Re: The Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam

Wed, 24 Apr 1996 11:26:34 -0400

Dick Crepeau comments:

>I remember a young black priest in Detroit who said in the mid-Sixties
>that he was not counting on the young white college students who seemed
>so committed and radical because in a few months or years they would cut
>their hair, shave, put on a suit and move into middle management in
>their father's businesses. This is one reason he was more interested in
>black power than coalition politics. He was of course correct, but what
>he didn't yet know was that many of these white students would stop in the
>anti-war movement on their way to middle class respectability.

I wonder how much this is really true, Dick, or how much there is a difference
between the two movements. According to most empirical sources I've seen
(McAdam, Flacks...) activists from both crm & antiwar movements have remained
largely true to their political commitments [I suspect here that liberals in
each movement have remained liberal; radicals have remained largely radical;
and I don't include in either group those action-faction drop-ins drawn by the
media images of "revolutionaries" These may be the ones the priest is
referring to.]. There may be a middle-class-respectability veneer (or reality)
with each group now, but that doesn't necessarily translate into the implied
sell-out that the media so often trumpet.

Ted Morgan