Panthers, Hippies and Millinials Oh My!
What have we learned from the 60’s and 70’s that we have to be utilizing now.
I am in love with the 21st century. I’m a bit of an old soul, that is — I am older. I was brought up in a very interesting environment. My dad was Coptic Christian from the darker part of Egypt, and my mom was a country bumpkin from Kentucky. Both of which were, as I would call them, “Different”.
I knew that my life in Compton, California was not the “norm”, regardless of my race, economic status, religion or demographic, I would not be like everyone else.
My Father met my mother at a grocery store in what was South Central L.A. He, getting on with the Black Panther Movement, probably for the super groovy women. And my mom had pretty much walked the barefoot hippie life from Kentucky to California, literally. It was pretty much how one would sum up that era, between 1969 to 1975 (When I was born).
I tend to not let my life be a period piece and reminisce about the old days, but then again I have come to realize that if those days would have succeeded we would have been in a much different place than we are now. And I believe that it would have been GOOD!.
From a very basic memory about those days, from what my parents told me and from what I read and watch in old media. I am often floored by the amount of potential that the movements of those times had for change towards peace.
The Hippie Revolution
This was a revolution of Love. A time where the youth influenced the world around them through love. They broke down racial, religious, ideological and political barriers through words art and music, bringing together a rainbow of peace and love. They effectively stood up against the war in Vietnam and effected our government, so much so that they were considered enemy number one.
Outside of the political conquest, there was also a conscious conquest in which how they would put it, “they were with it”. Today we tend to self profess this through social media. These ideas and concepts were trail-blazed during the 60’s and 70’s, and we may find ourselves coming to a full circle.
From this awesome era we were introduced to Buddhism, Yoga, transcendental mediation, drug induced higher consciousness and also ideas that sprouted new forms of technology; e.g. virtual reality (Jaron Lanier), lasers, robots, Cassette tapes and much more.
However, the hippie movement of love could not flourish because it was in direct contrast to the capitalistic war machine of the the western world. That idea that it was much more prosperous to go to war.
In the end the movement of free love was attacked through their Achilles tendon; drugs. Marijuana and Acid was moved to schedule 1 drug, even though LSD was created by the American government. It was criminalized right along with its people. The media also played a huge role in villainization of hippies which led to police brutality and an smear campaigns towards the movement. Much like what happened to the Black Panther movement.
The Black Panthers
Unbeknownst to most (Wikipedia), the Black Panther movement did not start as a gun toting “Fuck the Police” organization. Quite the contrary, the Black Panther Party began as a food bank and community empowerment movement for the embetterment of the black youth and families in Oakland, California. It wasn’t until the movement was heavily infiltrated by the government, (much like the Hippie movement), that they were coined a militant party. Later, it was disbanded, with most of its leaders jailed, exiled or dead.
JFK, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy
These four people, were the catalyst of the movements. One after the other promoted change, fought against oppression, war, segregation, religious intolerance and economic burden and from 1963–1968 were all assassinated.
That’s about as far as I will go into that, do your own homework on them.
Because they were part of the idea that would have effectively changed the world, more so than their vision.
The masses (Hippies, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Muslims, Christians, scientists, artists, men and women alike) Were joining what we can consider a cross-cause, unifying and making a statement against the machine.
Within 10 years, the leaders and idealist of these movements were no more. Leaving the movements, organizations and its pupils open to false leaders, fake news and confusion.
What have we learned? Where are we now?
There is a new generation of change-makers that have been in the works for the past 20 years. These change makers who we so eloquently call Millinials are using the vision of technology from generations before, to hack the system.
Much of what this new generation believes in and envisions seems to be bread into them or an innate understanding of freedom and change.
Whereas many of us may talk about it through social media. They are living it.
Think about that 25 year old college grad that is now doing lyft to support herself so she can start her company. Or the krypto currency generation or the online store owner who has found freedom through a system which at one point worked for major companies, but now can make a similar profit for one to two individuals. This of course is the material side of things.
There is a vast amount of similarities between the two eras (60’s and 20-teens). There is the van life, Airbnb life, freelance life. We even now have a system to go around the banking and financial system that only 15 years ago we were trying to find ways around unnecessary fees.
Tech industries have changed the way we get and receive news and information, Instagram, Facebook, twitter and so-on. We can monetize YouTube, which has become the new television star of our time and all self produced.
But what’s next when the new generation finds out that these systems fail them. What revolution will they bring when we realize that we are in a system that is trying to split us apart.
Are we together or apart?
As we sum this up let’s look at the difference between now and then. And there is one huge difference. The new generation has the will however they lack in number of diversity. The older generation had the numbers but lacked some of the will to over come whatever strong holds that came to thwart the vision.
We are now looking at many different organizations and movements that mean well, however in their efforts they segregate themselves from the masses. Or perhaps media is doing that for them. For example the Black lives matters movement. Of course we know that all lives matter. But, this discourse “All lives matters” were so pushed up in media that the Black lives matters movement was snuffed by it’s own namesake. Whereas the Black Panther movement, which had a credo of “Power to all the People, All the Time” included everyone who felt oppressed in society. So much so that some of the leaders went out to predominant white, poor neighborhoods (well received) to promote economic justice.
Are we doing that now, or are we utilizing social egotism? Your plight can be super imposed on any nation, any culture any race, religion or gender.
Oppression or the lack there of is for and against everyone and everything. We can learn from the mistakes and triumphs of our past. We can no longer look for small change, (American Jobs, American healthcare, animal slaughter, Police brutality against African Americans….) We now have the tools and ingenuity to change EVERYTHING!