September 29, 2017

Let's take a closer look at that Cambridge, Massachusetts elementary school librarian who rejected the gift of Dr. Seuss books from Melania Trump.

You've seen the story, I'm sure. Here's Vanity Fair: "An Elementary School Librarian Doesn’t Want Dr. Seuss Books from Melania Trump/She wrote that Seuss is 'a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature.'" I've seen some abuse of this woman, Liz Phipps Soeiro, and here's something, in particular, that set me off:



I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great. This is a fabulous, beautiful librarian look, and if this says Rosa Klebb to you, I guess you're just not into the glory of librarians. I love the scarf, the bright-lipstick/no-eye-makeup look, the pinned-back hair, the glasses. It's utterly charming, well constructed and a lot of fun, like a character in a children's book. Perfection.

Now, let's read her words on the occasion of her school's getting selected — as one school in each state is selected — to receive a set of Dr. Seuss books:

Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. 
That's a friendly, nice thanks.
Our beautiful and diverse student body is made up of children from all over the world; from different socioeconomic statuses; with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities; with a range of abilities; and of varied racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
She makes it clear what kind of a school this is, making it all the more interesting that this is the school Melania Trump chose to recognize.  
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…” Each of those carefully vetted schools received ten books: Seuss-isms!; Because a Little Bug Went KaChoo; What Pet Should I Get?; The Cat in the Hat; I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; The Foot Book; Wacky Wednesday; Green Eggs and Ham; and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.

My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp...
The gift is acknowledged, and we can see that the children were able to enjoy the recognition that their school received.
... however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection. 
That's the kicker.
I’d like to respectfully offer my explanation.
Respectfully
My school and my library are indeed award-winning. I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to “excellence.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an amazing city with robust social programming, a responsive city government, free all-day kindergarten, and well-paid teachers (relatively speaking — many of us can’t afford to live in the city in which we teach). My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance. The American Association of School Librarians has a great infographic on these findings. Many schools around the state and country can’t compete.

Yearly per-pupil spending in Cambridge is well over $20,000; our city’s values are such that given a HUGE range in the socioeconomic status of our residents, we believe that each and every child deserves the best free education possible and are working hard to make that a reality (most classrooms maintain a 60/40 split between free/reduced lunch and paid lunch). This offers our Title I school and the district a lot of privilege and room for programming and pedagogy to foster “high standards of excellence.” Even so, we still struggle to close the achievement gap, retain teachers of color, and dismantle the systemic white supremacy in our institution. But hell, we test well! And in the end, it appears that data — and not children — are what matters.
The school is good because great resources have been invested in education in this place.
Meanwhile, school libraries around the country are being shuttered. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school “choice” with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools. Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? 
Why give gifts to those who have already received so much? The recognition that's embodied in the gift seems to presume that all the children and teachers started with the same quality of schools, and these students did more with what they had. But that's not true.
Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? Why not reflect on those “high standards of excellence” beyond only what the numbers suggest? Secretary DeVos would do well to scaffold and lift schools instead of punishing them with closures and slashed budgets.
Phipps Soeiro wants better schools for all children. If her school is the great example that's getting recognition, why not do more to help other schools be like this school, not act as if giving a few books to this school would help inspire kids and teachers at bad schools to compete and achieve more? It's a policy argument. Phipps Soeiro is using the act of declining the gift to draw attention to her disagreement with the administration's education policy.
So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. 
Now, we get to the part of the letter that's getting the most attention. The attack (or seeming attack) on Dr. Seuss:
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. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.
Instead of highlighting books that we all know, you could have chosen some newer, more obscure writers and brought attention and honor to them.  
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.
Certainly, children's literature deserves analysis. It conveys values. It shapes young minds. Whether a particular book is actually racist (in some blatant or subtle ways) is a matter we will disagree about, but it's certainly a great topic of conversation, and it's a fine thing for Phipps Soeiro to use her moment in the spotlight to get the conversation started. I've had my suspicions about the Cat in the Hat myself (mostly that he seems to represent a child molester, bringing his special kind of fun to the house when the mother is away and successfully covering his traces and getting the kids to keep it all secret).
I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. 
Back to the niceness of paragraph #1. After a brief stimulation to conversation about education policy and the meaning in children's books, we're coming in for a landing.
I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out. Books can be a powerful way to learn about and experience the world around us; they help build empathy and understanding. 
All very nice. The reservation about the books is repeated in a gentle, modest way.  
In return...
She's giving a gift.
... I’m attaching a list of ten books...
Her gift is a list.
... (it’s the librarian in me) that I hope will offer you a window into the lives of the many children affected by the policies of your husband’s administration. You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them. I hope you share these books with your family and with kids around the country. And I encourage you to reach out to your local librarian for more recommendations.
Beautifully written. Delightful. What are the books? Here's the "Dear Mrs. Trump" booklist. What a wonderful response!

Dear Mrs. Trump — this is my advice to Melania — you should invite Liz Phipps Soeiro to the White House, along with all the authors and illustrators of the books on her list. Have a conversation, maybe bring in some additional authors. Phipps Soeiro's list is big on multi-culturalism, so perhaps there is a Slovenian children's writer that you could include.

483 comments:

1 – 200 of 483   Newer›   Newest»
Gahrie said...

I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great

Must be an academic feminist thing.

I think she looks like an activist with a stick up her ass.

Now Laura Bush looks like a hot librarian.

Gahrie said...

and dismantle the systemic white supremacy

Why doesn't she resign and allow them to hire a librarian of color?

tcrosse said...

Notice the scare-quotes around school "choice". Does this mean she's not pro-"choice" ?

rhhardin said...

Even so, we still struggle to close the achievement gap, retain teachers of color, and dismantle the systemic white supremacy in our institution.

How about getting black kids to do better instead of closing the achievement gap.

rhhardin said...

The part about a spectrum of gender disorders was good.

traditionalguy said...

Reeducation works. It's no surprise that we find a Culture Warrior placed into power to indoctrinate the children. Dr Seuss is what exactly the kids like to read, so that must be stopped or their indoctrination may fail.

Mary Martha said...

Some of the best advice my father gave to me is this...

If you want someone to really hear your criticism you have to put it into a 'nice sandwich'. Say something nice, say something mean, say something nice.

That way, if they take the nice things you say, they have to take the mean things too.

This system has been super successful for me over the years. People are amazed at what I can get accomplished with this simple trick.

It seems like this librarian follows the same practice and it worked on Althouse.

Kaos said...

https://www.weaselzippers.us/358894-librarian-who-rejected-racist-dr-seuss-book-donation-from-melania-trump-busted-wearing-cat-in-hat-outfit/ Hmmmmmm

Mr. Majestyk said...

I'm sorry, the oversized scarf looks ridiculous.

n.n said...

Diversity is a progressive cliche for racism, sexism, and other institutional and personal policies that judge people in classes (i.e. "color of their skin").

rhhardin said...

The library needs more books about football.

Meade said...

"I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great."

With that I agree.

mockturtle said...

I also read her list of preferred children's books. Every one is SJW propaganda. Can't kids just be kids?

PS: I don't think she looks great. I think she looks hard and opinionated, which she obviously is. She should be fired for her rude and overreaching behavior.

rhhardin said...

A Boy's Book of Things To Do was good.

Gahrie said...

I've had my suspicions about the Cat in the Hat myself (mostly that he seems to represent a child molester, bringing his special kind of fun to the house when the mother is away and successfully covering his traces and getting the kids to keep it all secret).

Wow....

Repeal the 19th.

tcrosse said...

Forget it, Jake. It's Cambridge.

Robin Eatmon said...

Very passive-aggressive letter. Why not be polite and write the Thank You letter, ON BEHALF OF HER SCHOOL, without the critique of the books and the process. In a separate letter to the committee she could offer HER PERSONAL help in the future with the selection process and voice her concerns. That's how a polite person in civil society would act. She wanted to be a mean girl to Melania and she just knew there was Cheeto dust all over those evil books.

rhhardin said...

The Science of Pre-Flight Aeronautics was my favorite, picked up for $0.05 in a book fair at age 10. I still have it somewhere. Thick hardcover, red.

AZ Bob said...

The letter was written for mass distribution and to shame the recipient.

Ann Althouse said...

"Notice the scare-quotes around school "choice". Does this mean she's not pro-"choice" ?"

She's imagining the choice being between bad options and used to distract and delay improving schools. She doesn't believe that competition is the answer, I assume.

As for pro-choice in the case of abortion, what improvement in the choosable options is possible when you have ending the pregnancy or going through with bearing a child?

mockturtle said...

Kaos observes: https://www.weaselzippers.us/358894-librarian-who-rejected-racist-dr-seuss-book-donation-from-melania-trump-busted-wearing-cat-in-hat-outfit/ Hmmmmmm

Must have been before she was 'woke'.

rhhardin said...

Then there was Fun Fare, a collection of Readers' Digest humor pieces, with my favorite joke

Woman searches her bra for a handkerchief, notices people watching, explains "I was sure I had two when I came in."

Kids love that stuff.

Ralph L said...

I was going to say, give her three decades to look like Rosa, but that hits too close to home for most of us here.

Doubt Melania had heard of Seuss until Barron. We didn't have any that I recall.

n.n said...

The part about a spectrum of gender disorders was good

The Transgender Spectrum Disorder (TSD) includes males and females who exhibit physical (e.g. medical corruption) and/or mental (e.g. homosexual, bisexual, transvestite) deviations from the masculine and feminine genders. Nothing about the transhuman spectrum, which includes individuals who deny individual dignity (e.g. [class] diversity), and lives deemed unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable (e.g. Pro-Choice).

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The whole thing is just a boiler plate lefty screed. School choice bad. Need more money for schools. Objective standards of success bad. About the only thing that I can see that she said that made sense to me is that maybe the books should be going somewhere else. Maybe to that private school in DC that the President's kids attended.

Leora said...

I'm disturbed that there doesn't seem to be a single book about a white Christian in an intact family in her ten selections. Personally I'd want one about a kibbutz too.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Yes, lets tell preschoolers and grammar schoolers that Dr. Suess is racist and misogynistic. After all, the kids at her school must be irredeemable deplorables. They have privilege and money.

Stick up her ass indeed......

The Drill SGT said...

Dr Seuss was just great when the Previous POTUS and FLOTUS were pushing them hard over the previous 8 years.

The school is good because great resources have been invested in education in this place.

Of course DC schools spending is $29,300. 50% more than Cambridge.

Maybe it's families and students that make the difference, not funding.

rhhardin said...

WWI airplane stories were good. No women flying those things, either.

Gahrie said...

As for pro-choice in the case of abortion, what improvement in the choosable options is possible when you have ending the pregnancy or going through with bearing a child?

How about eliminating the option to kill your child for your convenience. That would be an improvement.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think she looks hard and opinionated..."

Why can't a woman present herself as hard and opinionated?

There are different styles. I don't see the problem with a hard look, if it's good, and as for opinions, are they good opinions? In fact, she's inviting conversation, and that's not even so hard and opinion.

I'll bet if you like the policies, you'd be okay with opinionatedness.

BTW, Trump is hard and opinionated.

n.n said...

what improvement in the choosable options is possible when you have ending the pregnancy or going through with bearing a child

A third-way: choice, conception, life or [elective] abortion. There are other variations that are short of the final solution.

TML said...

I've never felt such visceral and strong disagreement with you. Zero call to dismiss Dr. Seuss, a brilliant and timeless author. You could see where her nonsense was coming from with her crack about DeVos. And her list is garbage.

Plus, Dave's tweet was funny. She does look like a Soviet villain.

Possibly the two people I admire most online. Ann Althouse and Dave Burge. Interesting.

Ralph L said...

At least she isn't wearing one of those Arafat scarf thingies.

Bill said...

Well, she knows her way around a semicolon. I'll give her that.

I'm more fascinated by Melania's signature, which is rather stabby.

rhhardin said...

All the sex books are behind the librarian's desk, as I remember.

Gahrie said...

BTW, Trump is hard and opinionated.

Very few people call Trump attractive.

n.n said...

Diversity, as Choice before it, is the preeminent liberally conceived euphemism in the age of progress.

Ann Althouse said...

"How about eliminating the option to kill your child for your convenience. That would be an improvement."

That would be rejecting individual choice. Why not simply avoid that choice if you believe it is bad?

Bay Area Guy said...

AA: "I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great."

I want to say that you are high on crack this morning.

Rob McLean said...

I don't think she looks great. I think she looks hard and opinionated, which she obviously is. She should be fired for her rude and overreaching behavior.

This. But then, I'm biased: I'm married to a school librarian, and she's a lot prettier, nicer and classier than this apparatchik.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm more fascinated by Melania's signature, which is rather shabby."

It's like Trump's signature. How does that happen?

Molly said...

EAGLEBEAK

I was surprised that AA was so enthusiastic about the librarian. I am not a great fan of Dr. Seuss myself, but not because he's "racist." And I do like Horton Hears a Who. But I am even less of a fan of this librarian.

Strangely, Madam Librarian can be found on the Internet photographed dressed as the Cat in the Hat (see http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/09/dr-seuss-is-racist_librarian_d.html).

So I am forced to conclude that Madam Librarian wrote this letter to Melania as a passive-aggressive act of hostility, just to be a Mean Girl.

In short: The Librarian is a jerk.

Pinandpuller said...

All in all you're just a-
Nother brick in the.wall

Rob said...

Not much interested in how she looks, though I will say there's a reason why Vanity Fair used two pictures of Melania and none of Soeir. Not much interested in her predictable SJW critique either, but it's a free country and she's got as much right to her fifteen minutes of fame as any NFL tackle.

MalaiseLongue said...

Politesse aside, this basically strikes me the same way as the very public refusal by the poet Sharon Olds to "break bread" with Laura Bush because of W's adventure in Iraq. I thought Olds was rude, and I was still a Bush-is-Hitler Democrat at the time.

BDNYC said...

You really didn't think the letter presumptuous and insulting? Why does everything in life have to be a social justice warrior battlefield?

I did like how she accomplished that oh-so-common coastal liberal trick. Brag about her own circumstances and how privileged she is while at the same time bemoaning the fact of her privilege, which is fault of other people.

Gahrie said...

That would be rejecting individual choice.

We usually don't give people the choice to kill other people for convenience.

Most criminal laws are restrictions on people's choices.

Why not simply avoid that choice if you believe it is bad?

I have. Now I'm trying to save innocent lives from the Leftwing abattoir.

More Black children are aborted in NYC each year than born alive.

Black Lives Matter.

Michael said...

She looks great in the way good looking prog women present themselves. I know what she thinks about every single topic by looking at her.
A few words about bad schools. When this is taken as a given, that there are loads of bad schools, is it being suggested that they are filled with teachers who are incompetent or that they are trying their best not to teach their charges to read and write? That the physical plants are so dilapidated that the children cannot concentrate for the rain dripping on their papers or freezing because there is no heat? Or both? I would submit that the "bad schools" are bad because they are filled with bad students who are not inclined to be taught.
The woman is well meaning and has been taught to be concerned about the most microscopic evidence of bad-think and be rewarded for discovering it and pointing it out in her own polite/mean way. It is the way she is. It is the way her boy/girl friend is and her colleagues and the people with whom she socializes.

sodal ye said...

Gahrie said...
Now Laura Bush looks like a hot librarian.
...
Yes, she was scalding hot. Those eyes...

n.n said...

There is an individual Choice to abort human lives that are deemed unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable?

Pro-Choice is a quasi-religious scheme that can only be sustained under a layer of privacy, which avoids reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives. Elective abortion, and diversity (e.g. racism), as with other human and civil rights violations, should be considered a crime committed against the individual and society. At the very least, we should end its advocacy and normalization. There are other solutions, albeit hard to process in a post-normal age.

buwaya said...

A stick up the... is an excellent description for this woman.

No, it is not polite to complain about her husbands policies in a thank-you note for a private gift.

That is plain hostility.

If they don't want or need these books, they can give them to someone who does.
Though they probably can't. That is the actual great flaw in this act of charity.

I know for a fact that public schools, in California at least, at all levels, are swimming in donated books, or easily could be. More books than can possibly be kept, more than the kids can be made interested in. And that last part is for reasons, I think, that she would be most unlikely to consider.

School supplies however are welcome; for some reason these are always short. Paper, pens and pencils, crayons, markers, and even chalk. Art supplies, working musical instruments (for schools with bands), etc. are also pretty easy to donate.

And dinging Betsy De Vos in apocalyptic terms for things that she has not done (or yet done) is insane.
No, really, it is insane.

As for the multiculturalism, it too is insane, but that is another argument.

Molly said...

Eaglebeak


Melania responded with a few -- what seem to me well-chosen -- words:

Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady's office, said in a statement to Fox News that the response was "unfortunate," and Mrs. Trump wanted to use her platform "to help as many children as she can."

"She has demonstrated this in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to children across the country is but one example," she said. "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."


"Unfortunate" is a much gentler put-down than Madam Librarian managed.

Gahrie said...

I am simply amazed that some of the most un-woke, racist, sexist, homophobic men in history managed to hide rights to sexual privacy, contraception, abortion and gay rights in a Constitutional Amendment designed to grant Black people citizenship.

n.n said...

Anyway, on one hand, on the other, always and forever. She makes a few good points. We shouldn't abort the baby for personal convenience.

Bill said...

Stabby, not shabby. Like a series of stabbing motions.

Ralph L said...

She could have just said she was forwarding the books to a poorer school in Roxbury or South Boston.

So they divvie the kids up by income?

Respectfully, I'd like to unsplit her infinitive.

MadisonMan said...

I think the Librarian was rude. Why not graciously accept the gift, and then at some point re-home them to a library that needs them?

One does not accept a gift and then turn around and lecture the giver.

Rob McLean said...

Then again, can you really blame the woman? She's a librarian in Cambridge, for God's sake. If she had accepted the books, that would be "normalizing" Trump...quelle horreur!. The poor librarian would've been tarred and feathered within the hour.

buwaya said...

If you want an illustration of the infectious organism that is causing the terminal illness of the US, it is this woman. She is a textbook image of the little beast.

She and her kind are the bacillus of this bubonic plague. Everything else, all your other troubles, are mere symptoms and consequences of this.

Bill Crawford said...

Seems some libraries practice censorship by not allowing certain books on the shelves in the first place.

Sigivald said...

that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

What policies are those, exactly?

Last I checked, the Department of Education didn't run the nation's schools, let alone its libraries.

(Policies that malign students?

Show me what the f*ck you're talking about, because that's hard to take on credit and assertion.

Look, yeah, we know.

You don't like Trump. That's fine; I'm not a fan either. We're Americans; we don't have to like the President, fortunately.

You don't like DeVos, because ... reasons? Whatever; personal problem, eh?

But don't flap about "policies", especially ones that you claim malign actual American children, without specifics.)

BDNYC said...

Her letter got me thinking about something else. I am and always have been pretty liberal on immigration, mostly due to economic and demographic reasons, but whenever I hear or read about the virtues of "diversity" or "multiculturalism" from the Left I begin to think to myself that a few decades of little or no immigration would benefit country, culturally. Post-Obama, we could use a resurgence of Americanism (and no, I don't think Trumpism fits the bill, given its divisiveness). I'm tired of the Balkanization of this country. Unlike other countries we don't have thousands of years of history as a people, so it's especially important that we as Americans feel bonded to each other. White, black, Asian, Hispanic, whatever ... we need a unifying national culture that isn't constantly being subdivided and pitted against itself.

That is part of the reason why the National Anthem protests are so troubling. The flag, and what it represents, is something that binds us all together. Our belief in America and all that.

Michael said...

You can trust me on this: You can build a brand new school designed by Robert A. M. Stern and built of granite and marble. You can have Harvard trained teachers in every room, experts in the teaching of reading and writing. You can pay them each one million dollars a year. Every room can be equipped with the very best high tech equipment money can buy and provide every student with the best tablet and laptops and back packs and pens and papers and pencils and pencil sharpeners. The cafeteria can be as well furnished as the finest restaurants in Paris or New York and staffed with cooks that can provide the perfect healthy food for every palate and every weird dietary requirement known. You can do all this and take the worst performing students from the worst performing school in any district in the country and you will have pretty much the same results you are having now.
It begins at home.

Virgil Hilts said...

With the round glasses, I get more of a Heinrich Himmler rather than Rosa Klebb vibe from that photo (but in another one where the librarian is frowning between the two books she did look a little like Rosa).

Ralph L said...

All the sex books are behind the librarian's desk, as I remember.

Except for the Playboy on the coffee table.

Hagar said...

Poor Melania will never make it with the Popular Girls.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Is she in the Q for a Nobel peace prize ?

Ken B said...

Wow. This is really obtuse Althouse. Here's a MUCH more insightful post from a guy who hates Trump with a fury but hasn't let his emotions completely cloud his judgment.
(Notice too what he does NOT mention. Her looks. It's clear I think to most of us that you were set off by the Rosa Klebs remark, and that has swamped your ability to detect sneering, condescension, and arrogance. )

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/massachusetts-school-librarian-rejects-first-ladys-gift-of-dr-seuss-books-because-theyre-racist-propaganda/

MalaiseLongue said...

"Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive." Says the librarian to the billionaire president's wife. That's just snide.

SDaly said...

Looking (and acting) "hard and opinionated" may be fine, but it's not what I want in an elementary school librarian. "Warm and open" (top people and ideas) would be my preference whether the librarian be a man or woman.

Sydney Ski said...

This librarian made the world a worse place.

Ken B said...

Here'a link above corrected. https://www.weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Screen-Shot-2017-09-29-at-12.01.31-PM.png

That proves Althouse's analysis is crap, and that this letter was not written in good faith. It was just an excuse to be snide to Melania Trump. In the process the woman is acting as a censor.

SDaly said...

Seriously, how comfortable do you think you would be as a kid merely mentioning a book you think she might disapprove of (and by later grade levels, kids can tell that sort of thing).

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

She voted for Hillary. Which means she supports corruption and lies.

bgates said...

Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché,

said the leftist white female elementary school librarian from Cambridge, MA who imagines signs of racism everywhere (pictured here in her library underneath a photo of Noam Chomsky).

Assrat said...

It is probably a good thing that I am not God-Emperor of Earth, because for dinging Seuss as a white supremest I would revoke your license to read.

SDaly said...

Agree with Ken B and others. The letter was a disingenuous, attention-seeking attack on the Trumps, using Dr. Seuss as a vehicle. But the librarian is trained well-enough in cookie-cutter academic race-class-gender critique that Althouse fell for it.

Dude1394 said...

A decent person would STFU, thank the person for the gift and then if they want to get rid of it, get rid of it.

But no, let's make a political ******* statement. So tiresome.

buwaya said...

To be clear about why she is the bacillus - it is because ultimately your political-cultural problem is an infection. People like her enter institutions, take over their facilities, including their accumulated prestige and social capital, and create more people like her, to infect other places.

It is very much like the behavior of pathogens.

The rest is simply the consequences of the infection - the toxins released, the hosts disrupted and failing in their functions, the failure of downstream institution through failures in those upstream, etc.

Matthew Sablan said...

I remember when banning books was frowned upon.

gg6 said...

She looks 'fabulous...beautiful"?!?
OMG, Am I simply an example of the ignorant and twisted Male gender? To me she is an absolutely laughable cliche - like a transgender Mao making up like Frida Kahlo on date-night.
As to her remarks to the First Lady being "friendly, "nice" etc, to-the-contrary, I found them absolutely dripping with self-satisfied sarcasm, falseness and patronizing disdain. I'm hardly up-to-date on children's books anymore but a glance at her 'list' makes me very happy about that - it appears chosen by a Kulture Kommissar - chock full of proscribed learning of the proper and approved kind.
Gag me with a spoon.

n.n said...

I wonder if she carries books about Heather, Mommie, Step-mommie, and Unidentified Daddy.

And, of course, she must reject anything that recognizes Martin Luther King, Jr. in a positive light, since he was the original opponent of progressive diversity (color, sex, etc.) schemes.

And what of the people who deny human evolution and advocate for spontaneous conception at the time of viability (a creator-oriented faith)?

We live in politically congruent times.

Yancey Ward said...

I read the entire thing, and there was exactly one item I could approve of being in such a publicized letter of "thanks"- and that was the part where she wrote that her school, being particularly well off in terms of financing shouldn't have been given a gift of books from such a federal program- that such gifts should be given to schools that actually need such gifts. That part I can agree with.

However, this letter isn't really polite- it is polite sounding. A truly polite letter of thanks doesn't include criticisms of the award, and it doesn't include criticisms of unrelated items. Can one really imagine she would have written such a letter to any other first lady? I can't.

Roughcoat said...

Nope. Sorry.

P.S. Dave Burge is very funny.

Quayle said...

"Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? "

The most uninformed, un-thoughtful statement of all. I am satisfied that Betsy DeVos wants only to help underprivileged and underfunded communities, but is meeting resistance from the Democrat wall at every step.

Assrat said...

>"Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive."

Did she really say that?

I get second-day delivery free from Amazon. Maybe a billionaire president might be able to swing a similar deal.

Beta Rube said...

I remember having to cross out all the N words and mentions of "bitches and hos" before I could read these to my kids! Oh wait, those were rap lyrics. Never mind!

readering said...

These are the posts I enjoy most! Fashion! Feminism! Fearlessness!

Greg Hlatky said...


Looks like a descendent of Jiang Qing.

Fernandinande said...

I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great.

Of course it's her Rosa Kleb-style totalitarian speech that makes her popular, and her looks are not in conflict.

Anyway, Cambridgeport School is very racist, and here's the BLM-style proof:

Test scores

Overall:
All students 7/10
White 9/10

English:
All 72%
White 87%
Black 61%
Hisp 39%

Math:
All 59%
White 70%
Black 43%
Hisp 33%

Science: (= the state average, so the students aren't special*)
All 54%
White 74%

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse you are kidding right? She has a dumb looking scarf and dopey earrings.

William Chadwick said...

"Rosa Klebb"--perfect! Although as I recall Rosa was sexier.

Ken B said...

gg6
I agree, but she DOES look cute in the picture of her dressed up as the Cat in The Hat.

Althouse
In light of that picture, doesn't your underlying assumption that her letter is sincere look untenable?

Lyle Smith said...

A secular Puritan... bad books!

I agree with Althouse's suggestion. Invite her to the White House Melania.

buwaya said...

"I am satisfied that Betsy DeVos wants only to help underprivileged and underfunded communities"

Besides this, De Vos has barely put in place any policies re K-12.
And nothing of much significance in any case.
There are no consequences of any sort to be seen, as yet.

tcrosse said...

De gustibus, and all that. The angle of the photo makes it appear that she is looking down her nose at us. It's a look that French waiters cultivate.

Ken B said...

http://kenblogic.blogspot.com/2017/09/look-at-me-look-at-me-look-at-me-now-it.html

Lucien said...

Iowahawk hits it on the head - this is exactly what someone who writes a letter like that should look like. I read about the story first and didn't really think about the librarian's appearance but once I saw that picture -- of course, it couldn't have been otherwise.

And I agree with the other commenters, there is absolutely nothing nice or polite about the letter - it is snide faux polite from the snark about second-day air all the way to the end.

AllenS said...

Well, she does look more macho than a beta male.

Fernandinande said...

Cambridgeport School also practices racism in their discipline:

Students Suspended:
All <1%
White <1%
Black 3%
Hispanic <1%
Asian <1%

Cambridgeport School also practices racism in their inclusion

Students Chronically absent:
All 4%
White 1%
Black 3%
Hispanic 14%
Asian 7%

Angel-Dyne said...

"Let's take a closer look...

Let's not. There's only so much graceless, banal, shitlib attention-whoring that one should pay attention to in any 24-hour period.

(I've been waiting for years for that ridiculous "I'm trying to hide a ginormous disfiguring goiter with my scarf" look to pass out of fashion.)

Hagar said...

As nasty a letter as a recipient ever wrote to a donor.

John Tuffnell said...

Curious if Althouse ever received such a "thank you" note. More like a FU note, as in "You're so deplorable I have to leftsplain it to you." And just to be sure I get the virtues signaled my way, I'll publicize my private so called thank you.

Obtusehouse.

Perfect only in that she's a perfectly nasty little critter.

JohnGalt said...

I think the picture is great. I'd date her in an instant if she weren't an SJW. Maybe even then if she wanted an open relationship with a septuagenarian.

However the included list is weird. No books about a typical American child (e.g. rural white, city-bred black or vice versa). Seven books about immigrant stories? I did like the selection of "Separate Is Never Equal". Based on the review it's good history and told from a child's perspective.

"King for a Day"? The conception sounds fantastic but how does this relate to U.S. kids?

Overall, I'd give the list a Gentlewoman's C.

steve said...

Shorter version: I'm gonna selfishly punish these kids because I disagree with your husband's policies. Also, you're a librarian, not a teacher, so you can drop the "my students" line.

Bay Area Guy said...

In the last Indiana Jones movie, an older Harrison Ford was tormented by the Soviet Villainess, Cate Blanchett (Yes, Spielberg occasionally is brilliant).

I present to you The Mad Librarian

What could anyone have against Dr. Seuss? It's a great way for 3 year olds to start learning to read, jeez. What a frigid, party pooper this mad librarian is.

Gahrie said...

She doesn't believe that competition is the answer, I assume.

The Left never does.

jwl said...

I tend to think all librarians are suspect totalitarians unless proven otherwise so I agree with Iowahawk. In my experience, female librarians are schoolmarm nazis, something about admiring dewey decimal system and thinking of people as same as books and we can all be classified.

And either her scarf or earrings are too big, it looks messy.

Todd said...

What a horrible little shrew of a person. Really. Doesn't it get tiring throwing all of the hum-brags into personal interactions? I understand it is the Fist Lady so that absolutely calls for extra effort but must these people be such D-bags? What happened to simple grace? She has done NOTHING to you other than send the library you currently work at some free books that are "generational favorites". You poor little snipping simp. Probably chortled to all of your friends how you "stuck it" to that Trump woman. Truth to power and all. Didn't even have the good manners to respond directly to the First Lady. Had to publish your boorish response. Hag. Really, what sad, horrible little people you are.

buwaya said...

She is also an illustration of the reason why what is going on in universities is critical, and not just some undergraduate silliness or academic tempests in teapots.

I think the most critical school in any US university is not whatever STEM programs they might have, even counting the technical/scientific research, or the Law school or the B-school or the Med school or anything obvious of that sort.

No, the most important parts are the Ed school and those others, the various BA-granting departments, that mainly educate K-12 teachers and associated personnel. These schools don't teach the best and brightest (ed school students not generally being the best), but they have immensely more influence on the next generation than anyone else.

Whoever controls what is taught in these schools controls the soul of your nation.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

She looks like a "totalitarian children's reeducation camp schoolmarm"

- cannot improve on that description.

Hagar said...

Come to think of it, Ms. Phipps Soeiro is not the recipient, but is the person who is supposed to represent the recipient children and look out for their interests. Which makes this nasty snub to the First Lady even worse.

GoodPerson_VeryFlawed said...

About a week ago Melania sent me mail too!

The envelop said that her picture was inside. Presumably that keeps folks from tossing the envelop w/o opening it.

Inside there was an 8.5x11 (or so) that also showed DJT.

And, believe it or not, they were begging for money.

I'm on some list because I bought some DJT junk (MAGA Christmas ornament) and gave money to his fundraiser for the military (the one that occurred during one of the primary debates). Plus I give money to all sorts of other Rs.

Gahrie said...

And, believe it or not, they were begging for money.

Wow! Another first for Trump!

n.n said...

She is also an illustration of the reason why what is going on in universities is critical

But is there a valid equivalence to indoctrination of formative minds by the Church of olde and the Church progessive?

Tin, foil, meet hat.

Fernandinande said...

steve said...
Also, you're a librarian, not a teacher, so you can drop the "my students" line.


Elementary school librarians are known for their wisdom and breadth of knowledge. So they're teacherettes despite the fact that they're not.

For instance, I didn't know that "Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes."

However, "Open one of his books, and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art", so I guess it's not too tricky to figger out.

buwaya said...

"But is there a valid equivalence to indoctrination of formative minds by the Church of olde and the Church progessive?"

The church, of whatever sort, in the modern world is nearly a dead letter.
At best, and this is very unlikely these days, the priest/minister has their ear for an hour or less a week. Teachers have them for at least 20 hours a week.
You will find plenty of her kind in Catholic parochials as well, if not quite as common as in public schools.

Henry said...

Case study in how not to be persuasive.

The good lead is wasted.

Dear First Lady

Lovely thank you.

But we're rich.

And you're stupid.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder if The Grinch movie will now be banned this Christmas in all forms due to the inherent racism of Seuss.

Gahrie said...

I've heard that Liz Phipps Soeiro is being considered as the new host of Sprockets.

rehajm said...

She looks like the (INSERT YOUR COORDINATES ON THE GENDER SPECTRUM HERE) doppleganger of this guy.

I shall modestly concede the point.

Quaestor said...

...and dismantle the systemic white supremacy in our institution.

That speaks volumes, does it not? Who cares what she fucking looks like (though one surmise the woman has adopted the central casting lesbo-KGB sadomasochist style for a reason) she's an enemy... of many good and proper things, but especially blacks.

Fernandinande said...

"Her school is not standing behind its librarian's position, saying Phipps Soeiro did not speak on behalf of Cambridgeport Elementary School.

The employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district," a statement from the school to CBS said.

"We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes," the statement added."

eric said...

I haven't read through any of the previous comments so perhaps this has already been said.

Althouse, you've lost your mind.

Can you not see the sarcasm? The disdain? I realize the words are written and it's difficult to tell, but c'mon! Right from the start where she makes fun of how she mails the stuff "That must have been expensive." Total mockery.

Quaestor said...

She looks like... this guy.

She's (heh, heh, heh) not thirsty.

WisRich said...

Important update:

Pictures of same Librarian have been found with her dressed up in Cat in the Hat outfit, promoting a "Green eggs and Ham" party,.....only a couple of months ago.

That doesn't quite fit her narrative now does it.

The Internet: Is there anything it can't do.

buwaya said...

"Her school is not standing behind its librarian's position, saying Phipps Soeiro did not speak on behalf of Cambridgeport Elementary School."

I.e., they agree with her but are not so happy that she has made it all so public.

Johnny Sokko said...

I am a law librarian (J.D. and M.L.S.). I am a middle-aged, straight, white male who enjoys fishing, hunting, and shooting. Essentially, I am a unicorn. I don't look like that.

This librarian is a resister. If Michelle Obama sent the same books, she wouldn't react this way. No fucking way. The photo of her, the letter, and the books would be on her Pinterest Account and Instagram.

Julie C said...

So I'm guessing her library doesn't have a copy of The Five Chinese Brothers.

brylun said...

It used to be a third option, Ann, to have the baby and put him/her up for adoption. But I guess that’s too much of an imposition on a woman who chose to engage in sexual relations without birth control.

And multiculturalism is great for women, especially FGM.

Herb Bitman said...

Reminds me of the old Borsht Belt joke: "The food was terrible, and such small portions."

"These books suck and you should have given them to a more deserving school."

Known Unknown said...

Althouse has had enough of football fun and is back to trolling her commentariat.

pdug said...

I don't believe that the students have a spectrum of gender expressions.

The visible light spectrum has 7 colors. What are the seven genders in the district. NAME THEM. Describe what taxonomically differentiates one from another.

how many digits on their hands do the children in the district have? Is it a spectrum from 0-13 with a big huge 99.9999% having 10?

Bill Harshaw said...

I liked your post.

The Vietnam series on PBS just finished last night. I don't remember that they mentioned Dr. Seuss, but he was once definitely on the left, if not quite as public about it as Dr. Spock. Interesting that he's now moved to the right.

brylun said...

Brookings says you have a 98% chance of escaping poverty if you follow 3 simple rules:
1. Graduate from high school.
2. Get married.
3. Wait until you are married to have children.

Any objections.

Patrick said...

"I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great"

As I get older, I appreciate style more, even unique style. I prefer it, though, as a complement to a person's life, including their occupation and general outlook. I think this would be a good and interesting look for a college professor of library studies. As for an elementary school librarian, I do not think it works. It looks very severe and unapproachable.

While I think the letter was generally respectful in tone, it's clear to me she wanted to let everyone know that she's not on board the Trump train. As for rejecting the gift, I think that is just her standing under a big neon sign that says "LOOK AT ME!"

deepelemblues said...

She looks like a female member of the Stasi in that picture.

Her letter is a condescending virtue-signaling onanistic indulgence from beginning to end. Her position is so great and important. Her field is so great and important. The public schools in Cambridge are just so wonderful (they're middling at best). Dr. Seuss is a tired old cliché. To who? To children? These books are for children, not for adults. There's racist imagery in some of them (LOL whatever, virulent anti-fascist Dr. Seuss of the old stripe of anti-fascists who actually were anti-fascist is problematic, give me a break). There are newer and more obscure children's authors who would be better (if the Cambridge public school system spends SO MUCH MONEY on each student, surely it can afford to procure those books?

It's fake sophistication, fake virtue, fake everything. She is a terrible person and proudly revealed herself as such.

n.n said...

Teachers have them for at least 20 hours a week. You will find plenty of her kind in Catholic parochials as well, if not quite as common as in public schools.

The Church progressive. Perhaps "Church" should be in quotes, since the modern variant only imitates its predecessor in form and function, and very loosely its religious/moral imperatives.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What a horrid little church lady.

Just replace all her social justice claptrap with assclenched Baptist theology and everyone would be laughing at her. It's the same damn mechanism, but Althouse is all admirey. Give me a fucking break.

MadisonMan said...

I want to say Phipps Soeiro looks great.

The problem in that picture is the earrings. Other than that, she looks pretty normal. A bit severe, maybe. I agree with others upthread who say it's not a warm/approachable/Elementary School Librarian look, but I've not been in an Elementary School for a decade+ now.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"I'm sorry that we can't accept the copy of And Tango Makes Three that you sent; perhaps you'd like to have a look at these nice Bible stories which we do find acceptable?"

Darrell said...

Thank you, Melania, for your wonderful gift!
Our students used to have 1,234,567 books to choose from and read and now they have 1,234,577 options! How fabulous is that? May God Bless you and you precious family and keep you safe!

--A real professional librarian

Gahrie said...

1. Graduate from high school.
2. Get married.
3. Wait until you are married to have children.


Those are White, Patriarchal, bourgeois values.

Hater.

eric said...

Also, if you go to ups and look up second day air, it's the least expensive option. For 20 pounds it's $75.00 whereas overnight is more than twice that.

She was being a snot about it being expensive.

jwl said...

Gahrie She's being considered for Sprockets because she was one of the ladies in Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love.

buwaya said...

" If Michelle Obama sent the same books, she wouldn't react this way. No fucking way."

No, obviously she wouldn't.
But that is not really the most important thing here.

Its less about hypocrisy than about the world-view. What we have here is a picture, in words more than pictures (really, who cares what she looks like?).

That is the valuable part here, that it is made public. I have heard the same sort of ideas, and seen them in classrooms a hundred times. The kids have told us of this sort of thing over and over, and it shows up in every possible way in the course of an American education.

That, and this, over 13 or 17 or 19 years of education? What effect has all this had?

Laslo Spatula said...

At the bottom of her booklist:

"About Liz Phipps Soeiro... She tweets @Cport_Special @ReflectLibrary and blogs at reflectivelibrary.blogspot.com"

Went to check the blog. It has been removed.

I am Laslo.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This librarian is a resister.

She's Stunning and Brave.

n.n said...

1. Graduate from high school.
2. Get married.
3. Wait until you are married to have children.

Those are White, Patriarchal, bourgeois values.


Which reduces the progressive risk of Black and Baby Lives Selective. Win, win.

Quaestor said...

Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school “choice” with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools. Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control?

Liz lists cities that have been under all-pervasive leftist hegemony for decades. If she truly cared for those bookless kids she'd be campaigning for Republican candidates for city council seats in those benighted burgs.

Darrell said...

Phipps Soeiro has those children fisting books in her collection--the ones that cam out during Obama's reign. Without a doubt.

Henry said...

Also, you're a librarian, not a teacher, so you can drop the "my students" line.

The most influential adult in my elementary school education was the school librarian.

Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché

In truth, he is kind of old hat. When I was a beginning reader, I read all the Dr. Seuss, and all the Bill Peet, and all the Maurice Sendak, and then ran out of good books. To say he is racist is kind of a cliché of its own. But it does seem weird for the White House to be picking out books that are a half-century old when nowadays there are tons of really great picture books for kids -- funny, beautiful, nonsensical books.

Jack Keats, the Snowy Day is a beautiful old book, but it excuses bullying and subscribes to normative gender roles.

Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic, but it promotes bad nutritional habits. Was it funded by the sugar industry, one asks?

Don't even get me started on Richard Scarry's Busytown empire, that putrid candy-colored hell of post-colonial misogyny and industrialist porn.

RNB said...

Send her a copy of 'Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose,' my favorite Dr. Seuss book.

Rick said...

bgates said...
(pictured here in her library underneath a photo of Noam Chomsky).


Several people at that site requested she be demoted. How can you be demoted from librarian?

holdfast said...

"with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities"

We're talking about a K-5 school, correct?

This sort of institutional insanity will be the end of this country. Best to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Henry said...

So I'm guessing her library doesn't have a copy of The Five Chinese Brothers.

LOL. No way!

Sal said...

She's stylishly homely.

Assrat said...

>https://archive.org/details/HitlerLives

Here you can see what Dr. Seuss actually said about white supremacists. Back when there really was a bit of a risk involved.

Henry said...

Phipps Soeiro's list is big on multi-culturalism, so perhaps there is a Slovenian children's writer that you could include.

You had me guessing until the end.

Patrick said...

Does this mean that Dr. Suess gets put on the list of books that have been banned? Whenever I see those, it strikes me that so much of the book banning comes from the left these days.

Patrick said...

Melania apparently has no stars upon hers, I guess.

exiledonmainstreet said...

She hates Trump and so she decided to not only reject his wife's gift, but to denigrate the gift itself (with the ever predictable "racist!" charge). Furthermore, she saw fit to tell an immigrant that Melania has no understanding of an immigrant's experience. Not like she does.

The letter reeks of passive-aggressiveness bitchiness and condescending snideness.

As plenty of others have noted, she dressed up as the Cat in the Hat so clearly she didn't always think Dr. Seuss was racist. In fact, I'll bet money it didn't occur to her until the second she opened up that package from the First Lady.

And yes, that giant scarf looks ridiculous - like a clown's ruff.

Henry said...

I'll be honest. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with Richard Scarry's busytown empire. They are great books for engaging hyperactive kids for long periods of time. But they really are candy-colored hellholes of banal stereotypes and lazy jokes.

And after his first few big books, he was really mailing it in.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@ferdinande Interesting test scores. I would say that rather than being smug about how the kids in her school don't need help she should be willing to take all the help she can get. Obviously the Cambridgeport school is discriminating in its teaching efforts given that the black and Hispanic kids are performing so poorly. It is Cambridge after all where perception is much more important than reality.

CWJ said...

Forget the looks thing. It would appear that she overestimated her importance and overplayed her hand. Ahem -


The Cambridge school system says the opinions in the editorial do not represent the district and released a statement, saying “the employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.”

“We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes,” the district said.


The 2015 Dr. Suess breakfast at the library with her dressed as The Cat in the Hat pretty much nails down her insincerity. She saw a chance to cheapshot the first lady and the administration, and tok it.

fivewheels said...

I mean, I wouldn't say Rosa Kleb. If you asked me who she reminds me of, well ... any of you guys watch Robot Chicken?

exiledonmainstreet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.J. Chatt said...

My sister was a reading specialist, before all the recent changes and privatization, in one of those "uncaring" public Philadelphia schools referred to in the librarian's letter. There was too much money to spend, that was my sister's problem. Money, or the supposed lack thereof, had nothing to do with the lack of student achievement. Soeiro wouldn't know that because she wouldn't step foot in a school like that.

My own disillusionment came when substituting in a local high school art class, in a relatively affluent area. The classroom had so much: space, lighting and art supplies I had struggled to acquire; yet all the students wanted to do was sit around and gossip about who was having sex and why so and so got dumped (because she didn't put out). I felt some resentment towards those ungrateful children. Their problem also was certainly not some material deprivation.

Regarding the librarian's letter, I also saw it as extremely smug and a tour de force of passive aggressiveness, a how to be vicious while appearing nice. Her suggested reading list did nothing to uplift the spirit, inspire greatness or expand the imagination, all values I consider essential to the American ethos. Yes, we are a nation of immigrants but if all we can do is talk about that, what used to be referred to as "the old country," what value does that have? I can only imagine the dire future of children who have been inculcated with liberal guilt and hatred for whites and white culture. Good luck with that.

I have no problem with her look or that she looks like a Bond villain or a Harry Potter character, which is what I think is her inspiration.

Ken B said...

Let's take yet another look at this librarian

https://twitter.com/Donmatos3/status/913798247885524993/photo/1

exiledonmainstreet said...

exiledonmainstreet said...
"Can you not see the sarcasm? The disdain?"

Oh, I think Althouse does. She admitted the other day that she has rubbed her face on podcasts when she's saying something that is not absolutely truthful.

Ann, did you stop to rub your face a few times as you wrote this?

buwaya said...

The San Francisco Unified School District High School recommended summer reading list.
In cooperation with the SF Public Library.

https://sfpl.bibliocommons.com/list/share/378227437/944451847

The ideological/cultural norms in the schools are precisely as you would assume from this.

This is not as it is just because it is San Francisco - this is typical of California. If anything SF is somewhat more "conservative" because there are a preponderance of Asian kids here.

William Chadwick said...

I used to call Janet Reno "the Rosa Klebb of the Clinton Administration." If Hillary had been elected, maybe Library Lady could have inherited that title.

Bay Area Guy said...

From the Daily Mail.

Here's a more accurate photo of the librarian, rejecting the Dr. Seuss book.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

"[Theodor Seuss]Geisel was a liberal Democrat and a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. His early political cartoons show a passionate opposition to fascism, and he urged action against it both before and after the United States entered World War II. His cartoons portrayed the fear of communism as overstated, finding greater threats in the House Un-American Activities Committee and those who threatened to cut the US "life line"[42] to Stalin and the USSR, whom he once depicted as a porter carrying "our war load"

Apparently on the left, it's all too easy to wear out your welcome

Khesanh 0802 said...

The look that Ann admires is the classic northeast corridor "I have been highly educated, am smarter than you and know best what's good for you" look. It is a must in Cambridge where putting down one's fellow human beings is thought by many to be great sport. I much prefer Ann's look that she posted of her studying for law school exams after just having had a baby: "the I'm exhausted, I'm frazzled, but I am still a looker" photo.

brylun said...

Picture of Phipps Soeiro dressed as 'Cat in the Hat' promoting the book!

Ken B said...

See, now I'm tempted to try an experiment. Kinda like Spock and those robots. Find an old Anita Bryant screed about homosexuals, quote it with some comment about how hard and opinionated her hairstyle makes her look, wait for Althouse to explode.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Back in the early sixties, the Maryknoll nuns at Old Mission School told us not to buy Dr. Seuss books. They told us Dr. Seuss would use the money to buy tractors for Cuba.

holdfast said...

Her SWJ credentials appear to be impecable.

"Phipps Soeiro was also recently recognized as a 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker in the educators category, as well as a being a finalist for the American Association of School Librarian’s 2017 Social Media Superstars -- Social Justice Defender category"

http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/news/20170915/cambridgeport-school-librarian-receives-national-recognition

All this makes me want to spend some time in my kids' school library to see what kind of crap they are promoting.

Matthew Sablan said...

Wow. The school already reprimanded her. Now we know that she knew that it was a load of BS to call the books racist.

She should be fired; she clearly politicized the donation in bad faith.

James K said...

No matter how nicely you say "Thank you" for a gift, if you follow it up with a bunch of criticisms of the gift, and of the person who gave it, it's not a sincere "Thank you." Just like those non-apology apologies.

William Chadwick said...

Re Burge's (Iowahawk's) comment about Central Casting, it hit upon something I have noticed more and more frequently as I get older: how many people look like they got sent from Central Casting to play a particular part or type. Remember Pajama Boy? In my neighborhood you have the Yuppies, especially the male ones, who all dress so alike my friends and I like to joke about "Our Men in Uniform."

Nonapod said...

She's stylishly homely.

To be ruthlessly objective about it, yeah. Thanks to certain choices she's able to be somewhat visually striking despite having facial shortcomings (the stubby nose, what appears to be a gap between her front teeth, a brow that lends itself to Resting B. Face).

gerry said...

Lenin's wife was a librarian (in addition to a number of other things). There's some resemblance there. She was quite a censorious character.

YoungHegelian said...
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Ken B said...

"She should be fired; she clearly politicized the donation in bad faith."

If she acted in bad faith then Althouse's entire post collapses, right? She wasn't being nice, or sweet, or helpful. She was being what the rest of us said: snide, nasty, condescending, arrogant.

Or maybe not! Maybe what someone said about her fashion choices trumps all that!

YoungHegelian said...

If she's Cambridge's answer to Elsa Klebs, does she have boots that have poison tipped spikes so that she can stab library patrons who are too loud or who have really overdue library books?

'Cause that would be so kool!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Back in the early sixties, the Maryknoll nuns at Old Mission School told us not to buy Dr. Seuss books. They told us Dr. Seuss would use the money to buy tractors for Cuba.

I thought it was pretty well known that Geisel was at least left leaning.

"Many of Geisel's books express his views on a remarkable variety of social and political issues: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; "The Sneetches" (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about Hitler and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), criticizing the materialism and consumerism of the Christmas season; and Horton Hears a Who! (1954), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.[48][70]"

But hey, he was white and a male, so racism!

mockturtle said...

Ann asks: Why can't a woman present herself as hard and opinionated?

A woman can and often does. But that is not the perfect librarian. The perfect librarian is unbiased in literary judgmnent. I have actually known a librarian--not in school--who tossed any books that didn't fit her liberal agenda. This book purge is so totalitarian.

I predict that Dr. Seuss books will fly off the shelf this week.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Before this, her social circle probably consisted mostly of feminist/LGTB book club. Now she gets a shot at being invited over to the cool kids table. Not a bad move on her part.

Matthew Sablan said...

That is not a friendly and nice thanks. That's almost as bad as "your life is cute."

Also, whenever someone says "respectfully," just like when someone says, "not to sound racist," the next thing you hear is probably the opposite of what the words that just came out of their mouth imply about what they'll say next.

Krumhorn said...

I think the letter is unadulterated 100% pure snark. She wrote it well, but that was the point.

Lefties are nasty little shits.

- Krumhorn

mockturtle said...
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Nonapod said...

whenever someone says "respectfully," just like when someone says, "not to sound racist," the next thing you hear is probably the opposite of what the words that just came out of their mouth imply about what they'll say next.

My personal favorite is "Don't take this the wrong way, but..."

Matthew Sablan said...

Here's how this could have been respectful.

"Thank you for your donation of books. As our library is currently well stocked, including duplicates of several that you provided. We are taking your generous donation, including other books, and passing it on to our sister schools we routinely partner with to help improve those institutions without the advantages ours has.

Please rest assured that your generous donation will reach students in our state who will benefit from it."

Done.

Curious George said...

I sincerely hope Althouse is trolling her commenters because this is one her more idiotic posts. Ms. Soeiro response was condescending and rude. And was meant to be. WHich is why is was made public. You would need to be a moron to think otherwise.

And the librarian looks like a cross between Mike Myers' "Dieter from Sprockets" and the Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Arc.

mockturtle said...

Trump is hard and opinionated.

He is not a librarian. He is allowed to have an agenda. A librarian is not, other than to promote reading. Actually, I would say Trump is more a pragmatist and certainly no ideologue.

samsondale said...

Either the librarian got woke since she wore the cat in the hat outfit or she was just looking for a BS reason to ensure that anything that anyone associate with Trump does is anathema. She'll dine out on this among the nomenklatura for years.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: If the librarian has issue with how the schools in her state are funded, she should write a snarky faux-polite letter to her governor or city council. They're the ones with much more direct control over the schools than the First Lady.

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