A Massachusetts librarian is facing backlash for rejecting a book donation from the first lady.
Melania Trump gave 50 schools in 50 states a packet of Dr. Seuss books with well wishes in the new school year.
Librarian Liz Soeiro of Cambridgeport Elementary School, however, said thanks but no thanks.
In a letter to the first lady on The Horn Book website, Soeiro explained that the school doesn’t need the books.
“Dr. Seuss’ illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures and harmful stereotypes,” she wrote.
Cambridge Public Schools says the librarian’s editorial letter represented her opinions and was not an official statement on behalf of the school district.
The district says it has “counseled” Soeiro on its policies. It says her letter “was not a formal acceptance or rejection of donated books.”
But some have taken issue with Soeiro’s remarks, including one of the legendary author’s surviving relatives.
“Of all the people to pick, Dr. Seuss would not be the one I would go after with something like that,” Ted Owens, the great-nephew of Dr. Seuss, told Inside Edition. “To say that a book like The Cat in the Hat is racist or that any of the Dr. Seuss books are racist is absurd. His books are about bringing people together. They are about that we are in this together. They are about the strength of the individual.”
The first lady’s office also fired back in a statement of its own.
“To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the first lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere,” her office said.
Even Springfield’s mayor issued a rebuke of the librarian.
“‘One fish – two fish – red fish – blue fish’ – I think her comments ‘stink’ and are ridiculous towards our beloved Dr. Seuss,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement. “Her comments that this is ‘racist propaganda’ and…