Children of the 1960s
This chapter argues that the antibusers were heirs of the protesters of the 1960s, even as they reacted against them and their values. While the antiwar radicals had sometimes burned American flags, antibusing demonstrations were often festooned with hundreds of handheld Stars and Stripes. Yet in a massive irony not lost on many of the participants at the time, the antiestablishment protests of the 1960s shaped and influenced the antibusing movement. The great irony, of course, was that the immediate model for all the protesters of the 1960s and 1970s was the black civil rights movement, whose tactics ran back to boycotts and freedom rides in the 1940s, and back further to the labor union strikes and sit-ins of the 1930s. By the early 1970s, a protest style that in the context of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement had been the property of southern blacks and then of middle-class white youth now became appropriated by the white working class, lower-middle-class ethnics, and middle-class respectables.
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