11 August 2006

Let's face it, Hating People is fun!

Contemporary events have put me, like quite a few others, in mind of a classic lyrik written by Tom Lehrer, the Harvard math professor who regaled 'egghead' audiences with songs containing mordant political and social commentary. In 1965, shortly after Malcolm X was assassinated, various groups advocating tolerance promoted 'National Brotherhood Week.' In a song lampooning the folly of racism and hatred, Lehrer made the following observations:

Oh the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks,
To hate all but the right folks,
Is an old established rule.

. . .

Oh, the rich folks hate the poor folks,
And the poor folks hate the rich folks,
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's an old established rule.

. . .

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everyone hates the Jews.


Forty years ago or yesterday?