A tweet Vice President Kamala Harris posted in 2017 mentioning Dr. Seuss by name and celebrating him has resurfaced, not knowing that four years after her administration would strip his name from Read Across America Day.
Kamala Harris was a senator when she shared the tweet on March 2, 2017, in which she wished the famed children’s book author a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,’” the California senator wrote then.
The birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel popularly known as Dr. Seuss, who died at the age of 87-year-old in 1991 was chosen by the National Educational Association in 1998 as the date for a new holiday focused on promoting children’s literacy.
President Biden, this year scrubbed the mentions of Dr. Seuss from his presidential proclamation after the late author was accused of including “racial undertones” in some of his books.
Dr. Seuss’s work has become very controversial after a study found that diversity is lacking among the characters in his books.
“Of the 2,240 (identified) human characters, there are forty-five characters of color representing 2% of the total number of human characters,” according to a 2019 study from the Conscious Kid’s Library and the University of California that examined 50 of Dr. Seuss’ books.
Meanwhile, a Virginia school district last week ordered its teachers to avoid “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss” because of recent research that allegedly “revealed strong racial undertones” in many of the author’s books.
Following the growing controversy, the company that oversees the publishing of Dr. Seuss’ works said it would be scrapping six of the books, “If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
Responding to a question on why President Biden’s proclamation refused to include Dr. Seuss on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki referred reporters to the Department of Education.
“I think it is important that children of all backgrounds see themselves in the children’s books that they read, but I would point you to the Department of Education for any more details on the writing of the proclamation,” Psaki said in the White House briefing room.