Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Watching the convention last night I was struck by the difference 40 years can make. 40 years ago the incumbent Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek or accept the nomination, then their best man was shot down in a hotel and then...well they damn near ran out of candidates.
This year, the party is all but split because they have two very good people that want the thorny job so badly.
And there is the possibility that we elect a proxy incumbent.
40 years ago Black Americans were still very much fighting for their rights, and were still afraid to enter a polling booth, or even register, as in 1965*.
This year we will see a black man win the nomination for the Democratic party.
Lets hope he doesn't get shot like young Bobby Kennedy.
40 years ago, women were burning their Bra's while me and all my 11 year old friends giggled.
This year we very nearly may have seen a woman elected President.
Even though Hillary may have been handed her hat, she is a serious driving force in this country and no one is laughing. Republican or Democrat would do well to have her on their team.
She is one helluva man.

One similarity between 1968 and 2008 is that we are involved in a War that has the Country split. But as of yet, it is not split with the type of emotion and violence that we saw 40 years ago.
Interestingly enough, the Democratic candidate in '68 was Humphrey, who's policy was to continue the War in Southeast Asia. In fact, we did not have an anti-war Candidate in'68 in either Party....Sirhan-Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy, the anti-war frontrunner.
This year it looks like I'll be voting for the Dems and not so much because of the War we are in, maybe even in spite of it....but I fear for my Country...because Democrats always find a way to lose.

*"About a hundred and ninety-two Negroes were registered, on the average, a month in the State of Mississippi; all over the state, a hundred and ninety-two a month. Now, on the basis of this rate of registration, it would take exactly one hundred and thirty-five years for half of the Negroes eligible to vote in Mississippi to become registered."
Dr. Martin Luther King, 1965

The following I wrote a while back...I tried to write it through my eyes as seen when I was 11 years old and really did not quite know what I was seeing.
It was fun to write.
It all happened as I say:

In August of 1968, Dad came home from work and announced with much gusto that we would be moving back home to Texas.We had spent the last 5 years in Detroit Michigan.
For the last two summers there had been riots in many cities across the country. They called them "Race Riots" and Detroit had not been spared.
In the summer of 1967, Dad woke me up in the middle of the night and we walked through a smoky haze that was blowing through the screened windows and up the quiet street 1 1/2 blocks to the main road that led southward to downtown Detroit, 3 miles away.
Downtown Detroit was on fire.

From the main road we watched a slow moving convoy of military vehicles, headlights off, stealthily creeping towards downtown. It was the National guard and they were there to "restore order" according to Dad.That had been summer a year ago, and now the riotous summer of '68 was past and it appeared that "order had not been very well restored."
Dad had had enough excitement.

In school we had a part of our 6th grade class called "Current Events", but looking back I cannot recall talking about the events that were occurring around us:
There had been a real nice preacher named Martin Luther King who had said someday all the different colored children's of the world would be able to play together.
I thought that was a good idea and wondered why, even after the War between the States it was taking so long. one day a man shot and killed Dr. King.I remember that my mother cried about that.
But I don't remember ever talking about that at school.

She had cried when President Kennedy had been assassinated in '63.
His little brother Bobby was now going to try to be President. All the young people liked him a lot. He had longer hair than most of the guys that he had to talk to all the time. With his kind looking eyes and soft smile people said he might win, but someone killed him too. I thought that he looked too nice for someone to want to do that.

There were young people that were a few years older than me that they called "Hippies". Hippies were causing a lot of trouble growing their hair too long and wearing clothes that made them look like the Indians on "Daniel Boone", and playing Music that Mom and Dad didn't like at all. They also were called "Flower Children" and they had a peace sign that they painted on their clothes. Mom and Dad and a lot of other people didn't like their Peace Sign either.

There was a country called Vietnam that was on the news always.We were helping them to fight the Communists.Communism was a worrisome thing because Russia was Communist, and China too, and they had gotten it from Germany. So Vietnam was like fighting the Germans all over again.
The Hippies didn't understand why Communism was so bad and did not see the importance of "Restoring Order" for them.
It wasn't going too well over in Vietnam, or in Detroit for that matter, because President LBJ (who was also from Texas) said he didn't want to be President anymore.I thought that was odd.

So on the way home to Texas, we had lots of plans.
We flew to Chicago and spent the night at a hotel called the Drake. The next day we went to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedds Aquarium. Then we went south a little ways to a College town called Champagne to see my brother, who had just got back from Vietnam and the Army wanted him to go to School some more. I spent the night in his Dorm Room and I was supposed to be asleep, but I was too excited on account we would be on a Train the next day to go the rest of the way to Texas, and I saw him sneak a girl into the room and spread out a Blanket he called a Brownie and they were "makin' out" ... kinda like
Greg and I did with Becky and Cathy.

The next morning on the news it showed
the trouble they had in Chicago the night before. Seems there were a bunch of Hippies that started a Riot right outside from the hotel we had stayed in. They were turning cars over and carrying signs and shouting and stuff. There were a lot of them, but there were a lot of Cops too and the Cops were pretty mad and they had Tear Gas and Nightsticks and I think I saw some Horses too.The Hippies didn't have any of that kinda stuff and 'Order was Quickly Restored".
Dad said he just couldn't wait to get back to Texas.In the next couple of years I would have a little better idea about what was going on, but there were still alot of things going to happen that
no one expected."


GrizzBabe said...

This year we will see a black man win the nomination for the Democratic party.
Lets hope he doesn't get shot like young Bobby Kennedy.

From your fingers to God's ears.

bulletholes said...

When I wrote that I had no knowledge of those guys that were arrested in Colorado.
Obama is as likely a target as a Kennedy or a King.