The Pain of Racism: South Pacific and Racism


In my last post, I did indicate that I would move my presentation on the topic of racism to the twentieth century and use the production of SOUTH PACIFIC as an example of this issue. SOUTH PACIFIC was both a novel and a play and a movie production. This story presents and describes romances that took place during World War II and are impacted by racial differences. A Naval officer cannot bring himself to commit to a native woman and a military nurse, Nellie, struggles with the decision to accept the Polynesian children of her fiance as her step children. The photo at the top of this post is from this production and features the children of Nellie’s rancher fiancé and his two children from a deceased native woman.

It should be noted that Rogers and Hammerstein, the producers of this narrative which was written by Mitchner, were discouraged from producing this story due to the racial climate of the 1950s.Racism still continued throughout the centuries and individuals were, indeed, judged by the pigmentation of their skin as well as their ethnic heritage.

This production is truly a wonderful love story with a message that is clearly voiced in the lyrics of the theme song of this movie, YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFULLY TAUGHT, and sung by the naval officer while he is questioning his own racial issues in returning to his waspy fiancé in Philadelphia or to make a commitment to his native lover. The key lyrics in this song are as follows:
“You have to be taught to hate and fear. You have to be taught from year to year.”
Racism and ethnic hatred is a learned behavior which originates from our family and peer environment. Yes, there is hope that such racist behavior and thoughts can be changed and one can be conditioned to perceive people of different pigmentation and ethnic appearance and religious beliefs in a more positive and accepting way. I do encourage everyone to read Mitchner’s book and view the production of SOUTH PACIFIC to reassess one’s beliefs and perception of the people of the world. My novel, FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL does attempt to achieve this goal, one book at a time, one soul at a time.

What’s your feeling (my blog address) about this belief and behavioral objective?

My next posting will continue with excerpts from my presentation, THE PAIN OF RACISM, with a discussion on the racism of our current politicians as well as the core conflicts during the Nazi invasion and violent destruction into the lives of innocent, ethnically unacceptable victims.

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