The long, hot summer ahead

I was just 12 years old, and it’s a time in my life I’ll never forget. The year was 1968, and through these young, naive eyes, the country, and the world for that matter, seemed to be crumbling around me.

Some of the notable events of that tumultuous time were: The USS Pueblo, a naval intelligence vessel was captured by North Korea off the coast of Korea. Its captain and crew (one of whom was killed) experienced 11 months of torture and humiliation. They were released just before Christmas that year; Cesar Chavez, leader of the United Farm Workers Union, went on a water-only fast to protest usage of pesticides and against abuse of union workers. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, setting off riots across the country; police and the Black Panther movement had various violent altercations; the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed into law; student protests against the Vietnam War sprouted up in colleges from east to west; Robert F. Kennedy, a candidate vying for the Democratic presidential nomination was gunned down in Los Angeles; antiwar demonstrations turned violent at the Republican National Convention in Miami; violent protests broke out at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; a women’s liberation group protested the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City; antiwar protests continued throughout the year; and more than 16,000 U.S. troops were killed in Vietnam in 1968.

It all seems like ancient history, doesn’t it? Or does it? I fear for the summer of 2016. It seems the groundwork has already been laid for what appears to be a long, hot summer of the dividing of America, again.

It’s already been a year of vicious protests against police, a small minority of whom are indeed corrupt.

Violent protests have already started at political rallies. Vicious mudslinging is only just heating up. Many people claim to stand up for everyone’s right to speak and protest, but in reality, they only defend this when the speaker agrees with them.

We have the RNC taking place in Cleveland from July 18-21 and the DNC a week later in Philadelphia from July 25-28. Only God knows what evils will take place at those locations.

And after the nominations, the campaign only promises to degrade further. Conservatives and liberals each turn a blind eye to EVERYONE’S rights. 

How many U.S. citizens will we lose this year at the hands of fellow Americans? I’m afraid it’s 1968 all over again. And, as was chanted during the Chicago demonstration violence in 1968, “The whole world is watching.”

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts