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1. National Brotherhood Week

One week of every year is designated National Brotherhood Week. This is just one of many such weeks honoring various worthy causes. One of my favorites is National Make-Fun-Of-The-Handicapped Week, which Frank Fontaine and Jerry Lewis* are in charge of as you know. During National Brotherhood Week various special events are arranged to drive home the message of brotherhood - this year, for example, on the first day of the week, Malcolm X was killed,* which gives you an idea of how effective the whole thing is.

I'm sure we all agree that we ought to love one another, and I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that! Here's a song about National Brotherhood Week.

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks;
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
Lena Horne** and Sheriff Clark*** are dancing cheek to cheek.
It's fun to eulogize
The people you despise
As long as you don't let 'em in your school.

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 'cause it's very chic.
Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand,
You can tolerate him if you try!

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-Hood Week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It's only for a week, so have no fear;
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!


      * Two comics famous for creating signature characters of dubious mental faculties. Lewis's character and telethons are perhaps too well known to need introduction, but Fontaine was well known in the 50's and 60's for an addled panhandler characterization, that was featured most notably as Crazy Guggenheim on The Jackie Gleason Show, and John L. C. Silvoney on The Jack Benny Show. The character of Pete Puma, from the Looney Toons cartoon Rabbit's Kin, was based on Fontaine.

      * For those wondering when National Brotherhood Week actually was, Malcolm X was killed on Sunday, February 21, 1965. If that was the first day of National Brotherhood Week, then it ran from February 21 through February 27 that year, or the last full week in February.

      ** Lena Horne, born 1917, was a mulatto lounge singer, active in the 1960's, who became the first black American movie star when she signed a contract with MGM in 1942.

      *** Sheriff Jim Clark of Selma, Alabama, was responsible for several violent arrests of Civil Rights protestors, over the wishes of Selma mayor Joseph Smitherman, who wanted to bring industry to the town, and didn't want the negative publicity that violence would bring.

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