Sunday, June 28, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (26)

By the 1970's, Walter had become almost as disillusioned with the 1960's generation of young Black militant student activists as he was with his white co-workers at Bulova.

"They all talked a good game of Revolution in the 1960's. But where are they now in the 1970's? Most of the Black student militants of the 1960's seem to have just given-up once they left college," Walter complained one afternoon.

"Maybe you can't really blame people for giving up after the Nixon administration's repression and the killing of so many Black Panther Party activists," I replied.

"Yeah. I know about that. And that's why I still have the gun I bought in the 1960's in my house. But if the Black youth have given up and the white workers are still unwilling to fight inter-racially alongside Black workers against the System in the 1970's, there's no possibility of any kind of Revolution anymore in the 1970's. And I'll probably be stuck here as a wage slave for the rest of my work life. Although maybe by the time you're my age, you won't," Walter sadly said.

"Hopefully, when the older white workers start retiring and the hipper white workers of my generation start replacing them, more white workers will be willing to fight inter-racially alongside Black workers," I quietly replied.

Walter laughed. "I doubt that.  I haven't seen much evidence that the younger ones they hire here are anymore interested in fighting the System than are the older ones."

Walter's impression of how potentially rebellious the white workers at Bulova  were was similar to my own impression.