Can’t imagine this on any college campus…

This would never happen today. I’m wondering: What’s caused our culture to change so much?

4 Responses to Can’t imagine this on any college campus…

  1. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    When you say “this would never happen today,” what are you referring to? Students “briefly” taking a dean hostage? A police riot? I suspect you are referring to mass student political activism. The short, cynical answer is that no one is drafting students today and sending them to Vietnam. The long, nuanced answer is, well, long and nuanced, fit for several books and not for a blog comment.

    But while I just posted a comment about the apparent lack of student outrage over a regressive decision by the Supreme Court, and the Senate Republicans’ cynical blocking of legislation to correct the injustice, I think that the tendency of some liberal students, both in my day and today, to view the generation of students who found themselves on campus during the late 1960’s as a race of giants is a mistake. This can be contentious ground, and I’m not in the mood to write (or defend) a dissertation. Briefly, however, I see many admirable qualities in the college and law school students I meet today, even if you are not at the barricades. You can list them yourself, I’m sure. Second, while I am certainly willing to credit the students of the civil rights and anti-war era with much good, I am constrained to recall that they were also guilty of certain excesses that did long-term damage to the progressive political cause in this country, as well as damaging the civil culture. They remind us of the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, and the difference between self-expression and self-indulgence, and how easy and disastrous it can be to cross the lines between them. Plus, I’m sick of their goddamn music.

  2. laurabethnielsen says:

    I think Jeff hits it on the head with the draft. As long as (primarily) poor people of color are doing most of the dying, even this war can’t cause a ruckus. Just look at us — here we are blogging about it instead of taking to the streets.

    I could write a similar post about feminism. i clicked your sex education link and found myself wondering what woman i went to college with would have gone to a party where any woman (much less the woman herself) would be called ho.

    We took the President (or chancellor or something) “hostage” at UCSanta Cruz in the late 80s about South Africa. Ahh Santa Cruz. I will be there this summer. I wonder if clothing is still optional?

    At Boalt, we marched into the Dean’s office when the UC Regents announced race could not be taken into account in law school admissions for purposes of affirmative action. We were trying to pressure Dean Kay (god love her, she totally agreed and yet was really uncomfortable with 40 or 50 chanting law students refusing to leave her office) into breaking the rule and challenging it. Ultimately University of Michigan carried that load.

    Now if you mean you couldn’t imagine it at Northwestern . . . . I am sad to say I agree.

  3. nobamakoolaid says:

    “Just look at us — here we are blogging about it instead of taking to the streets.”

    This illustrates just one of the many methods young people today have to voice frustrations. There simply were not many tactical options in the 60s (and yes, even the 80s, LB). I wouldn’t be too quick to eqate lack of hostage taking with apathy.

  4. onemorecup says:

    Love this blog!!

    Okay we need to remember ALL OF POP CULTURE, or certainly the historic implications of that particular year 1968. I feel that it’s important to note that there were so many diabolically diverse issues going on, and it wasn’t only here in the USA.

    Yet if you will; consider, the civil rights movement as a mitigating factor, as well as, the equal rights amendment, and the moratorium put on the death penalty, not to mention the nation’s leadership were dropping like flies. Now throw on top a very, very unpopular war that was without ‘mission objectives’ that was being run from the Oval Office in the White House!

    However, if one were to overlook the Chinese Cultural Revolution whereby every institution and person therein over the age of 20 years was strictly ‘the enemy.’ Estimates are now totaling about 40 million deaths suffered many inflicted by sons and daughters of the country’s leadership.

    India was an extraordinary hot bed with its sovereignty matters and getting the British Commonwealth out of their country and the means was by ‘passive resistance.’

    In finale one is hard-pressed not too sympathize with ‘Hippydom’ and its wares. This was a time when, I fully believe America lost her cherry and the old ‘establishment’ was not quite ready for the minds and constitution minded people. Remember, many of these kinds of acts were done out of desperate means: think Kent State, Birmingham, Watts, the Chicago seven, whew, what a time to be alive!


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