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Sit-Ins -- 23:12, 15-16
All of the assigned sources seem to have as their major emphasis a support and acceptance of what the sit-ins were meant to accomplish. The writers seem sympathetic to the cause of Civil Rights. However they all seem to frame their subjects in language that misses the real point of any Civil Rights Movement in any era, any country; they also all seem to miss one of the biggest reasons the sit-ins worked where nothing else had.
In 23:12 Woodward 1966 is talking about what a better movement the one of the '60's was than one of 1867. He however seems to miss the point that another 100 years of terror and repression has gone by.
In 23:15 Franklin 1974, the writer can look back and see how government and activists worked together.
In 23:16 Chafe 1980, this very interesting commentary is offered. He says, "The sit-ins represented a new language ....A direct connection existed between style and content."
No matter which of these sources is considered, I'd have to say that while I agree with their basic ideas, I have issues with what they actually talk about. The American Civil Rights Movement was not "a revolt of black against white." All Civil Rights Movements are about the inherent right of every individual to reach for whatever star she or he chooses without having to deal with repression or interference. Also, these writers all seem to have missed the biggest difference in life that made the willingness to try and to risk being hurt or killed worth it all. That difference was television. Anyplace a crowd gathered there were the cameras showing it to everybody, everywhere. The high pressure hoses, the police dogs, the rednecks pouring syrup over the heads of teen-age girls: it was all there for everyone to see.
Cuban Missile Crisis -- 24:15-17, 19-24
24:15 Patcher 1963 -- The major emphasis of this source seems to be that Kennedy and Khrushchev both had not only the true good of the world at heart, but seemed to have a willingness to trust the other. I don't know whether to agree or not. I expect if you are scared enough you might be willing to trust most any one.
24:16 Farrell 1969 -- This major emphasis, whether that was the intention or not, for the importance of open, honest communication between government and governed. If all Americans had been informed of the true situation regarding Turkish missile sites it isn't likely there would have been anybody encouraging compromising with the Russians. I agree. How can our government demand our support if it doesn't give us accurate information? We have had before us, for two years, a perfect example of this. Either our government lied to us deliberately or is staffed by a lot of dumb people. Our forces are engaged in Iraq -- they were supposed to be in and out in what was it -- three months. We seem to be stuck with the situation. Did the majority of us want it? I doubt it.
24:17 Allison 1971 -- The major emphasis seems to be on how important this event was in and of itself. I disagree. Yes it would have been horrible but claiming that, " ... inhumanities of earlier history would have faded into significance is wrong. The Inquisition, the "witch" burnings and the Holocaust were deliberate, thought-out aggression and cruelty. Nobody tortures anybody by accident.
24:19 Zinn 1973 -- The major emphasis here seems to be that it was understandable why the Russians wanted missiles in Cuba. (Apparently this source didn't understand Turkish missiles.) I disagree with the general tone of the source because there is a sense that the U.S. was as expansionist as the Communist powers and I don't think that was true.
24:20-24 Dinerstein, Stoessinger, Dallek, May & Zelkov 1976, 1986, 1991, 1992,
1997 -- The major emphasis of these sources seems to be that when all the words were spoken and technology did its thing, and the weapons were all rattled, whether or not there was nuclear war came down to the minds and hearts of the two chief players: Kennedy and Khrushchev.
I agree because as far as I can tell in great events or everyday life that is always where reality works from. Human choice or humane choice: what a difference an "e" can make.
Viet Nam War -- 25:7, 10, 12-15
25:7 Schlesinger 1966 -- The main emphasis of this source are the desperately sad facts pointed. I agree with the points made. How does destroying a country's infrastructure and working populace "save" it? How could we really believe what we were doing was right? Was it OK to visit such destruction on Viet Nam because in our thinking we considered them "gooks" even before the term was coined? They weren't humans so whatever we did was OK if we thought it suited our purpose?
25:10 Galloway 1970 -- The major emphasis in this source seems to be that President Johnson and probably some of his advisors, had what Galloway calls a "prototype" of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution ready to use before the incident ever happened. Galloway furthers says that Johnson was looking for an excuse to escalate the war. I agree. As one reads the details of what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin, the whole incident seems a pretty thin excuse for sending more Americans to die.
25:12, 14-15 Stavins 1971; Herring 1986; Stoessinger 1993 -- Over the course of the years represented by these source, the major emphasis is the same -- Viet Nam was for reasons that are not speculated upon -- forced on to the American people. 25:12 Stavins 1971 uses words like "deceived," "seduced," ... Executive wanted Congress in its hip pocket," to project a very strong image of deliberate deceit; a desire for war. 25:14 Herring 1986 -- Herring, after offering a number of comments about concepts that did not and probably could not work, offers, "That the United States exaggerated the importance of Viet Nam, as the liberals suggest, seems clear," and the further comment that "By in intervening in what was essentially a local struggle, it placed it (the U.S.) itself at the mercy of local forces, a weak client, and a determined adversary. 25:15 Stoessinger 1993 -- This writer catalogs much of what happened in Viet Nam and what it cost in human suffering, theirs and ours. He says, "The end of this story is not without irony." Then he goes on to recap more resent events of history such as the fall of Communism as a unified world power. I agree with all of these assessments especially after discussing this issue with a friend who is old enough to have lived through these times. She is the one who pointed first that there still didn't seem to be any real explanation for why a war was wanted to begin with, and second the similarities to the Iraq war the U.S. is currently engaged in. She suggested I find and read two books. George Orwell's 1984 and a new one by Patrick J. Buchanan titled, Where the Right Went Wrong. She says she isn't a conservative by any body's definition but the author has some thought-provoking things to say. 25:13 Levy 1978 -- This author seems to be of the thinking that "We could have won if ... " The major emphasis is that this country was on some kind of moral high ground. I disagree. It seems that the U.S. wanted the people of Viet Nam to want what we considered right. There doesn't seem to have been any respect for the kind of self-determination that we hold so dear -- for us.
Moon -- 26: 26, 27
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