I was told to wake up by a former student. I hold no ill will toward him and am happy he gave me a topic and a reason to vent.
I realize I don’t know everything, but I am awake. Sometimes I wish wasn’t, just caught in a bad nightmare or watching bad horror movies.
I was young, but I wasn’t asleep during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, used to stoke up war fever against Vietnam and communism. I watched Cronkite describe the Tet Offensive and the destruction of any belief in victory. I cringed at the Mai Lai Massacre and its attempted cover-up. I read the Pentagon Papers which uncovered the secrets of our clandestine involvement in Vietnam and its neighbors from Truman to Nixon.
I watched hollow-eyed veterans come home to a disrespect they didn’t deserve. I saw the aftermath of the student massacres at Kent State and Orangeburg…something we the people didn’t deserve. I viewed the Vietnam protests on my black and white TV.
The evening news showed protesters threatened with thirty caliber machine guns in Chicago and journalist Mike Wallace thrown to the floor for asking a question before being escorted out of the Democratic Convention. Carnage raged outside the convention center as Daily’s minions used batons and tear gas to disperse protestors.
I experienced the Civil Rights era with government attempts to discredit Black leaders and the Black Panthers…something we still attempt to do today unless we need a good quote to make a point or someone to focus hatred upon. 1968 WAS a time when we really shouldn’t have believed our FBI. No J. Edger Hoover probably wasn’t a crossdresser, but he was a paranoid racist at his best.
In real time, I watched people of color marginalized, beaten, bombed, and their buses set on fire. Their votes suppressed by men who looked like me flying a flag from old time’s there not forgotten. With reports from several states, how has that changed?
I lived through the assassinations of two Kennedys, a King and attempted assassinations on two Presidents. I don’t believe Oswald or Jones did their evil alone but have no definitive proof, so I don’t spout off about it or embrace conspiracy theories. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories about bombs being sent through the mail.
I witnessed, in black and white, the murder of a sovereign Asian countries’ president and a military coup but didn’t know we were complicit until well after the fact. Complicit in attempted assassinations on Castro and the Bay of Pigs? Yeah, those two and others. Still, until the Seventies, I believed we wore the white hat in our gunfights at high noon and were better than assassinations, coups, and invasions.
Watergate and Contragate? I witnessed the hearings that followed, a President riding off into the sunset and a Marine Colonel falling on his own sword so another President didn’t have to ride off to California.
Wake up? Bullshit!
Gerald Ford told the nation their great nightmare was over. Bill Clinton comforted the people of Oklahoma City and the nation after a mad bomber killed over a hundred and sixty. George W. Bush left an elementary school reading to reassure a nation when planes crashed into skyscrapers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Yes, as we continue to point out, they were imperfect men, but they knew how to act in times of national distress. They knew how to calm and unify.
Why do I need to wake up? There is plenty of evil to go around, and I’ve lived through much of it, much of it created and covered up by our own government. I don’t need to embrace loudmouths who make a living spouting conspiracy and pointing fingers at the other side. Maybe we should wake up and realize they are nothing more than small-minded hatemongers attempting to make a buck.
When you share their hatred and conspiracies, you become a part of the problem. Maybe you should wake up and realize when you share hate you become the problem that is undermining the nation and your friends and neighbors. We need compromise, not a conspiracy.
More rants and musings at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM
The image was liberated fromhttps://www.lifehack.org/648887/how-to-detect-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing