Abuse of an entire generation?
Friday February 02, 2007
Dear Dr. Miller:
I am a long-time reader of your work, and just recently finished The Body Never Lies. This sparked a train of thought relating to the behavior of the American baby boom generation (of which I am a member) that I have never heard addressed.
I distinctly remember the Kent State killings of 1970. The Ohio State National Guard came to the campus of Kent State University, a moderate-sized Ohio school, to respond to anti-Vietnam War protests. The Guard eventually fired at random into a crowd of protesters, killing four students. At the time, my mother told me she thought that if I were ever involved in any protests against the social order I also would deserve to be shot and killed.
In retrospect it is difficult to believe the amount of raw hate social conservatives directed toward the rebellious youth of the day, in part because defenders of the status quo have systematically denigrated the fundamental seriousness of the rebellion ever since. But I do not think my mother’s response was at all unusual.
Largely as a result of this hostility, I withdrew from all political activism for many years after Kent State. Horrifying though it is to believe that a generation of parents would rather see their children dead than have their basic social assumptions challenged, I have come to believe that there is an element of truth to this. Perhaps this accounts for the inability of my generation to fully exert its enormous political power and fulfill the promise of our youth.
I would be interested to hear any thoughts you may have on this subject. Thank you for your work.
AM: You write: “Horrifying though it is to believe that a generation of parents would rather see their children dead than have their basic social assumptions challenged, I have come to believe that there is an element of truth to this.” I am afraid that this important quote not only concerns one generation but many, many.