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An Indignant Generation With all its disruptions and rage the idea of black revolution was something many white Americans could at least comprehend if not agree with When rebellion seized their own children however they were almost completely at a loss A product of the posts war Baby Boom nurtured in affluence and concentrated in increasing numbers on college and university campuses It was a generation marked by an unusual degree of political awareness and cultural alienation Some shared with the beat writers and poets of the late fifties a deep disillusionment with this status quo a restless yearning for something more than a realistic conformity Others had been aroused by the southern sit-in movement The first hint wore a contemporary That there was a world beyond the campus that demanded some kind of personal response Not so much ideological as moral in Jessica Mitfords words An Indignant Generation Although an image of arrogance even ruthlessness had followed him from his early days as counsel to a Senate committee investigating labor racketeering Robert Kennedy had shown a remarkable capacity to understand the suffering of others More than this he had demonstrated an untiring commitment to the welfare of those who had gotten little more than the crumbs of the Great American Banquet In fact Kennedy Appealed most strongly to precisely those groups most disaffected with American society in nineteen sixty-eight they believed in him with a passion unmatched for any other national political figure in part for what he had done but also for the kind of man he was The collapse of communications made it impossible to determine the fate of the pacification program but most assessments were pessimistic When the communists launched their attacks the government pulled nearly half of the five hundred and fifty revolutionary development teams out of the hamlets to help defend the cities along with eighteen of the fifty-one army battalions assigned to protect the pacification teams
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