The movement to deconstruct the literary contributions that author Theodor Geisel gave to children’s literature in his Dr. Seuss books is troubling and disappointing. Despite some illustrations in his books, which have been called into question because of racial insensitivity, his books still remain a vital part of teaching kids how to learn, to understand one another, and how to get along. That’s critically important when it comes to teaching small children how to read. I saw firsthand the impact these books had when reading these stories to my own boys nearly 40 years ago. Given the mindset of cancel-culture advocates, is it time for them to demand also that the title given to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as "Dr." be removed for the plagiarism found in his Boston University dissertation and other writings? I would hope not since his actions and sacrifices far outweigh his intellectual misappropriations. The same courtesy should be applied to the Dr. Seuss books as well.
Charles F. Howlett,
Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of education emeritus at Molloy College in Rockville Centre.
Has everyone lost their minds and common sense in banning Dr. Seuss? I believe that young children don’t see the alleged racial characterizations that some small-minded "experts" allege. Why give these people any credence, and why wouldn’t someone say it’s crazy and end this nonsense.
Port Jefferson Station
So what can we expect next? Will any kind of authority come into our houses and decide what we may own? What’s happening now reminds me of the movie "The Book Thief," based on a novel, in which books from a library and people’s homes were burned. I am concerned about our future and what will happen next. Get ready for more sanctions.
"If I Ran the Zoo" was one of my favorite books. I don’t remember any people in it, other than the young boy who narrated it. What I do remember is the fantastical animals he was gathering for the zoo. I remember being utterly fascinated by an impossible-looking combination oven/stove contraption, with multiple ranges and ovens, for creating marvelous foods to tempt an extremely shy, rare animal. And of course the wonderful verse, full of impossible words and rhythms I’d never heard. Were there some offensive drawings somewhere in there? I have no memory of any. I guess Dr. Seuss didn’t warp me, after all. I recommend getting this book before it disappears. Oh, and I don’t like being told what I can and cannot read.
Address tribulations of Asian Americans
Thank you, Jonathan Zimmerman, for a long overdue op-ed. Welcome to my world. I grew up in New York City and experienced bias my entire life as a Chinese American, from both sides, white and Black. Like with Black history, America has chosen to rewrite or ignore the tribulations that Chinese and other Asians in America have experienced. I would suggest that Newsday publish excerpts from the PBS series on Asians in America in May during Asian American month. Hopefully, this letter will further open people’s eyes to the prevalent discrimination existing in our society. Discrimination is learned. Let’s educate everyone on the founding principles of our nation, that all people are created equal and that equality will lead to a better society. What ever happened to teaching the Golden Rule, civics and other lessons that really made America a great nation?
House GOP not reflecting our wishes
While 60% of Republicans polled support the COVID-19 relief bill, 100% of their Republican House representatives voted against it. Let this sink in — especially since more than half a million Americans have died from the virus, and the death toll rises by thousands daily. Perhaps President Joe Biden should take this as a clear sign to stop wasting his time chasing after a bipartisan dream. It’s not going to happen, not with this Republican Party, certainly not with this Republican Congress. How intensely sad for our country.
Ernst P.A. Vanamson,
Terrorism now, in the 21st century
As I watch the news, I can’t help but think: During World War I, technology wasn’t there and the war was far away. When World War II raged, America had to be very concerned with Nazis on our eastern shores and the Japanese invading from the Pacific. In the ’50s, communism was our biggest fear. The last 20 years of the 20th century, our attacks came from numerous factions in the Middle East. And, now, our biggest threat comes not from foreign groups but from our very own citizens. Does anyone see anything wrong with that? Does anyone realize that our own neighbors could quite possibly be proponents of this threat we are facing. This is frightening and sad at the same time. What happened to us? Every day, the greatness that was once America slowly ebbs away.