Here and Now

Will Our Kids Save Us?

Since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it has become apparent that our young people have a far greater sense of moral outrage and social responsibility than most of the adults who write our laws. They also have the courage to stand up for what they believe. Today’s high school youth are leading the way. Fifty years ago, students of the late ’60s and early ’70s rebelled against the Vietnam War and the dishonesty and deceitfulness of the Johnson and Nixon administrations.  

I started at the City College of New York in September 1968—taking full advantage of the GI Bill—and rented an apartment nearby. Martin Luther King had been assassinated five months earlier and Harlem, where the school was located, was still seething. At the time of his murder, King was in Memphis planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign. Disastrous riots, with loss of life and wanton destruction, were occurring in many major cities, and the reasons were an immoral war, poverty and race disparity.   

In November 1968, the largest mass arrest of students in history was prompted by fiery campus-wide demonstrations at CCNY to protest the military draft, which included the commandeering of the student center ballroom to provide sanctuary for AWOL soldiers.   

Sign Up for E-News

Over the next 18 months, opposition to the Vietnam War simmered in American cities and exploded on college campuses. On May 2, 1970, students at Kent State University rioted on campus, burning down the ROTC building. On May 4, Ohio National Guardsmen shot into crowds of demonstrating students, killing four and injuring scores of others. As news of the massacre spread, universities, colleges and high schools across the country were shut down by student strikes and both violent and non-violent protests, with upwards of 4 million students involved.

Though public turmoil and political unrest continued, Americans elected a corrupt president—Richard Nixon—for a second term in 1972. However, as news of the Watergate cover-up began to surface, Nixon was impeached by Congress and resigned in disgrace from office in July 1974.

Today, a renewed spirit of righteousness and justice is alive in our schools. High school and college students, reacting to an explosion of gun violence and driven by government ineptitude and sleaze, are leading the way. Just as the rebels of the late ’60s and early ’70s forced America to face its profound failings, so has today’s youth, taking up the mantle of constructive change.  

Tired of the status quo, students have taken it upon themselves to shake up the system and prod the consciences of adult politicos who have been too weak, self-serving or indifferent to safeguard our children’s future. Yes, these students are marching to protect Americans from gun violence, but the change they demand will significantly influence other critical issues as well, including health care availability; environmental protection; access to clean, renewable energy; rebuilding our infrastructure; earning a living wage; free public education. It’s all on their agenda.    

These young people know, intrinsically, that if we are to continue to live harmoniously in a free and democratic nation, these problems must be addressed. The future belongs to them, and they are demanding a voice. Not since the 1960s have we seen such passion. They support DACA recipients; they embrace multiculturalism; and they see the role of government to support and enable, not constrict.  

In the not-so-distant future, scholars will look back on the Trump era, an era filled with chaos and confusion, trade wars, dramatic debt increases, tax cuts for the rich, dangerous ideologues positioned as presidential advisers, the president himself in bed with a hostile foreign power bent on disrupting our democracy, a bully of a president turning Americans against one another by race, gender and religion, and will condemn those who supported the rise of an authoritarian tyrant.

Bravo to those students who, for 17 minutes, walked out of their schools on March 14.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

Trump Dumps on Amazon; I Dump on Trump

President Trump attacked the online retail giant Amazon earlier this month, accusing the behemoth corporation of paying “little or no taxes to state and local governments,” and taking advantage of the United States Postal Service and “causing tremendous loss to the U.S.”  

Not true! Since April 2017, Amazon has collected sales taxes in all states that levy ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

Seen Any Good Ol’ Movies Lately?

As I become more, uh, mature, I find myself enjoying older movies more than newer movies. The trio of films presented here for your consideration are three of my all-time favorites. They share great stories, great screenplays, great directing, great acting. They also have in common ratings in the 90s on Rotten Tomatoes, and a place of distinction in the National Film Registry, a highly selective ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Tipping the Scales in My Favor

As I was settling into bed one night, I happened to catch my husband out of the corner of my eye.

He was getting on the scale.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I yelled at him. He jerked his head around and looked at me with alarm.

“What? I’m weighing myself.”

I jumped out of bed and yanked him off the scale. 

“You can’t do that now!” I ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 19, 10:00 AM

FDR State Park, Yorktown Heights

BluePath Service Dogs 2nd Annual Walkathon

Giving Back

Sun, May 20

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park , Yorktown Heights

2nd Annual Northwell Health Walk at Westchester

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

Mahopac

College Admission Webinar

Education