Mark Twain said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” The American left needs to spend less time glaring down from their high horse of self-righteousness and more time studying the works of the country’s favorite curmudgeon. Almost every day, some leftist opens his or her (or, for the gender-senstivive: zir, hir, eir, vis, tim) mouth and beautifully illustrates Mr. Clemens’s point. Most recently, an elementary school librarian who should, it seems, have some passing familiarity with Mr. Twain’s words, managed to take idiocy to a whole new level.
First Lady Melania Trump believes strongly in education and wanted to help encourage American school children to read. Instead of issuing a royal decree outlining which books each child must read and having Congress threaten the federal funding of any schools failing to comply, she decided to donate ten Dr. Seuss books to one school in each state as part of National Read a Book Day. Along with the books, she sent a letter to students at each of the fifty schools selected. It read, in part,
I wanted to send you a special gift. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a book my son and I have read over and over again, and one that we want to share with all of you. Please also remember that you are the future of America and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Forty-nine schools graciously accepted her gift. But there’s always that one…
Public school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro of Cambridge, Massachusetts refused the First Lady’s books and sent a scathing letter outlining her reasons. According to Ms. Soeiro, her school district – her public school district –
…has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to excellence. My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science.
Maybe the Cambridge, Massachusetts school district is so wealthy it doesn’t need trifling donations from First Ladies who don’t swear fealty to The Agenda. Maybe, as well, Ms. Soeiro is tolerant, open-minded, and more concerned with education than she is with assimilation. In a show of compassion worthy of an unrepentant Star Belly Sneetch, the Seuss-hating Soeiro suggested a better method of determining which schools received the Frist Lady’s donations. In her letter, she said,
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 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.
For all the First Lady’s accomplishments, it’s hard to understand why she wouldn’t have consulted with a leftist before even giving voice to her generous vision. Why would anyone try to think or act on their own when access to they-who-know-always-know-best is so readily available? Clearly, the combination of tolerance and advanced education make this social justice warrior who counts herself among the 1%’ers of elementary school librarians an outstanding example of such a resource.
The First Lady has been, no doubt, properly chastened. The only things she has accomplished are getting out of the communist state she grew up in, making a life in a new country and learning to speak five different languages (Slovenian, English, French, German, and Italian) along the way, and being a “full-time mom” when her husband was elected President. What could such a woman possibly contribute to American public-school students’ success? Mrs. Trump should probably just stick to representing the United States of America on the world stage and seek qualified, professional guidance on matters as sensitive as donating books to libraries.
Unfortunately for Soeiro, district administrators weren’t so enlightened. After insisting she didn’t have the authority to either accept or refuse donations made to the district, they provided counseling to help her understand her place in the grand scheme of local academia. District administration issued a statement thanking the First Lady and apologizing for their employee’s crass behavior.
And then, just when those poor souls afflicted with commonsense thought Soeiro had plumbed the depths of inanity, she looked up from her computer and said to her leftist buddies, “Here. Hold my kombucha and watch this.”
It seems the First Lady’s misplaced intentions, as offensive and sophomoric as they might have been, weren’t the real reason Soeiro had to refuse those awful books. The real problem was that Dr. Seuss was a raging racist. Yep, the creator of the Sneetches was an all-out white supremacist. Who knew? Well, other than the left, of course. In her letter to the First Lady, Soeiro quoted articles backing up her claims and suggested Mrs. Trump might expand her limited worldview by reading them and revising her donations accordingly. Oddly enough, Soeiro was a Dr. Seuss fan when Michelle Obama read his books to students. She even dressed up as the Cat in the Hat in 2015. But, things change quickly, which is why it’s so important to have enlightened leftists guiding us through life.
It’s almost like Soeiro believes that leftists have bellies with stars, while all those conservatives have none upon thars. But that star’s not so big. It’s really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all. Since she works at an elementary school, maybe the principal can work out schedule for Ms. Soeiro to spend part of each day in a kindergarten class. She obviously didn’t learn everything she needed to know the first time around.
Read the full content of Soeiro’s letter here:
Roy Jeffords is an author, ghost writer, and curmudgeon-at-large. A graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, he lives in Texas with his wife and their two boxers. Find him on Facebook at Roy Jeffords, Twitter @royjeffords, and Instagram royjeffords. Contact him at [email protected]