Boomers @ War 02-20-2020

Part II

Millenniums who are almost old enough to vote, have a problem with Baby Boomers. OK Boomer is the new catch phrase. Millenniums would rather Boomers would just shut up and go away. They say we had our chance and fifty years later, well, we blew it. Their right of-course? or are they? It was not from a lack of trying.

The sons and daughters of American men who had fought all over the world to end tyranny, the women who flocked to the factories, to build the planes and the ships of war, were exhausted from four years of the bloodiest fighting every seen on planet earth. My dear mother worked in a shipyard in Jacksonville, a regular 'Rosie the Riveter', my father a sailor was in the Pacific, literally locked-in on a carrier,,,meaning, no place to run or hide when Japanese kamikaze aimed there bombed laden planes at ships and especially the big aircraft carriers.

Americans of all strata felt victorious as the war finally ended. Without Americas large population, its economic might, the war would have been lost.

The United States and the world quickly changed gears and rebuilding went into to over-drive. Our parents went from building and utilizing a giant war machine, to building cars and houses and making millions and millions of war babies. I wonder who came up with the name, 'Baby-Boomers'. I didn't mind the boomer part, but hated the baby part of the name.

Seventy-three million American children were branded for life.

Their were Baby-Boomers world-wide by the hundred-millions, and for the first time an entire planet took in the sweet taste of peace. For a brief moment, just a moment, as the guns quieted, freedom was possible. Not Justice, the new young world have to fight for JUSTICE and many would give their lives. Are we any closer to equal justice, I think not?!

My generation understood what this victory meant, and had the opportunity, the time to stepped back and take in a deep breath of plenty, and set about removing home-grown tyranny as well. Our parents didn't see a thing to get all worked up over, everything was hunky dory.

But America had changed.

From a rural agricultural society, where the land provided for family needs, to 'boom' the weapons of the industrial revolution, sword into existence and million left the farming life and moved to cities to work in factories. The largest middle-class on earth was created. A breath of fresh air, that finally, allowed wealth to trickle down to the old poor who became the new affluent. Well sort-of, and fifty years later, we know by experience, that prosperity was short lived. Only our parents reaped the benefits of war. (my opinion)

The children of the new affluent where at last freed from farm laboring, free to imagine a new earth, free to create a different life, even if we had to invent it. Ease and comfort took over, leaving the drudgery of farm life to wither and almost disappear. The Moore's of Bradford County were an old farming family, they could make the ground give up its bounty. They were successful, but poor. All four of the brothers had second jobs, relieving the many stresses that came from growing food, and making life easier, more enjoyable.

The 'war babies' who became the 'Baby Boomers' got to live a life of comfort and leisure, with lots of time on their hands, time to ponder what the new earth could look like. Compared to our 'hard-working' parents we had lost the edge. We 'boomers' were released from the hard work, of putting on overalls after school and working in the fields until sundown.

I was in the third grade when the TV arrived. Until then I went to the neighbors house to watch my favorite program, "Superman". Lots of content has been written about the changes brought on by radio and television. But to me, turning on the TV and adjusting the rabbit-ears was as natural as eating home-grown chocolate cake. Seeing rock and roll on Ed Sullivan changed my life and I knew music was in my future. The new music was a huge gift to the world, at least we boomers thought so. Our parents hated it. The great divide had sprung a leak and rebellion was born in the mother-land. We vs. Them. The struggle, the fight between two different generations was serious stuff and it turned deadly.

What I didn't understand, couldn't fathom was the power the visual arts, via the black and white box setting in our living room, would have on my day to day out-look of life on planet earth.

Thursday night was hot-dog night at the Moore's. The Evening News seemed to always be on while we gathered around the supper table. I enjoyed those hotdogs and watching anything on 'the box', it enhanced the feel-good effect. I even enjoy the stories and news from Vietnam. Watching the casualty figures from that war, appearing in the comfort of our living room had never been seen before. The suffering and dying depicted every night, was absorbed into the American psyche, like old wallpaper on the walls. Depressing!?

As I enjoyed the evening meal of dogs and fries, It never occurred to me, not once, that I was destined to serve in Vietnam.

On the same black and white TV, screen-time was shared with scenes from brutal confrontations between Blacks and Police. Freedom riders moved into the south, by car and bus, by the thousands they descended, and they stood in the face of terror, they stood, no backing down. Blacks mostly at first, and young whites, mostly college students joining the ranks, purpose; to get in the face of 'Jim Crow'. Their was hate in the Black ranks, and why not? In the freest country, supposedly on earth, a race had to fought for the same rights that all whites took for granted. Black People beaten and dying in the streets. Black People standing against high-pressure water canons used to fight fires, and dying. Black People being attacked by manic dogs and their handlers who loved the violence, and dying. Black children being burned alive in a church, for Christ sake, what was that about?!

Yeah! I know, why bring up the past? Well, for the purpose of this story, to inform Millenniums of the high price paid by Black Peoples to win Justice and simple respect for Black Lives.

Uncontrolled violence never happened, even while police and troops committed mayhem against ever growing numbers of Black Peoples. Cool heads, men like King, Malcolm X, Rustin, Huston and women like Rosa Parks, Davis, Baker, Bridges and Chisholm.

(I intentionally left out first names, in hopes that curiosity would peak your interest and you might do some study. Search engines make it easy.)

Cool heads, meaning non-violence was the key. M.L. King took a page out of India's struggle against brutal British colonialism as Gandhi battled injustice and forced slavery, by using passive resistance, forcing the white-regime to exit his country.

The power-elite are always willing and ready with guns to keep the middle class enslaved.

The fight for Justice, continues. When old Baby Boomers and wet behind the ears Millenniums come together, stand together, fight for Justice, together, then and only then will real peace break-out. But it's time for peace with a level playing field, equality and the most important word of all...JUSTICE. No justice, no peace.

Oh yeah! To be continue...

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