Melania Trump's Dr Seuss school book donation rejected for being racist

  • 30/09/2017
Melania Trump's Dr Seuss school book donation rejected for being racist
Photo credit: File

A librarian at a US elementary school has rejected a book donation made by Melania Trump, saying the Dr Seuss series she chose to send them is racist.

In celebration of national Read a Book Day, the First Lady gifted one school from each state a shipment of books.

However, Cambridgeport Elementary School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, whose school represents Massachusetts in the initiative, said her school didn't need the books and they should have gone somewhere more in need.

"According to the White House website, you selected one school per state by 'working with the Department of Education to identify schools with programs that have achieved high standards of excellence, recognized by State and National awards and Blue Ribbon Awards'," Ms Soeiro said in an open letter.

"Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned... Why not reflect on those 'high standards of excellence' beyond only what the numbers suggest?"

The librarian went on to suggest Ms Trump picked a poor choice of books for the donation.

"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.

"Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr Seuss's illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes."

Despite later becoming involved in the civil rights movement, Dr Seuss published a series of ads during WWII containing anti-black, anti-Arab and anti-Japanese stereotypes.

The school district Ms Soeiro teaches in has distanced themselves from her open letter, stating her opinions are "not a statement on behalf of Cambridge Public Schools".