Jehovah Witness, Greta Hawkins, a principal at PS 90 in Brooklyn, New York, is receiving racist hate mail after banning the Lee Greenwood song "God Bless The USA" -- also known as "Proud to Be An American"
You are a filthy, dirty, ugly subhuman gorilla,” reads one of the letters, according to the paper.
The New York Post reports five classes at the elementary school spent months learning the patriotic song in anticipation of performing it at the ceremony, but Hawkins canceled the performance at a recent rehearsal, allegedly saying she didn't want to "offend other cultures."
Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti told the Post the song was scrapped from the performance because the lyrics were deemed inappropriate for the kindergartners.
But Hawkins, a Jehovah’s Witness who refrains from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance due to her religion, will allow the Justin Bieber song "Baby" to be performed at the June 20 commencement, CBS New York reports.
Parents responded by telling the station they believed the patriotic tune should be allowed, especially if the teenage love song is considered appropriate.
An excerpt from 'Baby' by Justin Bieber:
Are we an item? Girl, quit playin'/ "We're just friends," what are you sayin'?/ Said "there's another," and looked right in my eyes/ My first love broke my heart for the first time
Despite the outrage, district Chancellor Dennis Walcott told CBS New York he stands
On Monday, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade sat down with kindergarten student Daniel Mitchell to discuss how his principal swapped out the song “God Bless the USA” for something a bit more contemporary: Justin Bieber‘s “Baby.”
The principal, Kilmeade explained, banned “God Bless the USA” because she felt it was “too grown-up” for the young children to sing at their “moving up” ceremony, particularly a line about starting over with one’s children and wife.
Luz Lozada, Daniel’s mom, told Kilmeade she doesn’t understand why “God Bless the USA” would be replaced by “Baby,” of all things, a song about “teenage love.” The highlight of the segment (in your editor’s humble opinion) was when Kilmeade read out choice lyrics from the pop song — “Are we an item? / Girl, quit playin’” — before turning to the kindergartener and asking “Can you believe that, Daniel?”
Little Daniel — visibly delighted to be on TV — listened, smiling, as the song’s writer, country singer, Lee Greenwood, explained he believes the school had an issue because the educator in question is a Jehovah’s Witness and, as such, “her religion prevents her from saluting the flag.” But, as Greenwood sees it, “there’s a difference between allegiance and worship.” Daniel’s mom nodded in agreement.
Daniel then sang a lovely — and quite serious — rendition of “God Bless the USA” for Kilmeade.
See Votes by State
News & Politics