Bieber okay, ‘God Bless the USA’ isn’t


Baby baby baby oyyyyy. (WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS)

Kindergartners at PS 90 in Coney Island will not be allowed to sing “God Bless the USA” at graduation on June 20, after their principal, Greta Hawkins, proclaimed that “we don’t want to offend other cultures,” according to the teachers who witnessed it.

But “Baby” by Justin Bieber remains on the program.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education told the New York Post that the lyrics of “God Bless the USA” were “not age-appropriate.”

I’m sorry, what?

First off, the point of a patriotic song is not to avoid offending other cultures. Consider the lyrics of, well, every national anthem ever written. The French sing, loosely translated by Marseillaise.org, “Listen to the sound in the fields/The howling of these fearsome soldiers/They are coming into our midst/To cut the throats of your sons and consorts/To arms citizens/ Form your battalions/March, march/Let impure blood/Water our furrows!”

The lyrics of “God Bless the USA” are not only age-appropriate, they involve very little watering of furrows with blood. And even if they did, it would still be a better song.

“Baby,” meanwhile, runs as follows:

“Baby, baby, baby, ooh. Baby, baby, baby, ooh. Baby, baby, baby, ooh — ” Well, you get the idea. There are also other lyrics in there about “She knows she got me dazing ‘cause she was so amazing.” These are not age-appropriate either: They are an insult to the intelligence of any self-respecting kindergartner.

Not only that, but he’s Canadian.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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