The principal at Edna Cohen School, a public school in New York, won't let pupils sing the Lee Greenwood anthem "God Bless the USA" at the ceremony marking their moving on to higher grades. Teachers said the principal forbade the song, saying, "We don't want to offend other cultures."
The youngsters will, however, be allowed to sing "Baby," by one Justin Bieber.
For purposes of comparison, "God Bless the USA" includes lyrics such as:
"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 living here today
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can't take that away.
"And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me ... ."
Then there's Bieber's "Baby," which tells listeners of approximately that age:
"Are we an item? Girl, quit playing.
We're just friends. What are you saying?
Is there another? Look right in my eyes.
My first love broke my heart for the first time,
And I was like
"Baby, baby, baby oh.
Like baby, baby, baby no.
Like baby, baby, baby oh ... ."
Hard to say exactly which "cultures" in New York are offended by patriotism. But it would be nice if somebody saved a little pity for parents who are going to have to listen to that Bieber piffle -- and, like, children who are going to have to wade through it.