I was born in a small town in Texas in 1968. JFK was already gone, Camelot dismantled, and Richard Millhouse Nixon was on the fast track to becoming the 37th president of the United States of America. Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy were months away from assassination, and millions of Americans were taking to the streets chanting “Hey, Hey, LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?”
Timothy Leary called for us all to turn on, tune in, and drop out. Draft cards & bras were burned, and black athletes (fists raised) staged a demonstration at the Summer Olympics declaring “We’re black and we’re proud!” as spectators booed.
The Tet Offensive happened. The D.C. riots happened. Violent clashes between war protestors and the police not only happened but were commonplace. George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, blocked black students from entering its University with a warcry of “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!”
This was my legacy; my birthright — shameful though it may be.
So, here we sit fifty years later. Have we really learned anything? Will 2018 see the same rioting, warmongering, racist-spewing ignorance, and political corruption as its predecessor? My money is on yes. And if so, will well-intentioned citizens once again rise up? Who are our heroes… where is our moral compass?
Buckle up, kiddies.