Dear Editor:

I remember as a kid sitting in a tree and running through the lyrics of “It’s a Small World” to figure out why it was dangerous. Word had come down from somewhere at the Air Force base where I lived that we could no longer sing that cheery song in our school chorus because of its message.

There's so much that we share

It's time we're aware

It's a small world after all

Was it the sharing? I loved going to the library, where we could share books — or swimming at the base pool. Only later did I understand that fears of Communism have kindled ridiculous — and sometime deadly— impulses. For about a hundred years now, politicians have used cries of “Socialism!” to galvanize voters and thwart any kind of change that hurts the bottom line of corporations and the ultra wealthy.

The endless repetition of “radical socialists!” is an indication of how hard Republicans have to work to rebrand as frightening the kinds of things Democrats fight for: humanely extending health care to more Georgians, taxing the richest Americans to fund preschool eduction and infrastructure, and helping people facing hunger and on the edge of eviction.

The song’s lyrics are still pertinent today:

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears

There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all

Turning us against one another — that is what is radical. Let’s lean toward hope and compassion and not fear to respond to a country and world and planet in crisis.

Sincerely,

Pat Priest

Athens

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