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Wavelengths By Jim Kempton
By Jim Kempton

By Jim Kempton

Was it really 50 years ago that one million people filled the streets of our nation demanding we stop the Vietnam War? That Baby Boomer generation marched to end the slaughter of thousands of teenage American kids who were being killed in the name of protecting America’s freedoms. President Richard Nixon labeled them as communist dupes. Vice President Spiro Agnew labeled them nattering nabobs. Some religious leaders called them spoiled brats. “America, love it or leave it,” they sneered.

But a funny thing happened: the war was forced to end. Black people won the right to vote. Corrupt leaders’ crimes were exposed. And America became a better place—more honest, more egalitarian and more idealistic.

Now, the Boomer’s children and grandchildren are marching. They too are protesting the slaughter of teens. And once again they are scorned and threatened by old and bitter partisans who cannot see the tide of history changing. This Millennial generation, however, seems far better prepared than the Boomers—more eloquent, tolerant and disciplined; more tempered in their efforts—and perhaps far more effective.

By responding peacefully, intelligently, morally, they shame their mocking attackers. As David Bowie noted years ago “…and these children that you spit on, as they try to change their world, are immune to your consultations; they’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

These students have substituted the National Rifle Association for a better way. Whether it be black lives, student lives, brave military lives or desperate refugee lives, these kids believe they matter.

When students in the 1960s rose up, priests and pastors, rabbis and rock stars rose with them, putting their conscience on the line and their morals where their mouths were. Can anyone forget Bob Dylan’s poignant plea for the kids’ support?

“Come mothers and fathers from throughout the land,

And don’t criticize what you can’t understand.

Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command,

Your old world is rapidly agin’…
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand.”

Mothers, fathers, soldiers and students stood for something bigger than a tax break or another brick in the wall. They didn’t stand so much for making America great, because it was understood that the real America was already great—they stood for making America good.

Today, young people are standing again. But here is the big difference: these kids are not planning to tune in, turn on and drop out – they are planning to read up, write up and step up – right to the ballot box. Four million high school students turn 18 this year. And another four million for the next three years after. Politicians should remember this Bob Dylan verse:
“Come senators, congressmen please heed the call,
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall.
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.
There’s a battle outside and its ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls,
For the times they are a-changin’.”

Isaiah said, “And a child shall lead them.” God bless the child.

Jim Kempton is a writer and surfer who loves to cook. He’s not tryin’ to cause a big sensation, just talking ’bout this generation.

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comments (1)

  • Leftist hate is dividing this nation with their rioting, vandalism, and their bullying of those having differing opinions.

    @ Jim Kempton

    “President Richard Nixon labeled them as communist dupes.”

    So did Democrat President Johnson. Perhaps our leaders got confused over the NLF (Viet Cong) flags these rioters carried, their assault upon our soldiers including spitting on them (in their supposed efforts to show concern for “the slaughter of thousands of teenage American kids”), their vandalism, turning over police vehicles, etc. etc.

    Your claim in reference to Vietnam protests, “Black people won the right to vote.”

    Black people already had the right to vote, anti-war rioting had nothing to do with that.

    Your statement, “They too are protesting the slaughter of teens.”

    Really? Is this an acknowledgment that they, like Obama, didn’t and don’t care one bit about the slaughter of black men going on in places like Democratically controlled Chicago in numbers that dwarf all school shootings put together? And what of the youth who simultaneously mourn the death of their friends AND support the law of the land, the 2nd Amendment? They don’t count in your book? Because they weren’t used as tools to promote the leftist, gun-grabbing media you are obviously part of, they get short shrift? How about the hundreds of thousands that are murdered in the womb every year by Planned Parenthood (now that’s a misnomer if there ever was one)? If they were truly concerned over lost lives, then they would be marching to have this “murder incorporated” shut down.

    Your lapse from reality, “…far better prepared than the Boomers—more eloquent, tolerant and disciplined; more tempered in their efforts…”

    Maybe you haven’t been keeping up with current events pal (an ode to Bill Paxton), but this leftist youth you champion have been rioting, vandalizing, assaulting, and bullying just as their leftist parents and grandparents did during Vietnam. In addition, they have blocked highways, pulled fire alarms in buildings, petitioned college administrators to prevent speakers they don’t like from speaking, and do all in their power to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their right of free speech or hearing the speaker of their choice. Perhaps YOU have simply redefined “tempered”.

    Your statement, “By responding peacefully, intelligently, morally, they shame their mocking attackers.”

    In what alternate universe are you living that you can make such a patently false statement?
    Is the following David Hogg statement an example of your new definition of “tempered”?

    “When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f*cking phone and let me handle it.’ Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a f*cking democracy, so we have to.”

    How about David Hogg’s cohort in “temperance”, Emma Gonzales, who admitted she bullied the shooter for years? Is she another one of your “eloquent, tolerant and disciplined” millennial heroes you’re promoting?

    I suppose it is an unintentional irony that you chose a David Bowie quote where spitting is the subject, a subject well known and well used against our men in uniform by the Vietnam rioters of yore. Have any of your “eloquent, tolerant, and disciplined” millennials been spit upon?

    Your statement, “These students have substituted the National Rifle Association for a better way.”

    And what way is that, taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens so they are left as defenseless as the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High? Are you for taking cars away from law-abiding, sober driving, citizens because some lawbreakers drive drunk and kill people? Is it the cars fault when people drive drunk? When Muslim terrorists deliberately run people over, is it the “assault truck” or van’s fault? Is it AAA’s fault? The auto maker’s fault? If not, why the inconsistency?

    Your statement, “…these kids believe they matter.”

    Is that a sentiment you’ve heard them consistently proclaiming, or is that just your idea you’ve placed in their mouths?

    Dylan lyrics, “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command,”

    So is a rabid dog but we don’t take our cues from his senseless violence and resistance to reason.

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