“It’s not born in you – it happens after you’re born!”

The morning is dark, rain coming dark. It is cooler than it has been. My windows and doors are open. I have to go out later, and I dread it. The tourists will be on the roads looking for something to do. The lines at the lights will go farther than my eyes can see. I will go around the traffic if I can.

Last night South Pacific was wonderful. The opening songs gave me a sense of nostalgia. I was reminded of when I sat on the living room floor and listened to my mother’s hifi as Mary Martin and Ezio Panza sang. I read the record jacket so many times I had it memorized. I knew the words of all of the songs last night. I loved the man sitting in front of me. His shoulders and head moved to the music. He was enjoying every song. He made me smile. The song You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught is a favorite. It has always been topical, especially now. It was criticized because of its lyrics concerning relationships between different races. I found an article in Wikipedia which said, “While the show was on a tour of the Southern United States lawmakers in Georgia introduced a bill outlawing entertainment containing “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.” One legislator said that “a song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.” That does not sound unfamiliar.

When I was a kid, my town was filled with people of Irish and Italian ancestry. I never really saw other than white people and the Chinese men at the laundry and the China Moon until college. My school had one Black guy. My mother told me when I was three, we were in an elevator at Sears Roebuck when a Black lady got on. I asked my mother why the lady had different colored skin. The woman went off at my mother and me screaming about white trash. My mother said I was frightened by the screaming, and she hustled us off at the next floor. I guess it is a bit of irony I was posted to Ghana and was often the only white person just about everywhere. The only issue I had was when I was offered deference. I always turned it down. It seemed unfair.

I have laundry to do and a Sox game to watch.

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4 Comments on ““It’s not born in you – it happens after you’re born!””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Down the Dorking County Grammar School the diversity was strictly economic. Who was from the council estates, who needed free lunches, who had a car. We rode the bus and the train, screwed around in class and played football (soccer). Nothing has changed really

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      We were all middle class, some of us further down the middle class ladder than others. There were no lunches served at school back then, no cafeteria, so we all brought lunch. We lived in a duplex in what was called a project, a suburb project. None of that made any difference.

  2. Bob Says:

    Richard Rogers and Oscar Hamerstein dipped their toes carefully into the swamp of racism that has plagued this country from before it’s founding. Coming up in the segregated south confused me because the same hate was directed towards me because Jews were considered only slightly higher in their racial pecking order than blacks. The music is fantastic and even the story holds up today.

    Cool weather with spotty showers. High temperatures in the 80s. I can’t believe it’s mid August in Texas.

    • katry Says:

      It doesn’t seem so carefully in this musical. That song alone points to the racism prominent at the time. Even Nelly won’t stay with Emile when she finds out he had a Polynesian wife and had two children with her. That, according to Nelly, is just wrong!

      The Irish had their day of not being wanted. Irish need not apply!

      No rain here though it poured in Boston. Cool night right now.

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