are in and I found some interesting diatoms in the victim’s lungs’.

      It generally shorthand for ‘enough messing around, this is my sciency bit’

      • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Health fads.

        Autocorrect has daddy issues.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Fookin’ Freud; even the gadgets are infected.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      In Seamus Heaney’s acclaimed translation of Beowulf, he translates the first word of the poem, “Hwaet”, as “So”. So, there’s some precedent for starting a tale with “So”.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        No wonder Grendel’s mother is so PO’d.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    A reasonably decent talk.
    And to be fair, the photos of her as Cat in the Hat are 2 years ago, and she may have encountered the theory of it’s being racist since that time. She could have deflected criticism by saying she used to like it and dressed up as it one time.

    Still the notion that the mischievous character of CitH stems from black minstrel shows remains not quite convincing. He could just as easily be modeled on Chaplin’s Tramp character.

    It’s true that Ted Geissel did actually draw some unflattering cartoons of Africans in his early days, but he progressed politically as time went on (which Philip Nel has acknowledged.)

  6. Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Though I’m loath to come to the defense of a SJW dingbat it should be pointed out that she never criticized The Cat in the Hat but 2 other books by Seuss. Of course one could say that she promotes the works of a white supremacist to children. I wonder if she reads the kiddies excerpts from Mein Kampf.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of the comments here are also referring to the letter she sent the First Lady, which I believe included some CitH-is-racist commentary.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      She didn’t criticize it in her talk, but she sure did (by quoting someone else) in her letter to Melania Trump. Here’s part of that letter, which was on The Horn Book website:

      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.

  7. Rich
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The interesting comparison, and folks from both sides of the aisle do this, is how they treat folks who screw up.

    If someone “steps in it” but is from one’s own political persuasion, are given that “this was bad, but look at the good he/she has done” treatment.

    On the other hand, when someone from the other side of the aisle masticates their own shoeleather for some reason or another, it’s a reason to blackball them, to de-platform them, or to, at the very least, torpedo their careers.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Actually I don’t think that’s true. The Left can turn on their ‘allies’ at the slightest perceived infraction. That’s why I can’t understand why people like Joss Whedon and Graham Linehan play their game. You can’t win in the long term. Look at the vilification Ophelia Benson or Germaine Greer get. Does this happen on the Right? It seems those who fall from grace resign to spend more time with their families and then six months later all is forgiven.

      • Historian
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Steve Bannon has launched a crusade to rid the GOP leadership of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. His support of Roy Moore is the opening shot. We’ll see who forgives whom.

        • BJ
          Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          People at the political level are just as ruthless on both sides. Speaker To Animals is talking about the people who follow the ideologies, not the politicians.

          • Historian
            Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            I think the fight between Bannon’s alt-right populists against the Republican elites is ideological.

            • Craw
              Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

              But they are “at the political level” aren’t they? BJ meant ideologically right as opposed to active political mover and shaker.

        • darrelle
          Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Getting rid of McConnell and Ryan is something I would purely love to see. In my opinion they are two of the worst human beings in the US. But given the choice of them remaining leaders of the GOP and Bannon having the resources to bring them down and replace them with his own tools I’d have to grit my teeth and choose McConnell and Ryan.

          But, in the event that Bannon tries to do something like that I seriously doubt things would unfold per his plan.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, can you imagine Ryan and McConnell being replaced by Roy Moore clones? (Insert Darth Vader breathing here.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        I think you and Historian both have a point. Until recently, the Right tended to follow Ronnie Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. (Or, as they sometimes say, no enemies to our Right; no friends to our Left.)

        But all that has changed with the rise of Donald Trump, who’s not really a Republican (not in any traditional sense, anyway), but an insurgent right-wing populist who’s co-opted the Party. The GOP’s entering full-on eat-their-own mode (and it’s bound to get worse as the Mueller noose tightens).

  8. GBJames
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    She’s teaching kids about civic involvement. Seems pretty good to me.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      As I said, yes, it sounds good. One cannot demonize her despite the tendency of both sides to do that.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Having read her actual letter (at ‘the Horn Book’) and many of the comments, I have to say it wasn’t unduly rude in itself. It was very long and contained two main elements of criticism, one was the administration’s policies towards school funding, the other was Seuss’s alleged racism.

        It was much too long, as one commenter noted.

        It was, I think, ill-judged (and hence rude) in the circumstances. If given a gift, you say thanks. You don’t comment on the appropriateness of it. She could have made the point of resources by saying that her school was well-endowed so she would like (with Ms Trump’s approval) to pass the books on to such-and-such a (under-resourced) school who would be most grateful to receive them (Ms Trump could hardly refuse her approval for that).

        cr

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      1) is teaching civic involvement part of her job description as elementary school librarian?

      2) She’s imposing her personal socio-political views on the children, and abusing her position of authority;

      3) She claims the subjects and level of ‘conversation’ she leads is appropriate for seven-year-olds. I have serious doubts.

      • GBJames
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Teaching all kinds of things is part of the job of a children’s library. Objecting to her teaching civic involvement is, IMO, perverse.

        • Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          She has openly admitted her goal is “creating social activists at school”. Not only is that not the role of a school librarian, a biased socio-political view is inherent to any social activism. Through her abuse of her position of authority, she is imposing on seven-year-olds her ideology, which includes support for unions, illegal immigrants, and BLM. Were a school librarian lecturing children on the importance of traditional marriage, capitalism, and invited a fellow from the Cato Institute to speak, I doubt you’d be on board.

          • GBJames
            Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Nonsense. All civic involvement is social activism.

            You seem to think that the role of a children’s librarian is to keep the books properly shelved. Or something.

            • Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

              Respond to my hypothetical — would you be cool with that librarian’s agenda?

              • GBJames
                Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

                It would depend on what the fellow from Cato was there to talk about.

                Helping kids learn how to engage their local government is hardly a partisan matter. Unless you think that getting earlier access to the playground is a vast left-wing conspiracy. Which it seems you do.

              • Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

                Two issues here: 1) is it within the mandate of an elementary school librarian to foster activism in children? 2) Is it acceptable for a librarian to push her personal socio-political views on the children under her care?

                You dodged my question, but I doubt you’d be okay with a librarian lecturing children about how marriage is between one man and one woman, or on the dangers of vaccines and GMOs, for that matter. I suspect you’re only okay with Soiero’s polemicizing because her political worldview correlates with your own.

              • GBJames
                Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

                You keep trying to make civic involvement sound bad. It isn’t it is what a democracy requires.

                It is the job of schools to educate children. This includes helping them understand how citizens interact with government.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

              I certainly think the role of any librarian is to keep the books properly shelved. And properly catalogued and indexed. And as many of them as possible.

              (I go to libraries to find books to read, not to be ‘educated’ or ‘entertained’. And that was view when I was a kid too. I used to be disconcerted by books that were mis-catalogued or mis-filed).

              Once the librarian has done her day job, she can use her spare time to do other stuff, but political things should be kept out of the library.

              IMO.

              cr

              • GBJames
                Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

                Librarians are educators. They teach. They usually have aides who are charged with keeping the books properly shelved.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

                “Librarians are educators. They teach.”

                Since when? That’s a teacher’s job.

                I think we may be bickering about job classifications, though.

                cr

              • GBJames
                Posted October 3, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

                You haven’t known many librarians, have you? Have you ever spoken to someone with a degree in Library Science? Are you aware that a great many librarians have graduate degrees in the subject?

                These are educators. They work at educational institutions and are integral parts of a school’s teaching program.

  9. Randy schenck
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Civil rights in the second grade? This one is a surprise to me but then who knows, maybe in third grade they do philosophy.

    • Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      We did a unit on human rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when I was in *5th* grade, for what little that’s worth.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    In the vid, Soeiro comes off with a goofy charm, I think, as opposed to the insufferably smug, supercilious tone she takes in her letter to the First Lady.

  11. Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Funny — I actually think Dr. Seuss’s books taught me a lot about human nature for the precise reason that they weren’t realist much less racial — they portrayed human emotions (and injustices) as universal and not limited to this real-life situation or another. “The Sneetches” is to this day the single clearest depiction of human status-seeking and how it largely benefits no one better than the status-symbol makers. “Horton Hears a Who” is a beautiful ode to helping for those that can’t help themselves (also present in “Horton Hatches an Egg”. Whenever I get overwhelmed by people wanting too much from me I often think of “Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose” and his excellent antler-expulsion. I think about “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” (a favorite — and I only understand why today), and “Bartholomew and the Oobleck,” about the perils of chemically “improving” the natural environment — not to mention “The Lorax,” which I still think of as one of the earliest and saddest depictions of environmental destruction. It’s strange that despite this gal’s fun and friendly way of talking, her approach seems to be that children need the stick more than the carrot — an attitude that I thought had been left behind in the 19th century! (And having been forced to read the awful MacGuffey Readers as a child, decades after they had faded from use, I know whereof I speak.) I would love to see a Dr. Seuss book about an adult who thinks she knows the best way to teach children but who only manages to alienate them.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      What a nice homage to Dr. Seuss. 🙂 And I mostly agree about the librarian, as well.

  12. Taz
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I think her letter had more to do with who sent the books rather than the books that were sent.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.

  13. dabertini
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I dunno. Watching the video made me wonder wheather i like women who have tattoos. And then it hit me! When is PCC(e)’s mr. Mas book coming out? The suspense is killing me. I’m so confused.

  14. Cate Plys
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I watched about half, and then touched here and there on the rest of it to see if it changed. The librarian seems no more than justifiably happy about the projects her students have undertaken via her community-building projects, and her weekly coffees. She comes off as someone with a completely reasonable, laudable desire to teach the kids about community involvement. It’s hard to believe she’s the same person who wrote that letter, which is completely indefensible on every level.

    There was only one hint that her desire to teach the kids about community involvement might be slightly more than meets the eye. She talks at the very beginning about how people tend to look elsewhere in the country or abroad for many such projects, when there are so many needs right there in every community, and that people should start there. I so agree with that–in fact, it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine that many people profess to be tireless community helpers, but somehow this help always seems to include them getting a trip and adjoining vacation. Maybe it’s because I live in Chicago, but it bothers me to see people spending money to travel the world instead of helping our own needy neighborhoods. Anyway, so just when she had me, she added that the problem with helping far-away places was–that it encourages a sort of “nationalism” that makes us think we know what’s best for other countries. Hunh? What? We’re talking about second-graders.

    However, I have to say that other than that hint, she appears to be a terrific and engaged teacher in many aspects. I do hope she gets over her raging SJW fever so her students can go back to enjoying what are justifiably amazing classics–my faves being The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle and The Grinch. But the Cat in the Hat too? Hell yes.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      “… it can propagate this nationalistic belief that we know what’s best for everybody else – people, places, cultures.”

      Yeah, a touch of moral relativism in passing.

      I’d say there was more than a hint as to her agenda: she expressly mentioned lecturing the children on the importance of unions, working conditions of “farm workers” (read: ‘undocumented’ migrant workers), and BLM.

      It was also disingenuous for her to claim “The kids wanted to post a little free library in a local park.” No, Liz — you first read them a book about a traveling library, then told them “why book access is important and all communities have book access issues”, and finally you suggested the park library kiosk thing.

  15. danstarfish
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I have a mixed reaction to the video. Though I admit my knowledge of her later uncivil behavior colors it.

    She gave examples of them going to the city council and asking for favors (fund our mini library, expedite the playground remodel). This isn’t bad per se, but if I look at college students making unreasonable demands from college administrators, I wonder is this where it starts. Still, the making of the mini library did seem like a great civic project.

    I wish I understood the radicalization process better. How does someone like her with such good intentions and energy move on to calling Dr. Seuss books racist propaganda. It isn’t just her, didn’t Dan Arel and PZ Meyers used to be reasonable people before they radicalized. I wish I understood what causes people to cross over from being passionate to being a zealot. Why do some people stay reasonable and stay passionate while others become overbearing idealogues.

    I was a little uncomfortable that all the books she showed were narratives associated with one ideology. I think we also need narratives for uniting all of us as Americans. I don’t object to stories that are inclusive of those who used to be marginalized, but if those become the only stories allowed we end up excluding half the country.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Arel and Myers were never reasonable — placed in a crucible, their veneer was stripped away to reveal their true inner selves.

      Soiero may come across as charming and unassuming when before a fawning & like-minded audience. But her radical, anti-liberal views are not new. I doubt she’d retain her demeanor if presented with formidable pushback.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      “…didn’t Dan Arel and PZ Meyers used to be reasonable people before they radicalized?”

      Don’t know much about Arel, but that was certainly my impression of the early Myers.

  16. Mark R.
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Daily Kos reports that this story is FOX’s headline this morning…or maybe it was yesterday. They were making the point that FOX thinks this issue is more important than Puerto Rico. It isn’t, of course, but FOX is in the business of propaganda and demonizing the left; Daily Kos misses that fact. Either way, this was good ammunition for the right so FOX used it.

    • Craw
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Our host used it thrice. He’s a right wing shill now? It’s interesting, that’s why lots of places covered it. This was everywhere.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Huh? You totally missed my point. If anything, I’m disparaging Daily Kos.

    • biz
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      You can bet that the next time Roy Moore or some other Republican nsays something stupid it will be all they talk about at Daily Kos, no matter what hurricanes are doing.

    • biz
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      You can bet that the next time Roy Moore or some other Republican nsays something stupid it will be all they talk about at Daily Kos, no matter what hurricanes are doing.

  17. Karst
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    There is considerable evidence that Dr. Seuss penned numerous political cartoons that would nowadays be deemed racist. For those interested in more details on Dr. Seuss’ anti-Japanese and anti-Hitler cartoons or the origins of The Cat in the Hat in black ministrelsy, take a look at

    http://www.slj.com/2017/09/industry-news/cat-hat-racist-read-across-america-shifts-away-dr-seuss-toward-diverse-books/#_

    and at the cartoons posted in the comments in the following post at Daily Kos:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/28/1702568/-Melania-Trump-Donated-Ten-Children-s-Books-to-Her-School-Librarian-Schools-Her

    If I may quote from the first website listed above without breaking the rules:

    “…says Ishizuka. She isn’t the first scholar to point out racial stereotypes in Dr. Seuss’ picture books. Kansas State University English professor Phillip Nell recently published a book Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism in Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, which examines The Cat in the Hat’s roots in blackface minstrelsy.”

    • Karst
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Also: See the cartoons at

      https://blavity.com/why-my-read-across-america-day-was-different

      especially the incredibly objectionable second cartoon from 1929, published in “Judge” magazine.

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Neither she nor Nell were ‘pointing out’ racial stereotypes in The Cat in the Hat, they were inferring them based on their own prejudices and free association.

      The similarity is in their heads, not on the paper.

      This kind of criticism is no more sophisticate than yelling at clouds.

      • Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Ishizuka holds a masters in social work, while Nel is the author of such pieces as Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature, The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity: Small Incisive Shocks, and Radical Children’s Literature Now!, plus several works on the children’s books authors and communists, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.

        Nuf ced.

  18. Brian Salkas
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    the video seemed fine. She ought to leave doctor seuss out of her politics but still bash trump as much as she would like. i wonder if she used the whole Dr. Seuss is racist thing because she wanted media attention, if so then it worked great for her. Otherwise Jerry Coyne never would have posted this video, FOX news would have ignored her, she might have gotten exactly what she wanted from that.

  19. Jake Sevins
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Seems fine to me (minus the vocal fry, which is endemic in young female voices now). I’d wager she’s probably a kind and intelligent person in real life, but it was a mistake to call out Melania (another reasonable and kind person, despite her questionable choice of spouse).

  20. Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I feel very uneasy about all of this.
    Lately I’ve been wondering how today’s SJWs compare with the idealistic flower children and hippies of yore. Are we that worse off for having SJWs in our midst and are they deserving of the constant vilification?

    • Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Whatever their ends, the SJWs means entail nothing less than fascism.

      • Posted October 4, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t fully familiar with the term, and I’ve found out that you are probably correct.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Why do you think her dressing as a Cat in the Hat in the past makes her a hypocrite? While ctrl-left custom to label every random piece of art racist is reprehensible, there is nothing wrong with changing your opinion.

  22. barn owl
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    For many years, the Newbery Medal has recognized children’s literature that represents diverse socioeconomic and ethnic experiences (and sometimes those of non-human species).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbery_Medal

    The winners and the nominees often dominated my childhood reading, because they were invariably available at the local public library. Also, they’re usually just very good and compelling books … kids didn’t need to be coerced into reading them by overzealous librarians. My cousin, who grew up on a sugar beet farm in rural Colorado, had access to and read the same books through the county library bookmobile. Maybe I’m just middle-aged and cranky, but it seems that children are so micromanaged and curated now – whatever happened to letting them explore a library or bookmobile to make their own choices about books to read or look at?


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