Tweets from former President Barack Obama and current Vice President Kamala Harris praising Dr. Seuss are resurfacing on social media following a controversial decision by the Dr. Seuss Enterprise to cease publication of several books.
One tweet from then-California Sen. Kamala Harris in 2017 wished the author a happy birthday, further adding, “The more that you read, the more things you will know,” The New York Post reported. Harris sent the tweet four years to the day that the author came under fire for “controversial imagery” and depictions of certain groups in six of his books.
Users who found the tweet quickly bombarded the thread with messages calling Harris a “hypocrite” and photoshopping book covers around “cancel culture.” Other tweets also parodied rhymes in the style of Dr. Seuss taking aim at the decision as well as the Vice President herself.
The tweet remained online as of Wednesday morning and it is unclear if the tweet will be removed following the controversy.
Shortly after users unearthed Harris’ tweet, users then found a speech from former President Barack Obama where he praised the author, according to Fox News. The speech, which was made in April of 2015, was made in front of White House interns to where Obama emphasized that “pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss” regarding respect and kindness.
Obama reportedly praised Dr. Seuss again in 2018 during an interview with author Dave Eggers regarding his work as a community organizer and president, Fox News Reported. The former president would also repeatedly embrace the works of Dr. Seuss on National Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Users then found a 2015 clip of former First Lady Michelle Obama reading Dr. Seuss to a group of children as part of her “Let’s Move, Let’s Read!” initiative targeted at young schoolchildren, Fox News reported. Photos and a small clip of the event were circulated on social media and received similar treatment through replies, mocking the former First Lady for reading the book.
One Republican representative, Brian Mast of Florida’s 18th district, further mocked the former president by posting a photo of himself on Dr. Seuss’s birthday reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to his children. He also tagged the former president with a quote from the president himself, apparently to criticize the left’s swift turn against the author.
The famed author recently came under fire after six of his books, including “And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” ceased publication by request of the Dr. Seuss Enterprises after claims of “racist and insensitive imagery” were made in the books. The decision was reportedly made late last year following months of debate within the company on how to respond to the claims.
Backlash against the decision was swift and harsh, with most users on social media photoshopping existing covers targeted at the decision to cease publication. The enterprises have not released any further statement to the backlash, and it is unclear if the publication of the named books will resume publication at a later date.