Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You’ve got to be taught to hate

I’m walking down the street, minding my own business, listening to Barbra Streisand. And this song comes up. It’s a two song medley, one from ‘South Pacific’, the second from ‘Into the Woods’.

Think about the philosophies of life and theologies that are passed along from generation to generation.
Think about the ethnic, gender, religious or economic biases that you learned from your parents or other influential adults in your early years, and how you have continued to live them out as an adult.
Think about how your kids now reflect those same values.

If only our homes and schools and churches were places safe from discrimination.

Here are the lyrics to the songs as sung by Barbra on her ‘Live in Concert 2006’ album.

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 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

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
To learn what to be
Careful before you say "Listen to me"
Children will listen

How can you say to a child who's in flight
"Don't slip away and I won't hold so tight"
What can you say that no matter how slight Won't be misunderstood
What do you leave to your child when you're dead?
Only whatever you put in its head
Things that you're mother and father had said
Careful what you say
Children will listen
Careful you do it too
Children will see, and learn
Which were left to them too
Oh guide them but step away
Children will glisten
Temper with what is true
And children will turn
If just to be free
Careful before you say
"Listen to me"
Children will listen.

It’s not too late to:
1. Change your heart, and
2. Pass along something better to the next generation.


Anonymous said...

Good post, reminds me of the film American history X. One is normally indoctrinated into hate from an early age...

ALP said...

The lyrics that Barbra Streisand sand sang are from the 1950s musical "South Pacific" set in the World War II era, when people were taught that the Japanese and other foreign people were the enemy. Hate is taught... there's no question about it.


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