Deja Vu 1968-2020??
Covid-19 - is suddenly invisible.
Another Black Man has been brutally murdered by the police.
Leftist radicals and anarchists are being scapegoated (again).
A coalition of right-wing interests are plotting, thinking and speaking a little, but doing much more to exploit the situation.
The positive actions of many thousands of people are much less visible to many people than the actions of a few, who are attacking buildings. police cars and the police themselves.
In early 1968, I was 16 years old.
On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election. He was facing serious challenges from Eugene McCarthy and then Robert Kennedy related to the immorality and failures of the ongoing fighting of the War in Vietnam.
On March 4, 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis. Inner cities were torn apart nationwide. Two months later on June 6, 1968 Robert Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles, just after he had won the California Democratic Presidential Primary. Further disorders broke out.
From August 26-29th, 1968 the Democratic Convention was held in Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley announced that police would shoot to kill demonstrators who were protesting the impending nomination of Hubert Humphrey to oppose Richard Nixon in the November election.
1968 began with big hopes among many, many young people, and significant numbers of older people. They hoped that the Vietnam War would be ended. There were also significant hopes of continued progress on Civil Rights - a quaint word 52 years later.
There was turmoil also! White "liberals" felt rejected by prominent young Black leaders,. They said that the time had come for white people to work with white people to end racism in the U.S. Groups like The Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) and leaders such as Stokely Carmichael (later on Kwame Toure) told former white allies that they were no longer welcome (particularly in leadership) in the groups they had previously worked in.
Much later on it was revealed that the F.B.I. had been fighting the Civil Rights Movement for years. J. Edgar Hoover, the closeted long term head of the F.B.I., had extensive dossiers on the sexual activities of both Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as President Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy. F.B.I. agents infiltrated Civil Rights organizations and provoked violence and other majorr disruptions.
Richard Nixon and his vice presidential candidate Spiro Agnew spoke of "Law and Order" and scapegoated Black People in various ways.
Until the late summer of 1968, it appeared likely the Hubert Humphrey would be elected president in 1968. Earlier in the year there were high hopes for Robert Kennedy, who was rising rapidly in popularity just before he was killed.
Repression and reaction followed the November, 1968 election of Richard Nixon!
White action to end racism dwindled rapidly! White people did not see that inequality and racism causing it were "White Issues". The "issues of Negroes" (sic) were left to the Black People who persisted in seeking equality.
White people focused largely on local issues and the War in Vietnam, which dragged on for years. A wave of conservatism and scapegoating Blacks and other poor people ended an increasing focus on ending poverty and inequality.