Teach Our Children Well

Updated: May 17

Children are our future...let’s work together to insure they have one.


Full Disclosure: This post is strongly influenced by 30+ years as a Sunday school teacher. Children have been and continue to be a major part of my journey...I often refer to them in my writing...they are our future...let’s not steal it from them (in the spirit of an Indigenous American proverb)


Also, in this post, I highlighted several of the systemic injustices being addressed by the Poor People’s Campaign in their Fundamental Principles. Among those, I’ve chosen to focus on these:

  • Systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and to building unity across lines of division.

  • The distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism



This morning, I posted the following to my Facebook Timeline and to several groups to which I belong, including Multicultural Solidarity - Long Island.


Jah says its time to stop the Babble-on...

...End the fili-BLUSTER

...Restore justice for all peoples and planet...


"Tell the children the truth...”


Babylon System – Bob Marley





A Facebook friend in that group replied to my post by citing a 1949 song from South Pacific called “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” – a song about how racism is learned – beginning in our homes. I was not familiar with this old tune but at his mention of it, wheels started turning and this is where they took me...


TEACH OUR CHILDREN WELL: -ISM’S (RACE, SEX, ENVIRONMENAL)


Added 5/6/21: As it unfolds, the CSN&Y song that inspired this post's title tells a story of two stages of teaching: Parents to children ("teach your children well...") and Children to parents ("So please help them with your youth..."). In a healthy relationship, this cycle will repeat, as each generation offers their gifts and insights to the other. In my life, our son John continues to help Eileen and I move through this adventure called life by challenging us to grow and become Who we really are: Children of G-d - as CSN&Y tell us in "Woodstock": "I came upon a child of G-d, he(she) was walking along the road..."


You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught/Children Will Listen

I chose this version because it featured children – Childhood is the place where love or hatred of others is most often learned.


Another tune from author, actress, film maker and activist Patricia Shih presents the message with creative uses of the concept of color:


The Color Song – Patricia Shih

Patricia was a featured speaker on an April 2021 Long Island Poor People’s Campaign (LIPPC) special Zoom meeting on Asian Racism on LI and the nation. Our other speaker was Professor Gary Moore, Professor of philosophy and founding director of the Asian American Center at LI's Stony Brook University. Both he and Patricia are serving as powerful role models for their students - and the rest of us.

Click here to view the recording.


Added 5/6/21: In 1974, I was attending California State University at Fullerton. As part of a sociology class, I chose to interview a woman of Japanese origin who, though she was an American citizen, was interned in a detention camp during WWII.


Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

2018 Video includes updated imagery of current forms of racism based on race, sexual preferences and also environmental racism.

Added 5/6/21: The Vietnam and Iraqi war images graphically depict "your father's hell will slowly go by..." PTSD, broken families, addiction...develop due to the experiences they had while killing and living in fear of being killed. They need our prayers and support to help them heal...


Added 5/6/21: Deadheads: Jerry Garcia played pedal steel guitar on CSN&Y's anthem.


Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Please stay to the end to read the uploaders haunting comments about this important anthem. Included are comments about this 1962 photo of a child in Central Park holding a toy grenade (see photo below).


Teach Your Children – Playing for Change (cover of CSN&Y)


TEACH OUR CHILDREN WELL: MILITARISM/VIOLENCE






And remember to pray for our armed forces – active and veterans. Pray as well for an end to the causes of war – the hatred in our hearts. Until all people can see one another as the image of G-d (the meaning of the Hindu greeting “Namaste”), we will need men and women to serve as peacekeepers.


“Meditation not Munitions”

(Sorry, Tony Stark)


At this place in my journey, I feel that the majority of our causes of strife – within ourselves and between us and others, could be alleviated through some form of contemplative practice (like, meditation, centering prayer) and mindfulness, so we have another practice to help us stay present and connected between sits.








Ain’t Gonna Study War No More (children’s chorus)

I selected this version of the gospel song because it features children – our starting point for changing the narrative – after first getting our own hearts right...


Down by the Riverside (ain’t gonna study war no more) – Playing for Change, featuring Grandpa Elliott


Turning Weapons Into Instruments (and shovels)| Pedro Reyes 'Disarm'

--in Spanish with on-screen English lyrics

--This is a trailer for another post I’m working on





TEACH YOUR CHILDREN: DISTORTED MORAL NARRATIVE OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM


“You don’t count the dead when G-d’s on your side...”


With G-d on our Side – Bob Dylan cover by CitizenWorm (haunting images)

--I also chose this version because of the female singer - See, EVERY one of the victims of injustice (war, violence, racism, environmental destruction, etc.) was/is carried into this world by a woman.


With G-d on our Side – First Aid Kit

Check out these young folksinger-activists...Gives me hope for our shared future...especially, for theirs...

Found this under the video: “Klara and Johanna performed Bob Dylan's ‘With God on Our Side’ on Swedish Channel 5/Kanal 5, ‘Filip & Fredriks valvaka’ during the election night, 8-9 november 2016.”


CAUTION: This next song contains language that some may find offensive


With G-d on our Side – Homeless Gospel Choir


Next Section Added 5/6/21


TEACH YOUR CHILDREN: THE WAR ECONOMY


After posting this last night, I woke up recalling this next song's lyrics - that are replete with images about war profiteering and extreme xenophobia that leads fear-filled people and nations to want to destroy anything that's different from them.


Fixin to Die Rag - Country Joe McDonald (from Woodstock Festival)


"Come on Wall Street don't be slow

Why man, this war-a-go-go

There's plenty good money to be made

Supplying the Army with the tools of the trade

Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb

They drop it on the Viet Cong"


In the years after his Woodstock performance, Joe, a Navy veteran, began supporting veterans, especially Viet vets. Please take some time to reflect on this next article. It was included in a post I did last year for Thanksgiving.


An Unlikely Hero / Anti-war anthem gives Country Joe a platform for crusade to honor vets (2012)


In the Marvel series, Tony Stark/Iron Man is a caricature of extreme war profiteering, as this article describes.








#music #racism #PoorPeoplesCampaign #LongIslandMulticulturalSolidarity #BobMarley #CSN&Y #BobDylan #PlayingForChange #DalaiLama #filibuster #PatriciaShih