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UCSD cancels Dr. Seuss event due to racial tension

A planned celebration tomorrow at UC San Diego to mark the late Theodor “Dr. Seuss’” Geisel’s 106th birthday has been canceled due to the recent racial tensions on campus.

Dolores Davies, a UCSD library spokeswoman, said Monday that Audrey Geisel, the author’s widow, asked that the event be called off this year because of the racial unrest.

“It was at her request that we cancel the party,’ Davies said. ‘We wanted to honor Ms. Geisel’s wishes.’

Racial tensions exploded at UCSD in the wake of an off-campus party on Presidents Day intended to mock Black History Month. Called the “Compton Cookout,” participants where urged to dress “ghetto” and promote racial stereotypes.

The situation was inflamed several days later when racially insensitive language was reportedly used on a student-run television program. Last week, a noose was discovered hanging on a light fixture at UCSD’s Geisel Library.

The incidents prompted demonstrations on campus and impassioned pleas by black students, who make up less than 2 percent of the student body, for administrators to improve safety and bolster diversity.

Geisel, who died in La Jolla in 1991, published more than five dozen children’s books, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

UCSD’s Geisel Library is named after the author and his wife.