I’m not a fan of cancel culture. Most days, because cancel culture is dividing us by canceling something most days, you can find me either here or on social media slamming cancel culture. I don’t like it, never have, never will.
The latest eruption concerns beloved author Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, what began as another earnest waste of time to mine his books for evidence of racism has resulted in the cancelation of six of his books. His own publisher won’t publish them anymore. This may not be the end of the campaign to cancel Seuss; there’s an essay out there asking if The Cat in the Hat, his most famous character, is black.
He’s a cat, as in not even a human, so… Well, that doesn’t matter. A lot of true things don’t matter anymore. A friend of a Facebook friend posted this true statement on Facebook last night.
I checked, and it was true. Yet Facebook gave him a 24-hour timeout for it. The statement on its face isn’t anti-Facebook, and it isn’t even anti-Amazon. It’s simply a reflection of where yesterday began and where it ended. My position is, both books should be available. I’ve read them both. One is a warning of where evil and ambition, combined, can lead. The other is a silly little book that includes drawings from its imperfect time. Every time has been and will be imperfect. Every human is imperfect.
The successful demand to cancel those six Seuss books came from our educational establishment, which says a lot. Teachers’ unions are capable of doing two things at once, as long as neither of them is getting teachers and kids back into classrooms. On one hand, the unions have fought tooth and nail to smear reopenings as racist, misogynist, and other -ist, while on the other hand, they’ve campaigned to cancel Dr. Seuss, one of the greatest writers in American history. The drive to cancel him has bubbled around the teachers’ lounge for a few years, but it got a boost from the Loudon County teachers collective in Virginia, then amplified by the National Education Association (a massive teachers’ union that effectively owns the Democratic Party), then brought to a head by Joe Biden. His simple act of omitting Dr. Seuss’s name from the National Reading Day proclamation for this year piled pressure on Seuss’s publisher, which duly buckled like a house of cards and canceled the books. No one along this sordid chain of fools ever even slowed things down.
Some so-called moderates, who always and everywhere side with Democrats when arguments such as this rise up, say we shouldn’t gripe about Biden’s or the publisher’s role in this. Gripe at the people who actually wanted it canceled, they say. Fine. Let’s gripe about them. They’re intolerant and extremely narrow-minded on the notion that a free society will include things one doesn’t like and that history is pretty imperfect. But let’s gripe about Biden even more. He’s supposed to lead and doesn’t have to follow the extremes. He said he wouldn’t but he nearly always does, either because he lacks character or because he’s extreme himself (or the third option, that he no longer knows much about what’s going on around him). They’re not mutually exclusive. He does lack character and he has drifted toward the hard left. And let’s gripe about the teachers’ unions. They are absolutely awful.
This week we learned that some 3 million American kids have simply disappeared from school. Their schools don’t know what’s happened to them. Kids everywhere are finding online learning very difficult and are falling behind and failing at alarming rates. But it seems everyone is alarmed about this except for two entities: the teachers’ unions and the Democratic Party.
There’s an old parable about the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep. That’s in a book some no doubt want to cancel. Where is the group of teachers searching for the 3 million kids they have lost?
Neither the unions nor the party they own seems to care about our kids at all. Not a bit. They’re working hand-in-glove to make the pandemic’s effects on kids worse by keeping them out of school and making it more difficult for their parents to work. A large chunk of a generation is being lost, which will have serious consequences for their and our future. Are any of the teachers’ union bosses even thinking about this?
Where the teachers’ unions are weakest, such as Texas, Georgia, Florida, and other states, kids have been back to school for months. Kids tend to not get or spread the coronavirus. That’s science. There have been no school-related outbreaks. But where teachers’ unions are the strongest — California, New York, Illinois — they have come up with insane arguments to keep kids out of school. In Chicago, they claimed this about reopening schools.
No one who actually believes that is capable of educating anyone. It’s not even a serious argument. The tweet got ratioed hard, as any sentient being would expect, and the union deleted it. But they have kept up the fight to keep from doing their jobs. The teachers’ union has tried similarly ridiculous tactics in Los Angeles and across Democrat-dominated California. They’re all less unions of teachers now than unions of clownish parodies of left-wing agitprop. And they should go.
There’s no federal way to do unto them what Ronald Reagan did to the air traffic controllers’ union decades ago. They went on an illegal strike, and he fired them. Biden can’t do that; the teachers are employed by their school districts or the state or both, and he wouldn’t if he could. Whatever he does recall these days, he’s aware that without the vast amounts of money the teachers’ unions pour into the Democratic Party, he and his party would suffer. He also lacks the character to do the right thing even if he could. He’s bass-ackward Biden, getting everything wrong for more than 47 years.
The fact is, if teachers’ unions didn’t exist, far more of our kids would be back in school. The fact is, if the teachers’ unions didn’t have such a stranglehold on the Democrats, far more of our kids would be back in school.
Both the teachers’ unions and the Democratic Party are the problems here, full stop. They are the problem. They’re actively hurting millions of our kids right now, while they’re also dividing us, canceling everything in sight, and refusing to stand for anything worth standing for.
So while I’m not a fan of cancel culture, if there was a way, I’d make two exceptions: Cancel both the teachers’ unions and the Democratic Party. Both deserve it. America would be far better off for it too.