I remember as a child watching the musical South Pacific on TV, and being struck by the song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” I was one of those kids who cried often about all the suffering and hatred in the world. I never understood why people couldn’t just follow the Golden Rule and treat others as they’d like to be treated. I still don’t. It seems so simple.

South Pacific was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s attempt to confront racism. The Broadway musical debuted in 1949, the movie in 1958. In the show, an American nurse falls in love with a French plantation owner, but isn’t sure she…