Tuesday, July 17, 2012

* Long haired hippies at Kent State: Gays at Yale / New Haven

For twenty-five years I showed these videos in my  English classes as examples of how, like the Puritans at Salem's witch trials of 1692 in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Americans have a knee-jerk tendency to go on witch-hunts, against communists, against hippies, against gays.

At Kent State in 1972 it was long-haired hippies who were the accused. At New Haven and Yale in 1984 it was people with AIDS. I was able to make a small contribution to quelling those witch hunts for 20 million television viewers.

First video:
Kent State
(4 min. 10 seconds)

After the killing of four students at Kent State in 1970 it was not uncommon for older Americans to mutter, "They should have killed more of the students". College students were portrayed as long haired, hippie, protesters. That witch-hunt was deflated for 20 million viewers on Christmas Eve, 1972 with this video.

Second video:
Yale / New Haven
(approximately 12 minutes)
At Yale in 1982 / 83, and in America generally, AIDS was targeted as a "gay disease" and therefore nothing for heterosexuals to worry about. That target-practice ended in February, 1984 with this second video.

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