When I was in the third grade in the sixties, my best friend and neighbor was Joyce, who was Japanese. She was wonderful. When my mother found out, she let me know, albeit gently and with compassion, that my father would be terribly hurt by my friendship because he had fought the Japanese in WWII and was wounded. I was confused, angry, mystified, outraged – but I deferred and dropped her. I am so sorry Joyce, wherever you are.
Rogers & Hammerstein: “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 their dear little ears, you’ve got to be carefully taught…to hate all the people your relatives hate….”
I thought we’d got further than this.