Hippies, peace and love, and Charles Manson

@cyntrow (8524)
United States
October 14, 2007 9:29pm CST
I was raised as a part of the counter culture. I grew up in a hippie communal house. My folks were, and are, hippies. But the culture still confuses me. Yes, peace and love was the phrase of the day. But many in my parents' culture, literally spat on soldiers who were coming home from a war that was hated. Was it the soldiers' fault? No. They didn't deserve that treatment. And how was this peaceful? Charles Manson and his group were killers. They were part of the hippie movement. Peaceful?? My parents had contact with the Black Panther Party. They agreeed with the party's stance, just not the methods. Peaceful? Fighting and spitting upon the "establishment" Peaceful? I'm confused. I talk to my folks and they tell me, but I don't get it. My mom is quick to jump and scream and cuss. My dad is more pacifist in nature. I'm interested in all opinions, but I especially seek the opinions of those who remeber the times. The 60's were volatile. Any who remember, give me your thoughts. No opinion is harmful. Just seeking understanding. Thanks.
4 people like this
5 responses
• United States
15 Oct 07
Quite simply, there is a big difference between PeaceMAKERS and PeaceKEEPERS. Peace keepers are generally appeasers who try to avoid conflict. Like you describe your Mom, She screams and cusses, and Dad Stays quiet, Both are trying to avoid conflict rather that resolve it. Peace makers are generally people who are willing to do the diffcult job of resolving conflict. Will Rogers said "Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are to finishing it. You take diplomacy out of war and the thing would fall flat in a week." Whether we like it or not ( and no one LIKES war) some people only understand force. It is how they run their country and it is all they know. During VietNam, They had people monitoring the American peace movement and were encouraged by it. The same with the current war. Todays "peace' movement, while Noble in Purpose, actually encourages those we are trying to defeat.
2 people like this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
16 Oct 07
My parents did their small part, but they were up against a political mountain. And they have an FBI file to show for it. My folks met in the peacecorp and since my dad retired from his ministry, they have been traveling the country and the world helping fix homes after the natural disasters that have struck. My parents did what they felt was right and I respect them for it. And they both were and are peaceful people. I just question the whole peace movement of the counter culture as not being as peaceful as they claim.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Oct 07
I agree.
1 person likes this
@ctrymuziklvr (11059)
• United States
15 Oct 07
Peace and Love - peace sign of the 60's
Being 60 years old I remember the '60's only too well. I was considered a hippie and still am. I loved the way we dressed and thought about just about everything. Everything except the feelings most had regarding Viet Nam. My husband at the time was there and it was too real for me. Yes, I waanted him to "run" off to Canada to avoid the draft but after many deep talks with him he made me realize that no matter what this is our country and he wanted to be part of helping to keep it safe. The sixties was the age of youth. 70 million children from the post-war baby boom became teenagers and young adults. The movement away from the conservative fifties continued and eventually resulted in revolutionary ways of thinking and real change in American life. No longer content to be images of the generation ahead of them, young people wanted change. The changes affected education, values, lifestyles, laws, and entertainment. To this day I hate the way people felt about those soldiers who made it home. It was probably the most unfair thing this country has ever experienced. Was it their fault they were there? Of course not. Blame the government not the guys who lost lives and limbs for obeying it. As for the Manson group...all I can say is they were definately a bunch of sick people and thank God it all came out in the end....to late but it did come out. This is just my personal opinion on the 60's but I hope it help you understand somewhat. It's a very tough decade to explain even if you were there.
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
16 Oct 07
My folks protested the war, but they did not protest the soldiers. I'm glad for that. A number of the people who lived in the house with us did gather at the airports to scream at the soldiers who were disembarking. I think it is sad that they risked life and limb, only to be spat on upon return. Frankly, I do believe that most of the Manson Family were trying to experience the life that my parents and their friends had. We were a family and we all had and have a heavy sense of humanity.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22936)
• United States
16 Oct 07
I'm not a 60s kid in fact I just missed it LOL (I was born in 1970) but I think that for the most part the hippie culture IS/WAS about peace...BUT like with ANY culture you have your bad apples...Manson IMO was NOT a part of the hippy movement..he was, is and always will be nothing but a deranged, murdering cult leader... I think that for every 1 bad apple who DIDNT represent the movement right there were 2 or 3 who did ya know....But no not ALL who were or even still are a part of the hippy culture did it right...Just like not all (for example) Christians do it right ya know or not all Pagans or Gay Rights supporters or Pro Lifers and so on..
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
17 Oct 07
We are the same age. I was born in 69, but the environment I grew up in was very 60's. The life my parents lead is still very 60's. I think the movement was good hearted, but the kids who were involved just didn't know how to approach it. I remember peaceful protests. I remember violent protests. I remember watching my father get punched in the face and he walked away as the man who hit him called him a chicken shi!. My mom then jumped on the man's back and beat the crap out of him, but that is beside the point. "Just like not all (for example) Christians do it right ya know or not all Pagans or Gay Rights supporters or Pro Lifers and so on." I agree soooo much with this statement. As I stated to someone above, my parents corresponded with the Black Panther Party. They agreed with the ideals, just not the methods. But the Panthers had a louder voice than the passive teachings of the MLK movement. They both served their purpose, but only one was peaceful. I am a great supporter of gay rights, as you know, but groups such as "Outloud" annoy the crap out of me. My mind tells me that they are doing more harm than good. But history tells me that they are making their point. Abby Hoffman, who was a friend of my father, and the Chicago seven made their point, but they did it without peaceful intent. dam, I'm rambling. They intentionally disrupted and caused havoc. The point was made, but it caused difficulties for the rest of us. My house was raided on numerous occasions. One cop called my dad Charlie. And when you are five, this is a scary thing. Several years later, when my first husband beat me, I was reluctant to call the cops. I called my brother, though. LOL I guess my thing is that the loud mouths and the people who would bomb a lab that did animal experiments and the people who would spit on soldiers coming back from the war gave the real "hippies" a bad name. Those who promoted peace and did what they could to exhibit peace were out shouted by those who took a more militant approach.
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
16 Oct 07
I think any movement has the potential to become just something trendy & fashionable. To lose it's meaning, and become a way to identify yourself rather than a way to make lasting change with a cause you believe in. It seems to me some people truly wanted to change policies, to end the war, to promote equality etc but more people just wanted to smoke pot & have "free love". Charles Manson & family may have happened at the same time, and Charlie may have used the theories of the hippy movement to attract followers but he doesn't represent the true meaning of the time. I'm 34, I wasn't there but I think we can look at any current movement or cause and seem similar. I've seen "Think Green" type bumper stickers on SUVs that get less than 15 miles to the gallon, not hardly eco-friendly but the owner thinks the sticker is cool.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27275)
• United States
19 Oct 07
I do remember those times. I wasn't a part of the hippie movement but I was very opposed to the war. I couldn't understand and was very much against the way some of the war protesters treated our soldiers. The soldiers were my friends and classmates who were being sent to fight a war they didn't understand or agree with. My husband and I have two friends who were and still are hippies and they were very involved with the hippie and peace movements in the sixties and seventies and they were and are like your parents in that they were peaceful and and loving. I got married in 1969 at the age of 17 so I really didn't get the chance to be a hippie, I was too busy being a wife and mom...lol. Your story is very fascinating, what an interesting life you had when you were a child. I'm also happy we aren't treating our troops today the way some treated those who served in Vietnam. They are our troops and they are serving our nation whether we agree with the war or not. As far as the Manson Famnily being grouped right with people like your parents, that's very unfair. There are the "very bad" within all groups and movements. There are bad priests, there are certainly bad politicians, there are bad everything but that doesn't and shouldn't reflect on all of that group of people. Annie