I had to look it up. I could remember that it was a song recorded by Buffalo Springfield and that it was recorded about 50 years ago, but I could not for the life of me remember the name of it. “For What It’s Worth” contains some catchy lyrics that some might even think are applicable today.
Of course, when this song was popular, my group didn’t really care about the message. We weren’t protesting the war or anything else, for that matter. All we cared about was the beat and if it was easy to dance to — like we really did that much actual dancing.
When I heard the lyrics again last week, I marveled that some things haven’t changed in all the years since I was in school.
“There’s battle lines being drawn
Never miss a local story.
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind”
Today, however, the campus protests are much different. Students in the ’60s and ’70s were fighting the “establishment” and protesting the Vietnam War. There were also protests across the nation as a part of the civil rights movement.
“What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, ‘hooray for our side’ ”
Perhaps one of the problems of our current times is a lack of a major cause to protest for. We don’t seem to have that one big rallying point to inspire our young people to show up and sing songs and carry signs.
No, on campuses today, we see student demonstrators pouring into the streets to protest appearances by people with differing views. That’s right — they are protesting the fact that a conservative has been asked to speak on campus.
It happened at Middlebury College where Charles Murray, a conservative author, was invited but shut down. In fact, a Middlebury professor was actually injured during the protest.
Another conservative author, Heather Mac Donald, was kept from delivering her speech at Claremont McKenna College. I found it somewhat amusing that students from nearby Pomona College wrote in a letter that Mac Donald “is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”
Wow! If they are not learning anything else at school, they certainly have advanced skills in language usage.
And now most recently, we see the reaction at the University of California at Berkeley with the “re-scheduling” of a promised appearance of Ann Coulter. The university is being very coy in their explanation that they are concerned for her welfare.
For what’s it worth, I thought that one advantage of obtaining a higher education was the opportunity to broaden one’s mind. Hearing the views of those of different backgrounds and viewpoints should be an essential part of the educational process.
Apparently some of the young people on campus today only want what is being spoon fed to them and are not interested in hearing anything else.
They are only shortchanging themselves.