Dear Mrs. Trump, send me your books and other exercises in privilege
Dear Mrs. Trump, send me your books and other exercises in privilege
Melania Trump sent a pack of 10 books to selected schools in all 50 states to encourage kids to read. September 6th was “National Read a Book Day” and these books were donated to grade schools. Now what does this have to do with Privilege? Well, a librarian in Cambridge for a school in that town-in-a-bubble decided to take offense at the giver and gifts. Then there is a reporter from New York City who tweeted her reaction to the proposed tax cut and how “little the savings are”. Because $83 a month is a big deal for most of us adults.
The librarian mentioned above named Liz Phipps Soeiro is the first example. This Cambridge Cupcake if there ever was one, self-righteously blathered about her rejection of the donated books here. And the icky yucky puritans like Cotton Mather are laughing hysterically, by the way.
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. 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.
Does Ms. Soerio not order books herself using her portion of the over $20k per pupil funds? Let me guess: an overworked drone from a remote suburb handles that. Who has no kids in this district. Because said staffer cannot afford to live in Cambridge. Let me help you, cupcake: I order all kinds of useful things for work and guess what! There are free shipping and bulk shipping rates and corporate rates available thanks to FedEx and UPS and even the Post Office. And even Amazon dot com.
Her list of what kids she serves is interesting as well. Gender identities? Ms. Soeiro, the demographic reading the 10 books sent thinks the other gender has cooties. What were the books that so offended her?
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!.
Guess what! The 10 books Mrs. Trump sent are a lot like the ones described in the video. By a non-profit who serves children and gives books to the kids when they visit the doctor. Which is super cool! This encourages kids to read. Which is what a librarian wants, right? And, of course, the privileged one continues her whine:
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.
Um, many schools around the state and country do not have the funding or involved parents with funding and connections you do. And I am guessing you are not doing a donation drive for a rural school (because out-of-the-bubble is icky) to get books and needed supplies that they do not have a budget for? Noting for next time that urban and rural schools might appreciate the books more than these schools reeking of privilege. Because the tax bases shrinking means a lot less per pupil funding.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of privilege. What books does she permit? Here is the list. And what a great example of privilege these horrid books are. She ends her horrid lecture with warmly. And, no, that is not warm. Refusing a gift like that is rude, offensive, and condescending. Somehow I suspect she would not survive a minute outside your bubble of privilege.
I have a solution for the butthurt librarian: Send me the books instead. I have a few schools that would adore new kids books right around the corner. Literally because I live in the real world.
But enough about her. Twitter brought us the second shining example. A reported named Emily Singer who lives in New York City (another bubble by the way) tweeted this:
There are millions of Americans who would love that money. Most of them don’t live in New York City or Los Angeles.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) September 27, 2017
Eight-three dollars a month is table scraps? No, it is a month of medication that the insurance calls a tier 2 or 3. Or it is a water bill for a month. Maybe it is gas money to get to and from work. Or savings for an emergency or an extra 401k or 403b payment. It is a copay to see the doctor or dentist. Outside her bubble, an extra $1000 a year can be the difference between living on the edge and scooting back a safe distance. If she and her husband do not want their $1000 each, we would love to help take that off their hands. We could use the money. Unlike you we do not live a life of privilege and the folks at the local homeless shelter could use the money to get their lives together.
I am not just here to condemn the existence of the bubble or bad choices us non-bubble dwellers made or did not make. It is not about us. It is about the privileged few who are sanctimoniously trying to suck the joy out of every area of life. These non-religious neo-puritans are afraid someone somewhere is having fun and that is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Emily and Liz, here is a challenge for you ladies: Take a field trip. Go to the parts of Long Island not called the Hamptons. And Upstate New York and rural Massachusetts and the hood. Or be really daring and come visit the rust belt. And LISTEN to people you meet. Although we do not have the New York or Boston bubble industries, we have some great places to see. And people who are dedicated to helping the poor even. Because right now both of you have less of a clue about the lumpenproletariat that Marie Antoinette did.
robust social programming
I wonder if she knows what that phrase really means – “indoctrinated”, “propagandized”?
And I am guessing you are not doing a donation drive for a rural school (because out of the bubble is icky) to get books and needed supplies that they do not have a budget for?
Oh, how wrong you are! She probably spends some of her work day every day, doing a donation drive. And definitely when state budget-writing time comes ’round. At a minimum, every payday, when her teacher’s union dues come out. I guarantee she advocates for more state (and federal) funding constantly for all the schools in her state.
What? You don’t consider it a “donation” when the gov’t pries a few more bucks out of your wallet?
Or it is a water bill for a month.
Or half a water bill.
Or be really daring and come visit the rust belt. And talk to people who aren’t education majors, local Dem political activists/politicians, or MA in Puppet Art baristas. And LISTEN to people you meet.
Important step initially missed.
People are already lining up to join the Trump Re-Election Campaign. They just don’t know it.
First of all, the books were a GIFT. The rudeness she exhibited in sending back the gift is absolutely unreal. All because she doesn’t like Melania Trump.
Secondly, want to be this ‘librarian’ would’ve written a nauseating love fest of a letter if the books had arrived LAST YEAR from some guy and gal w/last name Obama?
Third, in our neck of the woods, $83 a month can mean 3 meals a week, fuel, medicine, ability to pay a sitter if you are a working parent.
The only thing Soeiro said that I even somewhat agree with is that there were more deserving schools/libraries. I wish Mrs. Trump had sent the books to small rural schools. Rural schools get over looked so much.