Monday, September 13, 2010

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” … to hate





In 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein produced a musical called “South Pacific”, starring Mary Martin. It became a hit but received much scrutiny for its commentary regarding relationships between different races and ethnic groups. Some legislators actually implied that interracial marriage was an implicit threat to the “American way of life.”

I would like to believe that things have changed since 1949 but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Hatred and prejudice (lightly veiled under the guise of religion) are rampant and escalating in these United States of ours. A look at that idiot “minister” from Gainseville tells it all. (Not to mention what is being espoused by the right wing politicos.)

In the musical the song “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” is preceded by the lyric saying “racism in not born in you! It happens after you’re born”. I still get chills when I hear this sung ...

“You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!”

11 Comments:

Blogger possum said...

Oh, how true! I had forgotten all about those words, but truer words were never spoken (or sung!)
The hatred in this country is so sad and so scary, and especially because it is so often based in the churches and espoused by the ignorant.
Americans have become known as the scary people - we are feared abroad and believed to all be terrorists - just the way we look at so many Muslims.

It is so sad... I weep for our country and all the hatred we spew over the airwaves and from the pulpits.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Yes, it is taught and passed on to those who are impressionable. I wish that teaching of enlightenment would prevail. But few seem to even be able to spell that, much less practice it.

8:09 AM  
Blogger steveroni said...

I'm gonna wash that stuff right outta my hair.

Played that show many times--LOVE it!
...and never let her go.

PEACE

8:19 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Great lyrics which I've never heard or seen before. I think the other half is that you may have to be taught to be tolerant.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I guess that's saying the same thing in a way, but I mean that some people have to be taught not to hate as it seems to come naturally to some.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Di-Git said...

Wow love the ole South Pacific tune.
My husband is from Iran and we have dealt with crazy racist comments our entire marriage of 25 years.
Mr W really stirred the pot and kept the fire going.

11:38 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

AMEN!! Ginnie, children learn it from their parents!

5:42 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your country has always had a large vocal lunatic fringe. They see to be setting the agenda these days which is very distressing. The majority of Americans need to fight back. Perhaps, it is time the US joins other civilzed countries and makes hate speech illegal.

We need to all remember we are immigrant families at some point.
A rereading of Emma Lazarus sonnet on the Statue of Liberty is in order.

NEW COLOSSUS

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

4:31 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

This song was always one of my favorites from "South Pacific"--so powerful, so true.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

After being out of state all last week, I am catching up on blog reading this week and Ginnie your comments are sadly true. I was in NJ visiting family.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Interesting lyrics! And so true Ginnie. Love Di ♥

4:36 AM  

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