You tell me if this is a case of that. The chancellor of New York City schools came out this week, supporting a principal in his school district who banned the singing of “God Bless the USA” at a kindergarten graduation ceremony.
But does banning the song, which has the lyrics “I’m proud to be an American,” necessarily translate into being proud to be anti-American? Is the debate that simple?
No, it’s not. It never is. Especially in this case where nothing is as it appears at first blush.
But here’s the odd twist to this story. The principal who banned the singing of this song didn’t do so for the reasons you might think, or at least the reasons I thought. Whenever the word “God” pops into a song, I always wonder if the separation of church and state argument will rear its constitutional head.
Not in this case. The reason the principal pulled the song was because it wasn’t age appropriate. Instead, she changed swapped with a Justin Bieber song called “Baby.”
The offensive lyrics, she claims, are in the opening lines:
“If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.”
In the principal’s opinion, they offend other cultures. So what are the lyrics to Bieber’s stupid song?
“Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you’d always be mine.”
Yeah, much more age appropriate.