Summer of Love Saps

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

It isn’t just the right-wing groups that continue to supply ample evidence of the left-wing dominance of higher education, or more conservative media outlets such as the one that you are reading right now. For example, that Ivory Tower favorite—The Chronicle of Higher Education—had no trouble rounding up more than a dozen academics to share wistful memories of the so-called “Summer of Love” 40 years ago that most innocent bystanders remember for burning cities and “peace demonstrations” that turned violent even before the police arrived.

“In the months leading up to the summer of 1967 I was completing my undergraduate degree at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio,” University of Illinois English professor Cary Nelson remembers. “Antioch had hired me part-time as a draft counselor and that job continued into June.”

“In the midst of the Vietnam War and at America’s most progressive college, draft counseling really meant draft avoidance counseling.” Antioch just closed down but Nelson, who toils at UI’s Urbana-Champaigne campus, is now a high poobah with the American Association of University Professors.

“I was living in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, having moved there upon my graduation from Berkeley in June of 1966,” Susquehanna University management professor James Brock recalls. “I was in a master’s program in sociology at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) and working as a secretary at the YMCA and as a tennis instructor at a private girls’ school.”

“Yes, I was trying to avoid the draft, but higher education ran in my family.” The two are not mutually exclusive.

“Never was a hippie,” San Francisco State University journalism professor John Burks avers. “My ‘professional’ life didn’t permit that, but I absolutely did indulge in the pleasures of the day, and also in the activism, protest against the Vietnam War in particular.”

“Meanwhile, as a journalist, I kept busy ‘covering’ dope, sex, cheap thrills, and the antiwar movement.” In the meantime, as journalists, the editors of Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia keep busy covering people like John Burks and Jane Bernstein.

An English professor at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Bernstein recalls joining Students for a Democratic Society. “It allowed me to believe that the summer would end and my life would change,” she writes. “And it did.”

“Radically.”

One of the aphorisms of that age was “Never trust anyone over 30.” In Linda Saulsby’s case, the 60s philosophers may have had it backwards.

“We were black kids born and raised in San Francisco of parents who migrated from the South to build a better life,” the acting director of the graduate liberal-studies program at St. Mary’s College of California states. “My friends and I never fully embraced the peace-and-love movement that defined our beautiful hometown during those years—our parents declared it was the nonsense of white kids.”

Boy, were they ever sharp!


Malcolm A. Kline
is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.

 

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