Scoot Blog: Why I am a ?hostile witness? to the Baby Boomer Generation
by Scoot,posted Jun 5 2013 11:19AM
It happened 45 years ago this week and it was witnessed by today’s Establishment.
This week is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Bobby Kennedy. Kennedy had just won the California Primary when he was gunned down following a speech. And just about 3 months prior to that tragedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Both of these assassinations of public figures who would have been considered ‘liberals’ occurred within about 5 years of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It was actually the assassination of President Kennedy that gave birth to the original ‘anti-Establishment’ generation in the 1960s. Three months after the President was assassinated, The Beatles arrived in America with a new sound and a new look that became the rallying cry for a young generation that was searching for identity after subconsciously losing faith in the Establishment. At the time, parents had no idea that the killing of a president would instill a silent distrust in the Establishment among a young generation that was watching and listening, but wasn’t sure what to think.
Imagine today, 5 years ago the President of the United States was assassinated and this year a prominent, peaceful activist for equality and a liberal senator who appeared to be on his way to winning the Democratic nomination for president were both killed. Imagine the mood in this country – imagine the debates and the conversations and the predictions for America’s future.
The generation that is today’s new Establishment was the generation that witnessed the killings of a president, a prominent voice for equality and a senator on his way to becoming a president candidate all within a span of about 5 years. That is the generation that today is saying that this country is ‘going to hell’ and that our leadership is destroying America.
When I think about the political pettiness of both parties today and the failure to work together for the good of the American people and the hateful condemnation of a president and Congress and then remember all that my generation witnessed as young Americans, I am saddened by the current assessment that America is doomed!
The generation that has seen this country survive much more turbulent times than we are seeing today it is the same generation that is inspiring the hate in today’s debates about social and political issues and in the debate about the direction of America. This is the same generation that has also witnessed how strong America is and the resiliency of Americans to survive riots over racial equality, the national divide over an unpopular war and a series of assassinations of a president and prominent voices in American politics.
I am a ‘hostile witness’ to the Baby Boomer Generation because I don’t agree with the collective judgment and hypocrisy of my generation. There was a time when we came together as Americans and united behind causes and people regardless of the adversity. There was a time when my generation rebelled and wore hairstyles and clothes and listened to music that was condemned by the then-Establishment and considered symptoms of a young generation destined to fail as the Establishment – if they even made it that far.
Now, we are that Establishment and we have been a generation that has launched the same criticism of the sex, drugs and music that our parents launched against us. Why do so many fail to see the obvious parallels?
This week on the show, I have talked about the similarities between the national debate over whites and blacks marrying and today’s debate over same-sex marriage.
The generation that, as a group, would have fought for the rights of blacks and whites to marry is the generation that today is fighting against the rights of gays to marry. I realize that the arguments against same-sex marriage are totally different in the minds of many, but the idea of interracial marriage was just as outrageous in the minds of many at the time. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Don’t you see the haunting parallels with today’s debate over same-sex marriage?
It’s time for my generation, the Baby Boomer/Rock Generation, to end the hate that we once railed against. It’s time for my generation to remember the incredible turmoil that we witnessed as young Americans and realize that this country has seen difficult times before and we united and survived. We can blame the politicians, but they reflect what they think we want from them and right now that’s a very ugly reflection.
Again, I ask you to image what the mood in America would be today if a Democratic senator on his way to winning the presidential nomination was assassinated only a few months after a prominent voice for equality was assassinated and within 5 years of a president being assassinated.
We should have gained great strength from all our generation has endured, but instead we have become a nation that thrives on hysteria over certain issues that compared to our past, should not be dividing us. We should look at each other and realize that if we have made it this far - we should embrace the future with faith, confidence and optimism – rather than with a ‘doom and gloom’ attitude because we don’t like a politician or the way young people dress.
I remain a ‘hostile witness to the Baby Boomer Generation’.