In the mid-1950’s I saw the movie version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The following lyrics have never left my subconscious thought. And, although I have often failed to be able to recite them accurately, the first seven words have never left my abilities to remember, even when I unfortunately failed to live up to their message. A newborn hates no one. Then….

“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!”**

** http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/southpacific/youvegottobecarefullytaught.htm

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