Civil rights attorney and radio host Leo Terrell tore angrily and loudly into liberal professor Dr. Omekongo Dibinga on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday night when he advocated canceling Dr. Seuss’s books over alleged racism.
The explosive confrontation over the beloved children’s books comes after Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would pull six of them, stating, “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” Those books include “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo.” The “Mulberry Street” book includes a picture of an Asian individual who is wearing a conical hat and holding chopsticks while eating. “If I Ran the Zoo” includes a picture of two barefoot African men wearing grass skirts.
Hannity gave time to Dr. Omekongo Dibinga, who is a professor at American University, to make his case on the cancel culture move. He told the Fox News host: “I support the decisions of a company making a decision on its own that it didn’t want to offend a group of people, so I’m all about supporting this.”
The professor went on to list what he views as racism in Seuss’s books and declared that the company was “making the right decision to respect how these people are viewed.”
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Terrell waited his turn before lambasting the liberal professor. He was incensed: “Those books are historical books. Those books talk about the weaknesses, the flaws in this country, and how this country has grown… You name me one person, first and last name, who’s been harmed by any of these books! You cannot do it!”
Dibinga answered, “I think it was Julian Bond who said that America literally translates into…”
“Oh, so here we go!” Terrell emphatically stated. “Julian Bond was not hurt by Dr. Seuss!”
Hannity then repeated what Terrell had just asked him and Dibinga gave a broad, vague, and politically correct answer: “I can name the black community that has harmed by those books.”
“NO YOU DON’T!” Terrell furiously shouted. “Don’t say that! You do not represent the black community!… You don’t represent me! For you to sit here and say that is a lie!”
Terrell was obviously infuriated and offended with Dibinga. As the segment concluded, he once again nailed the professor: “Show me the systemic discrimination! You’ve got nothing to say!”
“You said you’re a civil rights lawyer?” Dibinga mockingly asked Terrell.
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In a separate interview on Fox News with Martha MacCallum, Terrell, who is also a former school teacher, expanded on his views concerning the cancellation of Dr. Seuss.
“The images reflect the time in which the books were written, in the 20s and the 30s,” stated Terrell. “I was not offended by those pictures because it talks about the evolution of this country and how we are now. What those books reflected was a sign of the times. You cannot ignore history. You cannot eliminate history. There’s worse pictures than that. But taking in context, those that want to cancel these books, those that think those books are racist, show me the … harm to victims today. They can’t.”
“They use the argument of racism as a gimmick, a talking point to basically cancel people out,” he pointed out. “I think it’s wrong as a teacher, I think it’s wrong as a lawyer because unconstitutionally that is telling people that they can’t read certain books in libraries and if the government imposed these restrictions, it’s horrific. We cannot eliminate our history. Some history is bad but the majority is great. Both sides need to be taught.”
Terrell said that “when I taught, you talked about the context of how these books were written. Today that does not exist. It’s done with the movies like ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.’ People are canceling things to set tone and basically hurt people economically, politically, and socially. Cancel culture will backfire. It denies history.”
“Ever since the George Floyd incident, that’s being used as a stepping stone to cancel people out … I want to make it clear to all the viewers. No person in American history is perfect, from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln,” he intoned. “We don’t cancel. We need to embellish the good part, criticize the bad part, but grow and learn from it. I think that is something that we need to do and speak out about it.”