The 60’s took ‘it’ to the streets. We were young; we were hip. We knew more than ‘they’ did. ‘They’ were over-30, therefore suspect of collusion with ‘the man’, ‘pigs’, ‘whitey’, Nixon. That’s the name that came to be associated with the forces of repression more than any other. He just looked the part. The ‘movement’ had its anti-Christ. It all started innocently enough in the early 60’s with racial integration and affluence. Here was the strongest country in the world, lecturing the rest of the world on the evils of repressive Communism and Socialism, maintaining a system of apartheid that contradicted its own stated goals and ideals. This was a country once the symbol of freedom in the world, bathed in the fire of revolution, playing FTSE with some of the most repressive regimes the world has ever seen, i.e. Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, etc. The symbolism was not to be lost on everyone, certainly not on New York ‘beatniks’ and intellectuals inspired by folk music and high on the ideal of equality. The US was affluent now; there was money to spare, and therefore money to share.
JFK was like Mao lighting the fire, inspiring scads of Red Guard freedom rider intellectuals to go down South and show those rednecks what democracy was all about. Notwithstanding the hypocrisy of northern milk-fed liberals pretending to teach a lesson to their lessers after the New York Draft riots of 1863 and race riots in many Northern cities in the years during and following WWI, still surely the time had come for a change. Well, give them an inch and they’ll take a mile, of course. No sooner had the Voting Rights Act been passed in 1965 than the situation got worse than ever, and the word ‘riot’ entered the common vernacular. But something even bigger was brewing. A little insignificant country in Southeast Asia was airing its dirty laundry in public and causing a lot of upset nerves to the rest of the world in the process. Vietnam will do that to you. Cảm ơn bạn. Không có gì.