Last Friday’s standing-room only hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was among the most dramatic I’ve witnessed. There was outrage – outrage not just from me as I declared the State Department “AWOL” in our quest to free an American Pastor, Saeed Abedini — a U.S. citizen — captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard […]
I told you yesterday about a school in Coney Island, New York where the principal removed Lee Greenwood’s patriotic song, “God Bless the USA” from an upcoming graduation program for kindergarten students. The principal said the song was not “age appropriate” and could end up “offending other cultures.” They replaced that song with Justin Bieber’s song, “Baby.”
Now, a new development. Mayor Bloomberg has stepped in and announced that “Baby” is inappropriate for 5-year-olds and has been removed from the program. The Mayor and the Schools Chancellor insisted they not did pressure the principal to make this change.
Sure. But that was it. There was no follow-up announcement from the Mayor or anyone else in the school system putting “God Bless the USA” back on the program. What are they thinking?
This is absurd. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with kindergarten students singing “God Bless the USA” – a song that resonates with millions of Americans.
The outrage continues. This from Queens Councilman Peter Vallone: This song expressed a genuine devotion to our country. No one should be concerned about anyone who might be offended by that . . .”
Even Lee Greenwood is speaking out. In a statement released about the controversy, Greenwood said: “Our country was founded on the principle that it welcomes people of all cultures and gives them the same rights we have as citizens. However, I feel compelled to echo the faith of our forefathers who all believed in God and a respect of a higher authority. Personally, denying the children of PS 90 to sing ‘God Bless the USA’ offends me as a Christian. My song is about hope, faith, spirit and pride. How could that be wrong on any level?”
We couldn’t agree more.
I told you we are engaging this issue. And, now you can stand with us. Today, we sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City school officials. We also have issued a news release on this important issue. It’s time to put an end to this foolishness. We’re calling on the city to reinstate “God Bless the USA” on the program. We want to hear from you. Your voice is important. Please add your name to our letter here. We will be updating New York officials as this list of support continues to grow.
We are hearing from thousands of Americans across this great nation. Send a message to this New York school – stand up for America – stand up for freedom – clear the way for these 5-year-olds to sing “God Bless the USA” at their graduation program next Wednesday.