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Stop, Children. What’s that sound?

June 15, 2020

On November 12, 1966, a thousand or so young people, including famed troublemakers Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda, gathered on Sunset Strip in L.A. to protest new curfew and anti-loitering laws.  This sparked unrest for several months, forcing several clubs to shut down.

Stephen Stills, lead singer of Buffalo Springfield — the house band at the Whiskey a Go Go on the Strip — wrote a song about the rebellion.  He pitched it to Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegen by saying “I have this song here, for what it’s worth, if you want it.”  Ertegen did.  It was released December 23rd and became a rock anthem symbolizing the turbulence of that era.

It’s just as relevant today.  I have the buffer of living on a farm in Canada, but I watch the news a lot and I’m cheered by the rise of peaceful protest of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.  The death of Black Lives Matter activist Oluwatoyin Salau Saturday has produced an arrest.  The recent deaths by hanging of two black men, Malcolm Harsch of Victorville CA and Robert Fuller of nearby Palmdale, originally ruled suicides, are now being questioned.

Video of two black teenagers being cuffed and brutalized by Tulsa police is now showing on TV.  The youth were harassed by cops for jaywalking in a quiet part of town that has no sidewalks.  Also, a major on the Tulsa force, Travis Yates, recently said “we’re shooting African Americans about 24 percent less than we ought to be.”

Small wonder that Trump considers Tulsa the perfect place to resume his rallies.  It even has the distinction of hosting the worst race riot in U.S. history.  In 1921, about 300 black people were killed, 800 hospitalized and 6000 arrested.

So, yes, Stephen Stills, something’s happening here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear.  There’s still a man with a gun over there, battle lines are being redrawn, and people are singing songs and carrying signs again.

It is increasingly clear, though, that a new generation of dissenters is being forged.  And, once they disengaged from the assholes that just want to loot and burn, their voice got a lot louder and clearer.  They are making Trump and his minions look absolutely ancient.

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gordon permalink
    June 15, 2020 3:12 pm

    Wow! Beautifully written. I swear the Post doesn’t have columns as thoughtful. Not bad for a farm boy from Canada.

    • June 17, 2020 2:55 pm

      Thank you kindly. I’m also available for bar and bat mitzvahs.

  2. June 15, 2020 8:36 pm

    one of my favorite songs.. great post.

    • June 17, 2020 2:56 pm

      Thank you. t was soothing to write it. It’s really starting to feel like the U.S. has turned a corner.

  3. ALBERT & SHARON MCCLARAN permalink
    June 22, 2020 11:50 am

    FIRST – WAS THAT TRUMP RALLEY THE FIRST YOU HEARD OF THE TULSA SO CALLED – RACE RIOT? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT TOOK PLACE? OR YOU JUST WATCHING CNN?
    SECOND – SOME LA PROTESTERS STARTED LOOTING – WHAT STARTED THAT? THE COPS? OR SOME FIGHT NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT – EVERYBODY LOOK – WHAS GOING ROUND?

    THIRD – I CHEER THE PEACEFULL PROTESTS. AND THERE IS A BAD ELEMENT AMONG THEM – JUST AS A BAD ELEMENT IN SOME LAW ENFORCEMENT AND POLITICIANS. BOY GEORGE WAS SADLY MURDERED. HE IS NOT A HERO. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THOSE HE VICTIMIZED?
    FOURTH – WHO KILLED OLUWATOYIN SALAU? WHO KILLED AHMAUD ARBERY? AND THE OTHERS? BAD FOLKS DID THAT. HAPPENS EVERY DAY – AND IF WE DID NOT HAVE SOME SORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT – WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?
    DO POLICE IN ENGLAND CARRY WEAPONS? IS THAT SOMETHING THE USA AND CANADA MIGHT REVIEW? HOW MANY FOLKS WERE KILLED BY POLICE IN CANADA IN SAY – 2018?
    FIFTH – THE MEN WHO WERE HUNG – KEEP TRACK OF THAT FOR US – LET ME KNOW THE OUTCOME –
    SIXTH – BLACK YOUTHS BEING BRUTALIZED BY TULSA POLICE AND TRAVIS YATES MAKES STATEMENT? DOES TRAVIS YATES REPRESENT YOU? SOUNDS LIKE TULSA HAS A ISSUE. AND ONLY ONE TEEN WAS ARRESTED FOR ACTING A FOOL.

    WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY YOU LEFT? AND WHERE WILL YOU LIVE “AT”? AFTER TRUMP? – AGAIN – WHO SHOULD RUN THE COUNTRY? THE 535?
    I QUOTE YOU –
    So, yes, Stephen Stills, something’s happening here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s still a man with a gun over there, battle lines are being redrawn, and people are singing songs and carrying signs again.

    HAVE YOU SEEN DEMANDS – BY BY AUNT JEMINIA – AND THE “EYES OF TEXAS” NOT TO MENTION PROBABLY A NEW NATIONAL ANTHEM.

    I STILL LOVE YOU – MY BROTHER.
    BIG AL

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