You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught

With conservatives increasingly shaping educational policies in states such as Arizona and Texas, The Nation‘s Melissa Harris-Lacewell wonders whether progressives are in danger of losing the youth to the right?


In her latest Nation column, Melissa Harris-Lacewell quotes South Pacific, a progressive musical of its time, saying, "You have to be taught to hate and fear, you have to be taught from year to year, it has to be drummed in your dear little ear." Alarmingly, schools in Arizona and Texas have begun to incorporate Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ideas into their educational policies. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed a bill cutting state funding to schools offering ethnic studies classes and Texas has revised its history books in a way that lionizes segregationists and questions the need for the separation of church and state.

Harris-Lacewell wonders, Are young people inherently progressive enough to disregard these official policies, or do those on the left need to realize the importance of being carefully taught?

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