You’ve Got To Be Taught…to Choose Love

By Laura

When you were younger, did you ever fall in love with a movie and you just knew was ‘good’ because it was on all the time only to see it again as an adult and be blown away by the undercurrents that you never knew existed?

As a young pup, I watched and sang along with South Pacific. Can’t you hear the lyrics to “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair”?  It was a great movie about being a nurse in the war and being stuck on an island with loads of handsome sailors and the lead fell in love with a Frenchman with kids, which she wasn’t wild about. And the sub-plot with the cute sailor who also fell in love but then went on a dangerous mission and didn’t come back.

It wasn’t until I saw a remake of the original that I realized there was so much more to the story. Nellie didn’t run away from her Frenchman just because he had children, but because they were Polynesian children. Lt. Cable agreed to go on that mission but way before that ended his romance with Liat because she had a different skin color. The lyrics to the song “You’ve Got To Be [Carefully] Taught” to the ears of child are just the boring part of the movie. The lyrics to adult ears are haunting:

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

 – Hammerstein III, Oscar. “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” Lyrics. South Pacific, 1949.


There are decisions being made in the world, in this country, in my state, in my county that I do not agree with. They are not me. They are not what I want my family to be, to see, to learn. There are adults teaching their children to hate.

Not only will I oppose these decisions with my vote, but with my voice, with this blog, but by example to my children. I have enough lessons of hate from this year alone.

I choose love.

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