Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

You’ve Got to Be Taught to Hate and Fear


As I watched the coverage of the massacre in Connecticut of 26 people, 20 of whom were just  6 and 7 years old, the words from a Rogers and Hammerstein song from “South Pacific” kept circling in my head:

“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 your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

Now, I don’t know how the mother of the 20 year old killer raised her son or how others interacted with him. I don’t want to be unfair to her. I did hear on the news that the mother purchased many serious weapons to defend herself  in the event of the economic collapse she feared imminent and the chaos she surmised would ensue.  I also heard on the news the son used his mother’s own weapons to kill her and all the others.

I can’t wrap my head around any of this. Why did the man take target practice on babies and teachers? How could he stand there and do it, shooting each person multiple times, according to the news?

Why are these mass murders happening with such frequency?

I  have questions, no profound answers.

My only thought is the one circling in my head since Friday: you’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.

Better to be taught that we are all brothers and sisters. You’ve got to be carefully taught.

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