Heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, a convert to Islam, was one of those, and he paid dearly for standing up for his antiwar principles. Despite having failed a key psychological test in ‘64 (the Army had lowered its standards by ’67) and meeting all the requirements for CO status, Ali refused induction. He was convicted for draft evasion, sentenced to 5 years in prison, fined $10,000, stripped of his title and passport, and banned from fighting in the United States.
Not until ’71 did Ali’s appeal finally reach the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that he had indeed met the three standards for CO status: he opposed war in any form, his beliefs were based on religious teaching, and his objection was sincere.
People in motion
There's a whole generation with a new explanation...
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there†
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
Lucy in the sky with diamonds….†
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no
And, feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin' good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby Mcgee†
‘There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.
Businessman they drink my wine, Plowmen dig my earth
None will level on the line, nobody offered his word, hey’†
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!†
And so, become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed, them on your dreams, the one they picked, the one you're known by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.†
Oh, can't you tell by the way I run,
Every time you make eyes at me... Wo-oh.†
- North Vietnam and the VC launched the countrywide Tet Offensive in the South, with over 7,000 Americans killed in action. CBS’s Walter Cronkite reported to the nation on return from Viet Nam, “We are mired in stalemate.”
- Our shame, the My Lai Massacre, with over 500 civilians slaughtered took place, though the Pentagon covered it up for a year and a half before we learned of it.
- Reverend King (MLK) assassinated in Memphis TN, 46 dead in ensuing riots in over a hundred American cities; Senator Robert Kennedy (RFK) eulogized him eloquently in Indianapolis IN, pleaded for a gentler nation, and averted a riot in that city.
- In France ‘Bloody Monday’ was one of the most violent days of the Parisian student revolt against both the American war in Vietnam and the French government.
- RFK assassinated in Los Angeles just two months after MLK.
- The Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the ‘Prague Spring’; bloody clashes between antiwar protestors and police at the Democratic Presidential Convention in Chicago.
- Police and military troops murdered hundreds of student demonstrators in Mexico City.
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free
Some day soon, and it's a-gonna be one day ...
Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walkin' up over the hill,
With Abraham, Martin and John.†
Abrams and Mendel Rivers, the very bullshitters
who are most eager to see Charlie Co. brought to
justice, are finally the men most responsible for
My Lai. … They are the ones who taught us to kill,
who put us over here in this mind-fucking shit hole
and told us to go to it. In short, they started the war
and they know you never have a war without atrocities.
*Pinkville was military jargon for a Viet Cong stronghold.
Me and My Bobby McGee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTHRg_iSWzM
All Along the Watchtower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2bYJQFQMs8
The Unknown Soldier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ975hR64dc
Love Child: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rntxzyRt9UQ
A Boy Named Sue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcQKtl3MGCE
Sweetheart of the Rodeo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUh7nJdAzL8
Teach Your Children: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVaqZajq-I
Different Drum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Nq48sHF8M
Abraham, Martin, and John: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRtPuQ23NZY
Pinkville Helicopter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFLPVd62B-4