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Who Killed Sammy Younge Jr.? SNCC, Vietnam, and the Fight for Racial Justice


Who Killed Sammy Younge Jr.? SNCC, Vietnam, and the Fight for Racial Justice

Zinn Education Project

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of a powerful statement of protest against the Vietnam War. Issued by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the statement called out the hypocrisy of the U.S. government, which claimed to wage a war for democracy overseas at the same moment it was also waging war against those fighting for democracy in the United States:


The sixties were tragic times for nonviolence (JFK, RFK, MLK, Kent State...). Unfortunately, so have been and are most times in this country. It was just so much more evident then. Semaphore flag positions N (nuclear) and D (disarmament) formed the interior of the peace symbol, yet humankind still is in the process of updating its nuclear arsenals. So much for plowshares...


Gosh...seems like only yesterday. I was there. As well as marching against the war, I was a musician and played for rallies and demonstrations. All the various movements, Anti-war, Gay lib, Women's lib, civil rights, etc. were in touch and regularly showed up to each other's events. I played at rallies for the farm workers and the Black Panthers. Ralph Abernathy, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and successor to Martin Luther King Jr. handed me soup and cigarettes through the bars of the cell where I and my fellows were illegally incarcerated for exercising our freedom of speech against the tyrany of the fascist govt. in power at that time. I spent three days in jail in a one-man cell with 14 of my brothers from Gay Liberation. We knew the evil monsters we were fighting would stop at nothing and our only safety was to stand together. But all that changed. The 70's saw a shift in consciousness. Suddenly it was every man for himself and back to business as usual. Nobody wanted to hear about it anymore...it was time to party. So the pigs have returned to the sty. Where are the young people these days? Usually staring at their iphones with their heads up their asses. I have students who think Auschwitz comes in six-packs.


"We recoil with horror at the inconsistency of a supposedly “free” society where responsibility to freedom is equated with the responsibility to lend oneself to military aggression."

I am part of that "WE." I think the statement could be de-sanitized to state that those who sign up act as guns for hire. Period. They kill as part of following orders. It's a sick system and syndrome and due to the growth of the MIC-Beast, all too pervasive.


The 70s were about enlightenment and universities featured exceptionally liberalized curricula.

The 80s began the transformation due to Reagan and his anti-govt. rants along with his fascist pleas that children turn in their own parents... if they used drugs.

This was also when Thatcher came into dominion. And as Cable TV began to spread, the Religious Right gained a major audience and through it, set up a strong voting block that supported inordinately conservative interests. Among those were ideas that supported Big Business and began the work of deregulation.


I can hear the advertising jingle

Set your life on Fire,
Have a gas,
With a can from an
Auschwitz six pack!

God spare us USAian education ! Or the USA's lack thereof.