This past week saw reflections on 1968 in the more serious print and digital media. Time Magazine issued a special edition on it. In addition, DemocracyNow featured that year in a week-long series of discussions with folks including Tom Hayden, Juan Gonzales and others who were part of the sit-in at Columbia University. As I thought about it, I realized that we as a people and a nation need to be fully aware of our history and how that history has evolved.
1968 was the year that saw the assasination of Senator Robert Kennedy, The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. , The Tet Offensive and the My Lai Massacre. It also saw the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in which the Democratic Party destroyed itself and led to Richard Nixon becoming President which in turn ultimately resulted in the national tragedy we all now as Watergate.
As I reflect upon those times, I view that our lives were in large measure set in 1968. The BBC program on the My Lai massacre illustrated the first real attempt at "managing" the news. I have the link posted below: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2008/04/080327_mylai_partone.shtml
We also celebrated Dr. King's birthday. Despite some of the reservations over his legacy, the fact remains that in my view, he was a towering figure that was cut down in the prime of his life trying to speak up for justice and equalilty. He helped give voice to the dispossessed and ended up paying for it with his life. This reflection by the Rev. Walter Fauntroy speaks of Dr. King's legacy as the 1968 Riots happened in Washington: http://www.ft.com/mlk
Despite all the challenges that we face, I still have faith. I have no choice!!!