The Alleged “Great Society” of the 1960’s
The hippie, free-loving, alleged peace generation also renowned as the “Baby-Boomers” has forever marred our great nation. Ultimately, they caused today’s political upheavals; unconscionable debt; and entitlement mentality of the impoverished. The origins of the cultural shift are highlighted by mayhem and streaking; protests and mobs; conflict and racial riots; the war on poverty; Welfare dependence; Sex, drugs, and rock & roll. The “Great Society” generation label rose from a Lyndon Johnson speech at the University of Michigan. The year was 1964 and he proposed the Federal Government should facilitate elimination of poverty using America’s prosperity.
Assessment of the generation entails a breadth of casual facts for this era of rebellion. The very fabric of our national heritage penetrated and tainted by a distasteful expression of liberal and progressivism. A technological change captured America’s attention of the ‘boomer’ generation through the media – television. A similar parallel we deal with today via the internet. The rate of information spread throughout our land increased rapidly. The radio was great for communication; however, 100 people listening to the same broadcast each visualized events from the realm of their experiences. Television altered this forever. Imagination escaped out of the window and through the door leapt images coupled with echoes that unmistakably presented the entire nation with identical visual graphics.
President Johnson instated the ‘great society’ concept and created a government bureaucracy foreign to everyone. Through his “unconditional war on poverty” numerous programs originated from the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Programs such as VISTA, AFDC, and Head Start.
The programs appeared innocuous enough. Vista was a domestic Peace Corp; Head Start provided the poor school lunches; AFDC gave subsidies to women who were the sole family provider.
The AFDC program communicated to the poor that it was financially prudent if you are not married, do not consider it now. Why? Because the AFDC program defined qualification for the program to include any household with no ‘male’ present in the household. This enabled any divorced or single mother eligible for government handouts. Thus, it was more rewarding to avoid marriage. The court system enhanced the government burden when it ruled that a man in the house failed to disqualify a woman from receipt of program benefits.
What was the impact? Examine the family dynamic before and after the program. In 1950, 88% of whites and 78% of black families were traditional. By 1979, 85% of whites and 59% of black families were traditional. The number of black poor families with a woman as the head of the household changed from 30% to 70%. By the 1970s, the alleged ‘anti-poverty’ campaign had zero measurable benefit in reducing the number of poor in America. The poor black families were disproportionately located in urban cities and enabled welfare employees to identify and enroll them in the programs. Unfortunately, divorced families earn less income than a traditional one and in fact, wealth accumulation by married families outreaches single people.
Racial difficulties emerged from segregation rules known as ‘Jim Crow’ laws. The realm of upheaval created demonstrations; sit-ins; fasting; marches; mob rioting; and protests.
All contributed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The provisions prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. You might be familiar with another bureaucracy created by Title VII, the EEOC.
Several important American leaders emerged from the racial inequities in America. They are Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcolm X; Louis Farrakhan; and Stokely Carmichael. Let’s take each one and evaluate the importance not only to the black community, but also to Marxist, Communist, and Socialist movements in America.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an educated man with a divinity degree and a PhD in Philosophy from Boston University. King believed non-violent organized protests of racial prejudice and preached a colorblind society. His strategy employed garnering the awareness the white non-racist and non-segregation American majority and the righteous indignation to compel the minority racists of America to change.
Dr. King led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC to harness the power of black churches nationwide. He led marches, which occasionally turned violent; however, it was part of his strategy to lure the racists into demonstrating their violent and hateful attitudes towards blacks. Wait, it was part of his strategy? Sure, he realized the power of television to capture visually the racists in action. His keen insight of public opinion to sway government from sea to sea because he believed most of us were moral and just.
Dr. King was jailed in May of 1963 and wrote the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” which read, “The purpose of … direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” He also said, “We will reach the goal of America in freedom, because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.”
The fear of Dr. King by government was reflected by Federal wire taps of his phones because they feared Communists had infiltrated the SCLC and the civil rights movement, yet nothing became of J. Edgar Hoovers fears.
“When I was marching with King down in Selma and Washington, when the racist pig, the fascist cop, was beating me over my head to the tune of “We Shall Overcome” – you see, had I been politically educated, I would have taken that club, you see, and beaten the hell out of him. I’m not thinking about myself. I’m thinking about my people. Because I’m not persecuted as an individual. I’m persecuted because I’m black.” – David Brothers – Black Panther
The real fear emerged from several arenas in the civil rights movement, by leaders such as Elijah Muhammad. He led the Nation of Islam from 1934 until 1975. His view of Dr. King was less than complimentary because he viewed him as a tool of the white man. Students and protégés of Elijah were Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan.
Malcolm X founded the group Muslim Mosque, Inc and Pan-Africanist Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X believed black people were superior to whites and their demise was imminent. He advocated black segregation from whites and a new nation established for African Americans.
“We make no distinction between Jews and non-Jews so long as they are all white. To do so would be to imply that we like some whites better than others. This would be discrimination, and we do not believe in discrimination.” – Malcolm X
Malcolm X rejected the civil rights strategy of non-violence and blacks should utilize any and all means required to protect themselves. Many felt that he articulated their complaints better than the civil rights movement did.
“Colonialism or imperialism, as the slave system of the West is called, is not something that is just confined to England or France or the United States. The interests in this country are in cahoots with the interests in France and the interests in Britain. It’s one huge complex or combine, and it creates what’s known not as the American power structure or the French power structure, but an international power structure. This international power structure is used to suppress the masses of dark-skinned people all over the world and exploit them of their natural resources.” – Malcolm X
Rather than digress into Louis Farrakhan history, I will highlight various commentary he expressed during more than 40 years or activism.
“The Jewish people…have made Louis Farrakhan the litmus test for any Black man or woman who would aspire to citywide office, statewide office, or national office. In order for any Black man or woman to get the support that they would need to ascend to political power, they have to denounce Louis Farrakhan.” – Speech at Mosque Maryam, Chicago, 7/11/1
“I hasten to tell you that the precious lives that were lost in the World Trade Center was a cover, a cover for a war that had been planned to bring a pipeline through Afghanistan to bring oil from that region, oil owned by Unocal of which Dick Cheney is a stock holder.” – Saviours’ Day Speech, Chicago, 2/23/03
“That’s a slave talking. Who was he [Julian Bond] talking to? He was talking to his masters. Sir, I am not the least bit disturbed by that. Any time the Jewish philanthropists financed the NAACP, they have a stake in what the NAACP does. So the leaders of that organization have to kowtow to those kinds of powers. That’s what I’m angry about. I’m hateful of their inordinate control over black politicians, black intellectuals, black organizations, and I will fight to destroy that kind of control as long as God gives me health and strength. We will never be free until we are free of that kind of control that limits our ability to state exactly what we think and what we feel.” – Meet The Press interview, 10/18/98
“God don’t like men coming to men with lust in their hearts like you should go to a female. If you think that the kingdom of God is going to be filled up with that kind of degenerate crap, you’re out of your damn mind.” – Kansas City speech, 1996
“Now that nation called Israel, never has had any peace in forty years and she will never have any peace because there can never be any peace structured on injustice, thievery, lying and deceit and using the name of God to shield your dirty religion under His holy and righteous name.” – Louis Farrakhan, 1984
“The white man is our mortal enemy, and we cannot accept him. I will fight to see that vicious beast go down into the late of fire prepared for him from the beginning, that he never rise again to give any innocent black man, woman or child the hell that he has delighted in pouring on us for 400 years.” – Louis Farrakhan, City College audience in New York
“God wants us to build a new world order. A new world order based on peace, justice, and equality. Where do we start?…Physical separation is greatly feared (by whites), and it is not now desired by the masses of black people, but America is not willing to give us eight or ten states, or even one state. Let’s be reasonable…What we propose tonight is a solution that is in between two extremes. If we cannot go back to Africa and America will not give us a separate territory; then what can we do here and now to redress our own grievances? We propose that we use the blessings that we have received from our sojourn in America to do for ourselves what we have been asking whites in this nation to do for us.” – Farrakhan
Liberal, Democrat, Socialist, Progressive, Draconian, Green, Reformer, radical, enlightened, copious prodigals who believe they are special…who the hell do they think they are to dictate, legislate or judicially alter the Constitution to instruct you or me on how to live, die, act, work, eat, breathe, spend, earn or exist? They are not special, sure the Weiner story was big; however, examine Pelosi; Reid; Clinton; Massa; Rangel; Frank; Geitner; Reynolds; Inouye; Daschle; and others only to discover they are not much different.
Sure, the Republicans officials have been caught with their pants down too; however, they are not draconian elitists the left profess to be.
Read: “From the Great Society to Continuous Improvement Government: The Hopes of an Impatient Incrementalist” – Douglas J. Besharov
- The Farrakhan Factor – Amy Stevens
- Malcolm X: Black Rage – David R. Collins
- The Preacher and the Politician: Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and race in America – Clarence Walker & Greg Smithers
- The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism – Sidney M. Milkis, Jerome M. Mileur