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Interview with Dr. Roosevelt Johnson

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Johnson, Roosevelt ; McKiernan, Stephen


Dr. Roosevelt Johnson (d. 2015) was a psychologist, counselor, educator, and administrator. Dr. Johnson worked as a professor at Ohio State University, University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC, and John Hopkins University. He also worked at private counseling centers in the Washington, DC area and Silver Springs, Maryland. He received his Bachelor's degree at St. Louis University and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana.




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McKiernan Interviews
Interview with: Dr. Roosevelt Johnson
Interviewed by: Stephen McKiernan
Transcriber: Eden Lowinger
Date of interview: Not dated

(Start of Interview)

SM: Got to keep double checking this too to make sure this is working. Dr. Johnson, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me today. What I am going to try to do here is asked a specific group of questions and these questions have also been asked to other interviewees. Some of these questions also might look like they are repetitive. But the questions are asked, [audio cuts] certainly, and hopefully, if you have already mentioned something earlier, then we move on to the next question. But the boomer generation and the people the (19)60s and the early (19)70s have often are [audio cuts] that during this juncture in time, often being criticized by conservatives, by people along Christian coalition and other groups as being the reason why we are having problems in today's society. You hear it all the time on the news, even some of the so-called moderate Democrats, when they are looking at the issues of the breakup of the American family, the increase the divorce rate, the drug, the drug problems in American society, the uncivil dialogue sometimes that happens between groups, a lack of listening between groups. Sometimes people are trying to put this all into a capsule and going right back to that (19)60s and early (19)70s. And it was because of that generation, and how they were reared and how they acted, is now they have transferred into, this into their kids, and could you comment on whether that is a fair accusation toward the generation of boomers made up of 60 million people?

RJ: I am always I am always cautious about stereotypical and gross generalizations in terms of a generation. However, I do think that there are certain prevailing motifs, cultural motifs that go on, there is no question about it. If we look at the major forces in during that era of say, post-Civil Rights, and then after the post-Civil Rights and the switch, in terms of say, our moving to political impetus, and they end the orientation, and the theories that have gone on- political orientation and theories that have gone along with the subsequent election of Richard Nixon, which tended to [inaudible] in my judgment signaled the prelude to the switch to conservative. So then, I think that we got some gradations there in terms of say, there are some in terms of say some of the people who have emerged from the (19)60s, the post-Civil Rights Era, and also the political shift to conservativism, I am not so sure it is almost 33 and a third, okay, so if you really think about it that way, it is almost 33 and a third. And then I guess, the fourth estate, and that is the medium, with respect to the impact that is has had, and increasing the impact that it has had specifically during that period of time, so then it, the history is fascinating. And I am not so sure, I am willing to say that there is a large core, is according to which societal institution that you are looking at, at any given time, but I think there is a, if you may, an overarching type of influence, and an overarching type of motif, and, and collective thought. So, we got to, we got a, we got a kind of a universal cognition that is going on, i.e. let us go back to the impact of the Fourth Estate in terms of the media, and the fact that the satellite was put us up there. And then CNN became such a potent force, what I see as a core lessons of perspective, even if you go beyond the borders of the United States, about certain issues that are happening all over the world, by virtue of the cyberspace and so forth, which is again, the link, I guess you could say is that is that the Civil Rights, post-Civil Rights and then the era of conservativism, and then what you have that in fact, keeps all of this in a network, is the cyberspace. And with respect to the fact that everybody is seeing the same type of the daily account of present history being recorded, it is definitely influencing how people are thinking. So the media and the people who are writing for the media, in my judgment, are the, are people who have found, who themselves are part of- who are boomers, and therefore they come from that perspective, in terms of their cognitions. There have beliefs about certain things, their worldview, their worldviews, are have, they have to- if we accept that socialization is a real process, and I believe it is- they have an insight, say, like, be influenced by what has happened to them in their nurturance years, that is a part of their identity. So consequently, they are constantly referring back to what they have learned to be reality, their constructive reality is in fact are very similar, but I think that you will still find that is not a discrete dichotomous either-or in terms of is the boomers against the, not being the boomers. There are people within the boomer generation who are very conservative, people within the boomer generation who are in fact modern in terms of their political views, ethical and moral perspectives and so forth. And there are people who are extremely liberal. Okay, so then we got, I think this gradation.

SM: Make sure that my tape here it is. In fact, because it broke, he has invited me over to his house before the Congress starts again.

RJ: Okay.

SM: Because I have gotten to know him. I- most of my friends are liberals, but [laughter] Congressman Weldon, and Senator Fred Thompson, the two that I really, I really like those two. So anyways, as a take-off of that question, what do you feel has been the impact of boomers on America? Has the impact in your eyes been positive or negative? Or is it too early to say what that impact is?

RJ: First, you have, I have to accept the position that is only positive and negative. And that, again, takes us to the dichotomous thinking, which is fueling, I think, psychologically, societal psychology, if you may, I think that is probably keeping the momentum more exaggerated than it really is. Again, I see gradations, I look for gradations. I do not look for discrete categories of the dichotomy of either all or nothing. And that is, that is a part of democracy. So democracy, the life blood, as Seymour Martin Lipset said, of democracy is conflict. So, then it definitely keeps the conflict going, but I do not know if it, in fact, gets into a continual healing process at the psychological level. Now, I also think that we cannot, in fact address this question you know, in terms of gain, I am saying before I could really respond to whether it is positive or negative, I had to work it through, because I also am very much aware that the conflict, and the either-or- liberal or conservative, negative or anti-positive- is being, is economically driven, is driven by the profit motive. We cannot incite leave that out of our society, that negative news is, in fact, it is a very, it sells very well, positive news obviously does not sell very well, because there is not any one of the leading newspapers in in the world that reports positive news, people immediately go to what is the most heinous that they can find. So then what I think is happening is that the econ- that the political economy has co-opted people into making us believe that we have an issue, I will say negative and positive, I think without a doubt, if you look at a certain category, and that is the demise of the infrastructure within the United States, I do believe- and by that I mean, the highways, the cities, the universities that are in fact, say getting ready for the babies of the boomers, they are now beginning to say that we cannot build new facilities, but we will be able to bring the people on campus and then offer them course by computer, and so forth out of their dorm rooms and so forth or allow them to take it at home, through for example, the internet and so forth and putting up let us say, modems on the campus, around the campus, even exterior modems and things of this nature where people can work on a site. Now, if you take a look at that, and if you hold on nostalgically to what once was, in terms of the negative impact, the negative impact is the meaning that we are giving to it. If, for example, we are saying that we think that the classroom should be a-whereby there is a bonding between the professor and the youngsters or the professors and the graduate students- I do believe that should occur. But now if you think about the boomers being driven by the profit motive, which is you know, with a common vernacular and the patois, the bottom line, cut to the chase all of this language that in fact being developed by various and sundry economic systems, you say, macro and economically, the macroeconomic, the NSA and micro economic terminology that are used for social situation. So, people are being reduced in terms of downsides and outsides and read, outsourcing and things of this nature, the boomers by virtue of their being in leadership role, they have now begun to-to use these paradigms to deal with people. Okay? Now, if these paradigms continue to erode the infrastructure, and especially the moralistic infrastructure of the universal values, then we got to say it is negative. But when we in fact, say, like, take a look at that they can began to cause people, the pendulum to swing back toward the center, and people, to the extent can recognize that the boomers were the impetus for seeing swinging back toward the center, then probably serendipitously, the boomers are serving us a purpose to gain our right frame of mind on this, starting a new collective dialogue within our collective heads. Is this good? We are now beginning to ask these questions.

SM: This leads into my next question, because now we are talking about the children of boomers, which are, which are already on college campuses. And we will be [inaudible], you talk about the differences within the boomers, you know, we talked about the classification for (19)46 to (19)64, boomers. Well, I see even within the university when I am working with administrators who were still classified as boomers, they have not the [inaudible] knowledge of the impact of the Civil Rights movement, or what the war was all about back then, because they were a little bit too young. So, I sense that there is even strong divisions, like you said, there is conservatives and liberals. There is-

RJ: Within the boomers.

SM: Yeah. And the fact is that, you know, it is hard to classify over an 18-year period that these are the boomers, which is what society says we are doing something right. But can today- can today's generation learn from the boomers? What can the boomers teach today's college students? So this question is based on the fact that many of today's students often look at the (19)60s and early (19)70s, as a period of activism, a period that were students, where people got [inaudible] and single minded issues, because there were big issues then. A lot of big issues where young people can get involved in. So many of these same issues remain, there are new ones. And the lessons of the past are either not taught in the schools or never discussed between the parents, which is the boomer parent and the kid. Please give your thoughts on the issues and boomers lives and how they can have an impact on students today. And I say this only because I, in my working relationship with students, I see two distinct directions that they go in terms of people of my age. boomers. Number one, they look upon that period as an era of nostalgia, saying, "I wish I could have lived them. It was such an exciting time. I mean, people were involved in Civil Rights movement, they were involved in the protests against the war, the environmental movement, women's liberation came about all but all of it seems like the movements and Native American movement, all of them seem to be around [inaudible] around the time when you were young, when you were in college, I wish I could live there." And others the other extreme, where students will say, “I am sick of hearing it, you are living in us nostalgic period. This is (19)96. It is not (19)68 or (19)69 anymore. And so, I am tired of hearing about it, we have our own lives, we have our own issues, but then we do not have any big issues, but I want to get a job I want to get through school." And so, they do not have the big issues. But they do have their own individual issues, which is getting, getting a degree and getting a job. And in some respects, we cannot always talk about all the today's young people that are going to college there is a lot of them going to trade school. So, what I am trying to say is, are the boomers. And are the boomers really talking about their experiences with their kids? Are they sharing what they went through, are they sharing the- those important issues of that time? And some still remained today, but it is as if they do not among the other young people. So I just want to know what your thoughts are. If the boomers are really being good parents, are they sharing what transpired and they were young? And in some respects are the generation X really listening?

RJ: Well, I am not so sure that the boomers are being good parents if you use the criterion of the pre-boomer period, okay, anti-boomer period there, meaning that if I look at- and I am a boomer, all right- and if I look at the relationship that my mother and father had with me, it was very impersonal. Or if I look at what I know, my peers say, who themselves were not supposed to make it at Southern Illinois University, for example, first generation college students out of predominantly Black schools, high schools and so forth. Well we got there and found out that we had better for example, communication skills as far as the written word was concerned that many of our I would say white counterparts who came out of great high schools of Northern Illinois and Evanston, Illinois and places of this nature, right. So then it got around big university town. So our parents had prepared to pass the baton onto us. So then we got to look at the multicultural and the multiracial groups of boomers as well. But I fortunately have an opportunity through the last over almost 30 years of teaching both Black and whites and in terms of, say, graduate school, so I have had an opportunity to make some assessments on it. And from what I see is that at some point in time, and I like to think of this boomer generation as the transitory generation too, they have seen they saw the transition, African Americans, for example, from Jim Crowism to public accommodation, whereby they did not have it. So that they know what, for example, a Jim Crow is, and they know what it means to be excluded. So, they can recognize inclusion very, I mean, very well, and they can recognize exclusion very well. But the babies of the boomers are not capable of doing this, Black or white. It has been superficially presented to them through the media, it is always on the cusp, it is never as intense as it is because the boomers experienced this. Okay, the boomers experienced the transition of going from lack of civil rights to the civil rights struggle to the fact that Johnson signed the 1965 Civil Rights bill. Okay, so consequently, they saw the transition. And therefore, they are dealing with reality is based upon a cognitive set that they have seen before, during the process, and subsequent to the change. So then they deal with impasse, and for those who have not. And on the other side of the reality construction, the parents, some of them actually got further away from their anti-boomer parent- I will say morality, and they therefore began to have technocracy, technocracy and post modernity in terms of their perspective on how they deal with their children, okay, so then therefore, they-they stay a distance from them, they do not have interpersonal relationships with them, they allow the professional to do the rearing, they will allow the-the they allow the media to do the rearing, and the peer group to do the rea- the rearing. What I have found, therefore, is that on the other end of that, and in between, there is a group that is trying to hold on, which the children do resist, I see a lot of those in therapy, whether that child is in fact white or Black, whether that child is rich or poor, liberal or conservative, they try to resist that interpersonal, because, say involvement, where that person who was involved in the (19)60s tries to in fact interface and deal with and rear that child with that experiential input in there, some of the children do resist to that. Some of the children do not. Now, it is therefore, a matter I guess you can say, of the idiosyncratic way in which the children themselves- and that is what we got to be very careful about- and that is each-each individual has an idiosyncratic child does of the boomer, has an idiosyncratic meaning that he or she will get to the world. Now what we got to do is base that upon it is not right or wrong is rational, or is it is reality. So, we in fact, deal with, whether it is rational, what the child is doing and believing, or whether or not it is a reality, what the child is doing, then we do not worry so much about behavior as we do about cognition. And that is where we got to begin to get the focus. And that is, is the self-hurting a self-defeating in terms of some greater moralistic, cosmos type of perspective, or is it in fact a self-helping, we got to, in fact, make that decision discernment. I go back to the university and college, universities and colleges are in fact beginning to acknowledge that that was something good about the whole notion of the hands-on in theory into practice, because of the of the of the, I guess you can say, the mushrooming of outreach concepts in every major college and university. So then, in that regard, if you take a look, now, everybody has a community clinic, or everybody has some type of outreach program, or some thrust to outreach and reaching out into the community in their curricula. And in fact, the business world is now saying that they want to buy into that. So, then that is that activism of the six.

SM: Yeah, we have a social work chair, who has raised kids and one is going to Spelman College right now in Atlanta and one is going to Howard- they are twins, and she has one coming up. Her husband is a judge in Philadelphia, and he is also on the board of trustees and interviewees. This [inaudible] West Chester University. And I asked her point-blank last year is that a general discussion if she has ever sat down and talked to her kids about what it was like to be at Howard in the (19)60s where she graduated? She said, "No." She said, "My kids have got enough problems today, with the problems of drugs, dealing with all the other issues of the day, why burden them with what-what it was like when I was young," I am sure they discuss some things. But-

RJ: But the issue is, would it have been a burden that that actually is cultivating another type of skill. In my judgment, now see I do not see that as a burden, she is assuming that the child is a victim.

SM: I am going to go in depth with her on that, cause she does not realize I am going to bring this up when we-we are doing the interview. But she, she is the chair of our social work department, Mit Joyner. She is a dynamic professor whose students love her. And I she is one of my close friends at the school. But the fact that that statement really shocked me and so during the interview is not going to be the beginning, when I am going to just interject my question and do a little more definition there. Because she might explain why. Again, this might be repetitive here, if you were describe the youth in (19)60s and early (19)70s, please describe the qualities you most admire and the qualities you least admire. If you were to just give a couple of adjectives of the things that you have most admired about them. What would they be and some of the things you least admire?

RJ: Their sense of dedication, they were dedicated. They were in fact, say like, inquisitive. They were courageous. Okay. They were well, they were willing to take risk. They were flexible. Most of them on college campus. And now you say the youth, if I was talking about high school, it would be an, and I was associated with an upward bound program, then but as well, and they were forward looking, they were without anxiety, they had a sense of hope. Okay, because subsequent to the Civil Right when the government provided to them a [inaudible] debt for hope, of hope, okay. And therefore, by virtue of the, even though the [inaudible] never really had the money, the concept was empower- psychologically empowering. The concept of, of the war on poverty was-was the was psychologically empowering. Now, I guess, therefore, the opposite would be some of the things I would have to say that in retrospect, retrospect, I would say that maybe that the youth were gullible, and maybe they went, because I believe that now, the amount of depression that I see, the amount of anxiety and type attacks and, and the amount of panic attacks that I see in people and so forth, and the fear that they have in trying to communicate with their children, all of these things probably instilled in them a lack of sense of hope, which is the origin of depression is when that when that hope turns into that is a loss, when one begins to lose that hope, then one begins to have a collective depression that is going on. Okay. So then, and when I- oh, and then I guess, in the [inaudible], this is in retrospect, I thought it was exciting then. But the freedom that they had in terms of not only in terms of relationships, and even very intimate relationship, the sense of a lack of commitment, though. However, the-the lack of commitment with respect to marriage, the lack of commitment with respect to promiscuous behavior, okay. And promiscuous thought patterns. Obviously, they were not that- I did not like the fact that they did get away from moralistic principles, I guess, it used to be that I did not like that about that group of children, which in fact then probably is causing, and in the, right now, some of the sense of the lack of identity that they obviously had when they thought about what they were doing. And now I believe that their parenting skills are actually fostering a sense of lack of identity in the babies of the boomers.

SM: Interesting observation, getting off the general questions here, because several people that I have spoken to have said when you talked about the boomer generation, especially in the area of the Civil Rights movement, you cannot even talk about boomers, they were too young. To talk, the fact that boomers were born (19)46 And a lot of the things that were in the Civil Rights movement in the mid (19)50s, late (19)50s, early (19)60s, they did not even- they were not old enough to really be involved, but certainly they were influenced as they got older in to the late (19)60s and early (19)70s. So, I have had several comments, say in stating that, if you talk about the boomers, you cannot talk about them really having hardly any; the effect on the Civil Rights movement, even the antiwar movement on college campuses, the majority of them were a lot of the older graduate students, I remember-

RJ: If we take now, we are saying (19)46 to (19)60, right? Now-

SM: [inaudible] those are people who were born between (19)46 and (19)64.

RJ: Okay, well, between (19)46 and (19)64. All right now-

SM: Bill Clinton's like, he is just nearing-

RJ: He is a boomer.

SM: 50.

RJ: Okay, right.

SM: That group is just turning 50 this year.

RJ: Right, I see what you are saying. Right. Now, on the other hand, if you think okay, (19)40, if you take (19)46 now, and they, I believe those people have a lot of- see the Civil Rights movement, actually, moved, moved from public accommodation against [inaudible]. I believe that the Vietnam War resistance movement, if you may, was an aspect of Civil Rights. And I think it prompted many of the demonstrations, the rallies the whole bit. Okay. The fact that Muhammad I believe spoke out in about (19)64, (19)65. Again, (19)65 at (19)64, no (19)63. He spoke out about (19)63 and (19)64, (19)64, when he spoke out and said about his being refusing to go to Vietnam, if I am not mistaken. (19)64, (19)65. Okay, now it will you think about that, that had an aspect of the Civil Rights movement. Okay, so I guess Muhammad Ali would have been considered a boomer, right? Yeah, he was. He is about 52 now, something like that. 50, or 50-50 or 51, something like that. Okay, well, anyway, he would have been considered that- he had a tremendous impact, the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, okay. Let us say, Eldridge Cleaver. They had a heck of an impact upon the Civil Rights movement in the late (19)70s. I mean, the late (19)60s and early (19)70s. Okay, because they have moved from the feeling that for example, as a matter of fact, if the Panthers were around right now, they will be considered terrorists. Okay. It is no question about it, okay. If you look at the Democrats who have, you know, Students for a Democratic Society, and people like that at Berkeley, for all intents and purposes, that was (19)70, they had an impact on legislation in Congress, the (19)68 Civil- I mean, (19)68 convention in Chicago, okay. With respect to what Mayor Daley did, and how he controlled that particular, that was all about Civil Rights. It actually put law enforcement under the microscope, it began to make people start thinking about how you are going to contain crowds and not contain crowd. Okay, you have people in terms of the Hun- the Hungarian, say invasion and so forth. That was (19)63, no it was (19)66 (19)67. Okay, if I am not mistaken, not Hungarian.

SM: Poland.

RJ: Poland, okay.

SM: That was (19)68.

RJ: Yeah, (19)68.

SM: Alexander Dubček.

RJ: There you go. And yeah, okay. If you take a look at that, for example, then you had students on college campuses reacting against that, okay, and so forth, that what happened at Kent State in 1970, had a tremendous impact upon influencing policy. Okay, those, and when those white children got killed in their [inaudible]. Now, if you take a look at it, all of those youngsters were actually born since 19- that participated in that were in fact born since that period, (19)46.

SM: You are right [inaudible] the observations that I am getting so far. I am the boomers. For example, when you talk about what is the question I have coming up here, [inaudible] that question I asked with respect to the Vietnam War. What is the impact of boomers on that war with respect to ending it? Now, this is a commentary and your thoughts are very important here. I have had one person who said, "That is ridiculous. They did not end the war. The people that end- Richard Nixon ended the war" and [crosstalk] conservative, okay-

RJ: Yeah-yeah.

SM: Then I got the other extreme saying, and this is where I interviewed Jack Smith of ABC news a couple of days ago when I was down here. And then of course, he was in Vietnam. And he said that, "No, the college students did not end the war." One end of the war was the middle class Americans who saw the kid who's caught saw their sons coming home from Vietnam. And when-when Middle America saw that the war was bringing, was killing people and everything, they made the decision that they were against the war and they influenced their politicians. And that is why you saw the Frank Churches of the world who would not get on the bandwagon with the extremists on college campuses. Fear of not only losing his senate position in Idaho, but so what-what are your thoughts in terms of the boomers and their impact on the on those two movements, particularly on the ending of the Vietnam War, number one, and then their-their important role or not so important role in the Civil Rights movement. Now, you mentioned the Black Panthers, but in terminology, boomers. That is what I am trying to get at here and keep in mind you we are talking 60 million people here, of which some of the books they only about 15 percent were ever active anyways, in any kind of activism during this

RJ: Oh, look let me tell you what, I have, they had a tremendous impact upon influencing the Civil Rights movement. Because if you think about it, the Birmingham church bombings, which were in the (19)60s, those children that were killed for our exam- for example, they were boomers as well as the children who demonstrated. You see what I mean, about the policies, in terms of and who followed Mrs. Parks. They were not they were not your typical college student, but they affected public opinion. For example, many Gene Smith, and let us say, Donald Green, and those people who went to Central High School, for all intents and purposes, okay, so [audio cuts] [inaudible] The Supreme Court decision has been rendered, and everything, which is another major impact- is it on?

SM: Yep.

RJ: Okay. Here is another major impact. See, some of this was actually, it was actually subsequent to, that was an era there were a lot of young Black people who were in fact, boomers. And who were born right, even right, the right in that same era there. Okay, in terms of [inaudible] to (19)60, that the child in terms of whom Brown versus the Board was in fact, she was 26 or 27 years of age, you see, so then, and that was not- that was of international prominence, that decision will go down. But as in the famous canons of jurisprudence, forever Brown versus the Board of Education, that was a boomer child. Okay, that was at the center of that whole controversy. I mean, all that was a major Civil Rights decision was changed. It was it was the moral equivalent to the ending of Apartheid in South Africa. And a boomer child actually created that. Okay, now, and then if you take a look at, they had the [inaudible] boomers. Another thing in terms of Civil Rights movement. [Michael] Schwerner and [Andrew] Goodman, and, and [James] Chaney, the three civil rights mov- workers that were killed in Mississippi, and I think it was (19)63 or (19)64. Okay.

SM: (19)64.

RJ: Okay, fine. Now, they were boomers. They were in fact, they were not. They were like, I think what 18, 19 and 20 or something like that? They just barely, just barely missed it maybe, but for all intents and purposes, but here they were was showing coalitions at that time. And they were fighting, and that was a national prominent international peace that had international media down that end, and now just goes right on up to this the Vietnam War. While I believe that the mothers and the middle class really did, maybe they were the ones who wrote the letter, the boomers were the conscience, i.e. Bill Clinton, okay, that type of thing. And the boomers did not want to serve in that war. Okay, the boomers were trying to do everything they could to get-get school status of get out of the country, because they did not want to go to Vietnam. Okay, so consequently- and that was generally a draft dodger, new lexicons, you see what I mean, we are actually developed a new lingo, and that type of thing, right. And so, then that particular say, impact, the media did not focus on the middle class, because that was very unamerican. But the media did not focus on Kent State, they did focus on Berkeley, it did focus on, say, University of say New York, did focus on that, did focus on Michigan State, you see, and this type of thing, and all of the Black schools in the south, it focused on that. So then and about their opposition to the war, and actually the boomers highlighted another thing that, that when certain moral issues, are brought up, that Black students and white students coalesce even in historically Black schools and-and predominantly white school, around the immorality of something because in Jackson State in the same year, the same month that in fact, in Jackson, Mississippi, that there were, say nine or so students killed at Kent State, there were also the troops fired and killed on five or six Black students at Jackson.

SM: Right, in fact there were four killed at Kent State and I thought a few wounded and then there were two killed Jackson State.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: And I still remember the fact that it is a very sensitive issue that when you started talking about what happened in (19)70, you better talk about both schools.

RJ: That is right.

SM: And then the media has a tendency, and I know they did an article on this in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It was in the last couple of years, when they were celebrating past anniversaries that this this year, they made absolutely sure that the anniversaries of both of these tragic events were recovered because the-

RJ: So, the media are being influenced by the boomers too making and raising these moral issues. Okay, so no question about.

SM: Yeah, how do you respond to a person who might say a Vietnam veteran will say, "Well, you are only talking about the elites here. You are talking about those people, “Whether they are African American or white students, or Latino students who went to college, you are talking about the elites here, you are not talking about the rest of America of the boomers who never went to college, which is still the majority, the boomers who went off to war in Vietnam and never got a college degree, which was probably the majority. So how can you define that group of boomers?

RJ: That group of boomers as the one that were you, the most healing has to take place. Because they were in the fighting units in Vietnam, okay. And that type of line, the [inaudible] Eagles and the Marine Corps and that type of thing. Now, let me tell you, and they were also the labor force that geared up after Chevrolet started making shells in St. Louis, in the (19), let us say (19)65 to (19)70, they open up shell plants, and many of your major car producers went into developing, you know, shells for artillery, and so forth. Now, they-they did that, they were the ones that were doing the heavy-duty operation, or they were on the front line. Now, they, therefore when they came back, and also I think they are the most troubled Black and white, because they still are I still have men in my classes now who fight the battle of Vietnam almost on every issue that comes up in that particular classroom. And these are not the elite. These are students who are not supposed to even made it to college. But then let us go back to in terms of the drug problem. The drug problem is, I think, significantly impacted on the-the guy on the street, and right immediately subsequent to many of the GIs coming back from Vietnam, they were hooked. They stayed they state, I have had them in therapy and so forth. I am not talking about college students, they had to, in fact, use that to anesthetize themselves and the availability of it, they even talk about that they knew it was pretty much a national policy that they could get as much Vietnam, I mean, say heroin and get as much marijuana as they wanted to. The family, Agent Orange affected the middle class. Okay, that and it is still affecting the middle class, okay, in terms of that, and so even now, one of the things that is causing the prevention of that healing is that these issues have not been resolved. And we got another issue of that, where some of the babies of the boomers are experiencing the same thing with respect to the Desert Storm syndrome. Okay, so then and these are not college students. This is the run of the mill GI who is at Fort [inaudible].

SM: So, when you again, a lot of my questions that are being taken off from some of the other interviewees really been reflected from a [inaudible]. So when a person who is college educated, but certainly Vietnam says that the ending of the war in Vietnam that was not because of what was happening on college campuses, is what was happening away from the college campuses, but the media portrayed it and everything-

RJ: The media was not going to go down on those college campuses. You see what I mean? It was not going to go down there. Think about that. As another thing, if you think about it, the Kerner Report, the Kerner Report documents all of this with the US, you familiar with that, right? And the US commission on riots and civil disobedience, which came out in (19)68, okay, when it came out, it documented all of it. What happened in Detroit was a lot of frustration in terms of the Boomers who were acting up the. What happened in in Watts, that were, okay, the-the lack of civil and legal recourse that were available to people, okay, all of these types of things that that unrest and so forth, and the still oppressive nature. But see, now get ready for this, the media then was getting ready to turn a corner. So what the media did, they even staged some things that were not true. The media had begun to recognize them. Remember I said early on an interview, that the media has been the cohesive glue that networks around all of this stuff together. And the media has changed and has been extremely, let us say vocal and in pointing this out, everybody knows that nobody likes to see little Black- little white girls get killed on college campuses. Okay, so consequently, you cannot say it was made a big deal. Now I will believe that Kent State was the most significant impetus in changing policy about the Civil- about the Vietnam war than any single incident.

SM: You are [inaudible] right on that one, because I can remember that even when I was a graduate student at Ohio State back and (19)71 and (19)72. By (19)73, [inaudible] changing-

RJ: That is right.

SM: The movement just [breath to indicate vanishing]

RJ: [inaudible] got elected, a Democrat, got elected governor for four years-

SM: Oh right, and then they voted the other guy back in.

RJ: And voted Rhodes back in.

SM: I know.

RJ: You see what I mean? That saying that.

SM: Amazing.

RJ: Yes, it was amazing, was not it? But again, and that conservative impetus has been with us, we have had only two Democratic presidents since then. And one of them was suspect, Jimmy Carter's suspect of having been a Democrat, okay, because of his very conservative policies. So then since that time, we have only had one a Democratic president since that time, in terms of a liberal elite, and of course, now history showing us that-that [inaudible] is not liberal.

SM: Very middle of the road.

RJ: That is exactly right. So then we see that. So then that era hit in there, and now who is keeping him in? The boomers, therefore, you would have to say a significant number of the boomers are in fact, keeping him in there, because that means then keeping him in keeping that-that conservative bent and look at this, there- the Newt Gingrich's and so on, and so forth. But I understand and that is what we got to do. But there is hope. The hope is, that is not either or, we got people all up and down the spectrum there in terms of say, their political bent. But in the final analysis, we would have to say that people made a fundamental shift in their, in their worldview, and that worldview became that we, that you must get, in effect, the bottom line in materialism. And I think that had to do again, with the impetus of the media, the media has infused that, the media is about selling. The media is not about in fact, say doing anything, but selling and getting people to buy. So then therefore, and as people saw, people want it. And therefore now they look at the conservative bent as having more money in my pocket and the liberal bent as taking money away from me and giving to someone else. So we went back to our media induced social Darwinists. You got to be more fit than the other person. And the way that you be more fit than the other person is the one that in fact, has all the marbles, who at the end of the game wins.

SM: Yeah, it is like, one of the terms that was used, I can remember when I was in college, and I was really proud of it is that we are the most unique generation in American history, we are going to change the world. We are going to make sure that everybody is equal, that racism is going to end. Of course, the sexism issue was something that was growing too with the women's, but it was the concept of equality, we cared about others, it was hopefully others beyond ourselves, yet, you had the enigma or the what some people might call hypocrisy of a slogan that was used in that time, and I can remember having it on my door at Ohio State University in Jones Tower-

RJ: Were you part of the problem or [inaudible]

SM: No, it was the Peter Max posters that were all over Ohio State at that time. And the slogan was "You do your thing, I will do mine. If by chance, we should come together, it will be beautiful." And that, that if you say that then some people will say, well, the boomers were no different than any other generation. They are into making money that you saw what happened in the (19)70s or the late (19)70s. And the (19)80s the "me" generation they were really only into "me," they were they were very selfish, making money getting a job, they were no different than any other group. This business about idealism and being different is a bunch of malarkey. So, I know that I have not- I still have the same ideals but I am kind of wondering if I am an out- if I am an outcast. Because money-

RJ: Good. If you an outlier, good.

SM: Money is money is not the most, never has been the most important thing in my life. And in but to some people it is.

RJ: Yes, it is, a whole lot of people.

SM: And that is what they say that the boomers as a whole were no different than any other group. They just wanted to raise families, make a lot of money have a car and a couple of cars and the whole works. What are your thoughts on the boomers being at that time saying that they are the most unique generation in American history?

RJ: I think they sold; I think a significant number of them sold out. Okay. And sold out to their, their principles of the late (19)60s and early (19)70s. Okay, and but I understand it and I can accept it because I have a fairly decent understanding of the process of socialization, and that is in terms of the conformity in the normal curve, okay in a normal distribution, and that most of the people began to follow what was being infused into them. We started to invite say, like, choose our majors based upon job prospects on college campus, we were not choosing our majors based upon what we wanted to do. And when you talk to people about what they what they were going to major in when they want to go to college, they said I want to I want to major in and probably businesses or something, something that is going to make me an awful lot of money, okay. They did not think about like, if you has asked people 30 years before then. And people would have said, "Well, I want to be a teacher," or "I want to be a social worker," or "I want to be an engineer," okay, something like-they did not want to be, they had to do what was going to make them a lot of money. So they were in fights, they coopted. And consequently, and I noticed that where else who logically would have believed that a whole institution that financed the home of boomer parents, the parents of boomers would have allowed without major hysteric the savings and loan association to be robbed completely dry. And then accept that the Resolution Trust arbitrarily now takes out their checks every month, 2 to $3, from every American who has a checking account or savings account, to pay for the savings and loan institution that was robbed, literally dry, to in fact, say pay for the money that was stolen from people and many people never got. But that was not a public outcry. Because the-the moral ethical belief made a tremendous shift to that whole notion of if you can get away of the 11th commandment is, do not get caught. That is where we are now. And that is the moral principle that we are operating on that now, I do not like that about the boomers. Okay, because now is nobody- I had an Iranian who worked for me about, oh, 10 years ago. And he said, you know, America is a funny place. Nobody cares what you do. Nobody is concerned about what your profession is or what you do. Everybody is concerned about whether or not you make a lot of money in it. Okay, and that is true. Nobody cares if you own like waste management now waste management company, if you will, in fact, waste management, which is just a garbage man in my in my here generation. If you waste management, you are going to be filthy rich, because that is a big issue now but that is all people concerned about, "Can I make money at it?" So therefore, like the youngsters who are in adult right now, and what we got ourselves to really think about this, now, the papers just reported the other day that, for example, drug abuse it uses up among the children of boomers significantly, okay, the drug policy office out of the office of the White House which ascended politically to a cabinet level position was in fact wiped out with the staff. That is why Lee Brown left and went back to Rice University. As a professor, he got a chair because he saw that Clinton was not doing anything.

SM: Down to 20 people, was not it?

RJ: Down to 20.

SM: 120 to 20.

RJ: That and no budget. They just had to put, they were coordinating and everybody else, it was nothing by the show and tell position. So then that goes along with the moral and ethical hierarchy that we have which the boom- now, the boomers are very tolerant of immorality. Because you got to just come to grips with that. The babies of boomers and the boomers are very tolerant of immorality, and they lack- the babies of boomers particularly, they do not have that work ethic that we had, that many of the boomers had or if you may the post-boomers, anti-boomers had. Okay, the generation the anti-boomers had, but they do not have that same work ethic. They want to make a fast buck at any way that they possibly can.

SM: Can you talk about the drug scene that the, what was happening in the late (19)60s and early (19)70s, a Timothy Leary what his famous slogan there, "tune in to turn on turn out" or whatever it was. He said, so many of the boomers did that that they were kind of lacks. And so, the parents or the boomers today will say you cannot be judging us and our usage of drugs look at what your generation did, you think there is something?

RJ: I think there is a tolerance. You know, like, I see I see parents who know that their children are into drugs, and there is a certain resignation. That is going to happen. And it is not that they are alarmed about it like the parents of boomers would have been, they, the boomer parent is "I know what is going to happen." And "Well, my son and my daughter has a drug problem." And they kind of look upon it as a process through which they are going, they are going to go, and stages through which they are going to go. They just accept that as almost a rite of passage now. I do not see parent, I do not see most parents saying that, "Oh, Lord, I do not want my child to get into dru- Oh, my goodness, he is into drug or what have you. Well, you know, we are working with them and we are willing to spend $25,000, from the insurance company to send him or her for somewhere to dry out for 20, for 10 weeks or so or something like." They just for the middle class people, but in terms of for the less than middle class people, they see it as the one opportunity for making that buck.

SM: So that was in the intersection. That is why when you are looking at all of these issues, you just cannot just look at the issue [inaudible], you got to look at the economy again. You know, we have kind of the big sphere, that vision really causes these problems. Have you changed your opinion at all, say when I was a student at Ohio State University in (19)72, and in (19)96, and you change your opinions and all over the last 25 years toward boomers, you have taught a lot of students when you were fairly young professor when I had you I know back in the 28 or 29 it was [inaudible] Yeah. And you saw those students who were boomers and you saw many other boomers in the next 5 to 10 years that followed, and then you have also had the people of today. What are your thoughts on, I guess from-from a professor's point of view, you have seen them. You have seen them in class, but now students of all colors- what is your analysis of this these people? Have most of your students for example, have you been proud of most of your students? Have they gone on and lived up to the concept of you know, going on to education and making a career and what are your just your overall thoughts?

RJ: Ones that- I keep in contact with a with a number of them. And I have seen, it is a trend that most of them who thought they were going to work on college campuses and schools and things of this nature, social service types of job, use those positions to go into working with Xerox starting up their own consultancy firms moving into politics and things of this nature. And I do believe it has been power and money driven. Okay, I do not think that it has been altruistically driven, okay. As, now that is, that is one thing. I think it is still money and power driven.

SM: That is got to disappoint you, does not it? When you-

RJ: Well-

SM: Because when you teach in class, you are trying to extreme opposite.

RJ: Yes. But here is what I say. I think I understand reasonably well the whole socialization process. So it pleases me when I see someone like well, you remember Mac Stewart?

SM: Yes.

RJ: Okay. Now Mac, from what I heard is still at Ohio State is he is still working in student- well in University College as Assistant Dean, but I know other people who came through like him, who moved out and went in this- take Alex Moore. Alex got his degree and say, Student Personnel Administration, his PhD but went and started to work for boarding company in Switzerland. Last I heard he is in Ohio back in the international headquarters, in Columbus working for them. Now, if you take Carl Harshman, remember Carl Harshman?

SM: He was stocky.

RJ: Yes.

SM: Big stocky guy.

RJ: Yeah, well Carl Harshman has now an international consultancy firm and is a millionaire, and lives in a big exclusive area, and I am in touch with him frequently, you know. Carl it works in transitioning Japanese well I will say American owned say factories and what have you, for Japanese owned businesses. And he is coordinating that whole process of training workforces to move into say, for example, new products and everything with a big staff. He loves higher education and all that all together after working [inaudible] professor, and in fact, say like a vice president, but for Academic Affairs, at St. Louis University, and that is what he is doing. But I understand that okay, I understand it. It does not really disappoint me, I think because again, I am not so sure that some of these people, or Felicia Gaston got- do you remember Felicia? She got her, she went to [inaudible] got her degree, went to Ohio State got in student personnel and she has been with Xerox now almost 20 years. This stuff you see, I mean, and went way up the ladder to a regional vice president or something like that. Okay, so then it but that was the trend of boomers and a- the babies. Well, let us put it like this now. The babies are boomers’ children I am seeing in therapy now. Okay, they are angry as hell. The number one target of my therapy that I work with now is anger management and disruptive behavior. Okay, if they in fact are presenting as depressed or presenting as, say, with panic disorders or attention deficit hyperactive disorder, the one thing you can count on is that they are violent and angry. Okay, it does not matter what the babies are boomers now we are talking about the ones that are getting ready to go to college now. Okay, that those will be the babies of boomers. Right?

SM: Right.

RJ: Okay, so now they are in fact, they are typically identify as- white or Black- by their being extremely insensitive, object relationship oriented, not in terms of say human, but things. That is what I see now.

SM: Are they mad at their parents?

RJ: They are mad they would- some of them do not even know what that, but a lot of them are very mad. I have one anger management group on Saturday morning. And it runs the gamut from professional parent boomers or babies of professional parents to just the working mother. Okay, and the literature reports the same thing. And they are mad in terms of the idiographic, the specific- person specific ang- manage, say, anger, focus. The parents are very frequently a target of it. When you talk about nomographic, general nomothetic type of measures for them, they are it may run the gamut all the way from being angry about their future, to being angry about, say, for example, let us say about anger producing situations that are about getting along with peers. You see what I mean, provocation about getting along with peers, provocations about position- people in positions of authority, you know, they have just, have this profound sense. It is almost like it is a latent sense of jealousy that comes out in abject violence.

SM: Wow.

RJ: Okay, now, those are the those are the babies of boomers. And what is his name? Devin Bakker out at Cal- out of Colorado State University, he has found he has- he said, for example, that a co-presenting problem was generally now that is found with most people in therapy, [phone rings] whether it is depression or anxiety, or whatever, it is the issue of anger. Now, you have to have all the irrespective of where you go, there are anger issues in these schools that is tremendous. Getting back to the media, and getting back to the lack of nurturing types of parents that I am finding, okay.

SM: Which could be directly related to some of the qualities of the boomers so lack of commitment.

RJ: And, and the fact that the parenting role is unfair, see, they cognitively understand that "My dad is not here, he is not making money," or "My mom is not here, she is making money" and this type of thing. Or "My dad's not here, because, for example, my mom was doing her own thing, and she just got pregnant with me and there is no dad here." Or "My mom told my dad, I am you are going to keep me and I am going on about my way," or "I do not know who my dad is, I do not know who my mom is," or the grandmothers are raising the pre the parents of boomers are playing a significant role in raising the babies of boomers.

SM: I am seeing that too.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: It is uh-

RJ: Well, that is what I am saying that, for example, I think it is identity. It is an identity issue. And then we say we take it in targeted like that, then that means that we got to give them a sense of purpose.

SM: If you were to just say in they were the most unique generation, would you say they were most unique or they are no different than any other?

RJ: I do not think they really have that much different than any other in terms of the prolonged history in now and historical analysis. During this, this constricted contemporary, and I would almost have to say from the Industrial Revolution up to this cyberspace revolution or generation, I would say that they were adapting and are adapting to the way in which this unplanned let us say, ambience, in a global perspective, if you may wish the cyberspace is brought about, they are just inside being a part of that. So if you were to take the agrarian to the adult industrial and the industrial to the atomic and the atomic to the cybernetic, and if you were to take that, that group there from-from the what you will we just so happen to call it the boomers because, hey, what about if you made the Western expansionist if we want to do that, that was the whole movement that moved from go west young man, the [inaudible] concept from the agrarian to the industrial. So then you see, when we think about that, we could have called them something but we did not have the hook to put that on that the media gave us for the boomers that it has, and we did not have [inaudible] and we did not have other sociolog- sociologists, like that you see, and Max Weber, to have come by and given us these types of concepts to deal with. You see, so then that is what the conceptual incarceration we are in we are in fact, incarcerated in that concept.

SM: Good point. We are coming toward the end of this tape here. And then I am going to- we have another 30 minutes.

RJ: Yeah. Okay.

SM: Because of the um, we are going to get into some questions on Vietnam right now. You, I have been to the Vietnam Memorial three years ago now, I come down every Memorial Day now. I feel it is important for me to be there. I am trying to get a sense especially involved in this project, whether healing has really taken place, not only within the Vietnam [inaudible] population, but in the nation itself. Jan Scruggs wrote a book in 1982, the person who put together the Vietnam memorial, called To Heal a Nation. And so, I have looked at that I read that and a tremendous effort in terms of creating a non-political entity, where people can come and reflect it is the whole, you have been there, you have seen, the impact has on everybody, everybody, it affects them differently. They reflect them in some respects, as Jackson has said, they all reflect in somewhat of a different way, when they look at that wall. Their own- do you feel that the boomers are a generation that is still having problems with healing. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial did a great job of the veterans in some respects and families of veterans but do you [audio cuts]. Okay, here we go.

RJ: As I was saying that it may be in terms of why they were so inactive, is because if their parents were wealthy enough to give it give them, they were given everything they took so much for grant- they have been taken so much for granted. And if they were on if they were not, the social welfare system, gave them everything that they wanted, or they have insight, learned to deal with deviant ways of coping in society, that they are experts in dealing in deviancy. Think about it, you know, like, from the drug thing, to the prostitution, to the violence, to the gang banging and all of this stuff. These are deviant ways of coping with their pressures. To just simply actually-actually acquiesce to-to, to being a failure, to acquiesce being a failure is actually a deep deviant coping mechanism. [audio cuts]

SM: We just have to check on that, because your experience with [inaudible]. This might be seen- I only three more questions, and then we are done.

RJ: Okay, no problem.

SM: This may seem a repetitive question, but I think it is very important with the project I am working on again, that is why I am repeating it. Do you think it is possible to heal within a generation where differences in positions taken are so extreme? Is it important to try to assist in this healing process? Should we care and is it feasible? For example, during my many trips to the wall, I have been to several ceremonies of the veterans in the audience. Many of them have stated that they still hate Bill Clinton, they hate Jane Fonda based on the fact that they are wearing these badges that say "Jane Fonda bitch," they are all over the place. They hate those and protested the war and never gave veterans a royal welcome on the return to the mainland. The Wall was helping a magnificent way but the hate remained for those on the other side. Should an effort be made to assist in this healing beyond the wall, your thoughts? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? And basically, I guess what I am trying to get at. I know it is impossible to 100 percent deal as one person told me, is Dr. Silver, who is a psychologist up in Coatesville. He said “There is a difference between forgiving and healing. Healing, we can know a lot of veterans are healing from the war, but they cannot forgive.” So, do not misinterpret that the fact that they cannot forgive Jane Fonda or Bill Clinton means that they are not healing. You agree with that premise? That or do you agree that the efforts that the healing process should be trying to get beyond the need to forgive Bill Clinton because he was a young man at that time. And he obviously made have done something wrong in their eyes, but to constantly use hate someone; hate is a strong word.

RJ: Well, I-I do not believe that healing can take place without forgiving. Forgiving is atonement and spiritually, the only way that you can find say like, and this is psychological and spiritual, the only way that you can heal, which means to become whole is to, in fact, say like forgive, where you are giving the past a different meaning. As long as you are holding on to a past that has been self-hurting to you, and a past that has been troubling to you, then you cannot heal. And if you decide and the only person actually who can bring about that healing is oneself, one has to learn the process of change and the process of healing. And one of those things is that one has to in fact, let the past go. Do not allow the past to control your present, then you are in fact being healed. Okay, like for example, a good [inaudible] metaphor is if you allow us, you have an abrasion and it scabs, that happened in the past, it is in the process of healing. But if you in fact, allow yourself to pull that scab off, it takes it back to where it was, it was you re-hurt it again. So then the skin cannot, the scab cannot fall away, cannot harden to allow the skin to re- to become whole and is one. Okay, so this is what has been happening. I think with a lot about Vietnam, we think it is a it is a destination, it is a journey, the healing is okay, and I am in that process. The petroleum that drives that you to that journey is forgiveness.

SM: It is interesting, that brings up the whole idea that this is such a complex subject, that even when we talk about healing, the definitions are different. You as a professional, this other person is professional.

RJ: It does not surprise me because in my judgment, European men have a difficult time dealing with spiritual concepts, unless they are theologians.

SM: People will ever trust elected leaders again after the debacle of Vietnam and Watergate [inaudible] stress what effect is this having on the current [audio blip] it gets back to my question with Senator Muskie, and the fact that I can remember reading something that if you cannot trust in life, you have got to trust someone, you cannot, if you do not-

RJ: That is right-

SM: You are not going to be successful in life-

RJ: Which is true. If you cannot trust.

SM: In the long run. But there is a lot of you know, I still have that problem. I am very, not what I lot of people I trust, I mean- But positions of authority, it is always seems to be about power, its control, its takeover. It is never it is jealousy. It is you know, and I know, it is- that is part of what being a person is-is the politics of life. I know that for a fact that whenever you get into a certainly an institution of higher education, and certainly in the political reason it is and then after, and then as most boomers have done, they have grown up at a time when they saw their-their leaders assassinated, they saw political the nation come apart. They saw divisions that were so wide. And then then of course, Watergate just added on top of that you cannot trust the enemies list, you know, people looking into private lives. And you will see that extended into today with almost a George Orwell, George Orwellian philosophy of (19)84, that nothing is private, nothing is sacred anymore. Your whole private life is now on computers that can be bought. It is just an extension of the Nixon enemies list almost. You see a little bit of in the White House with the appointment, some of his people taking the Republican names, even though it may have been a mistake, someone was doing it. So, I am asking that basically, this whole concept of trust. We see amongst our college students today that only about 15-17 percent, according to last studies of entering freshmen are have any interest in politics or actually to trust any leaders yet there is interest in volunteerism is over 85 percent. So, on the one hand, we see students will obviously care about others because they are doing volunteer work. They care about others yet, maybe they do not see the sense that they themselves can be empowered.

RJ: Well, [crosstalk] they do see that they can be empowered, but the type of empowerment is obviously altruistic and not financial, and not and not receiving their empowerment is not giving which is, in my judgment, more probably more peaceful, more subtly and more if you want to talk about identity is more is more is coming and goes with whom you are more. And that you are defining yourself by what you are doing by using your talents to in fact help somebody else.

SM: That is happening on amongst today's college students.

RJ: Well, that is great, that is really great at that level, are definitely say that that is admirable, and probably in terms of the healing process of a generation, and the babies of boomers healing, maybe they are, in fact, say healing themselves. And in the process, maybe the boomers in their senior years will emulate what their children are doing in terms of reconciling. And actually, if you may, atoning by letting it go, what they have been driven by-by all these years for all these years.

SM: How do you respond on the fact that today's college students still do not vote? They do not vote. Boomers do not vote in large numbers. And boomers are the ones that are thought to have the 18 year old vote, the old slogan was a for going off to war, then we have to be able to vote, we are going to die in war at 18, then we can vote at 18.

RJ: Okay.

SM: Of course (19)68 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote. So yet but, statistics show that boomers and their kids are both not voting. And the to use Dr. Benjamin Barber, who is-

RJ: Okay but look at it like this. But then what are politicians doing about voter registration, motor-motor voter registration, have you noticed they do not want it? Why? Because they-

SM: Jackson does, because-

RJ: Wait a minute but that is not, but he is a different type of politician, he is an altruistic one. That professional politician does not want that to happen. Okay, because they know if the people if those boomers who are not about the voting vote and have AIDS to the [inaudible], they tend to also be against the established politicians. Okay, and established politician know that that is a no-no, you do not want that type of person, even to vote in the poll, you want that opinionated, if you may, either-or type person in there, you do not want the thinking person in there, the boomers, the children or boomers, therefore probably going to register more as independents, rather less and less as Democratic or Republican, which is, in fact, again, the lifeblood of democracy. So, then what they are in fact, say perhaps going toward, and incidentally, not trusting the political process, maybe will be the existing the status quo political process may be is the impetus that is going to change it.

SM: [Inaudible] since the (19)60s and still continues here in the (19)90s.

RJ: [agreement]

SM: How did the youth in the (19)60s and early (19)70s change your life and attitudes toward that in your 20s when you were teaching? You saw some of them, you saw some in your classes, and then of course, you have seen them now, throughout the years. Have they changed your life in any way, the boomers you have come in contact with?

RJ: Yeah, they gave me more hope. They did. Okay, when I think about it, but the majority of them gave me hope. It was especially when I was teaching in predominantly white schools. They gave me more hope about-about the races actually doing things together in a common end. Okay, they gave me more hope in the sense of saying that race or that quality probably transcended race when it came down to mentoring. Okay, I definitely saw that. And also, incidentally, that is why because you remember that course I had up at the prison, remember?

SM: Oh, great course.

RJ: Yeah. Okay. So then, and I am still doing some of that right now. But I remember when we had all of the young white blonde girls going up there to [Inaudible] Reformatory, which was one of the big prisons there.

SM: Tiffany Brian? I forget her name. We went with me. I forget her name Bitty O'Brian?

RJ: Bitty O'Brien. I remember her.

SM: She was a shrimp.

RJ: Yeah, and-

SM: Four foot six!

RJ: -Susan Shillman. And all of them. You know, they all went up there. So and then we were seeing that, that they had a sense of wanting to do something. But now that was, and now we also had to take into consideration that I was blinded. I did not know what was going on over the School of Business. I did not know what was going on in school of education. I mean, not education, but engineering and that type of thing I was dealing with because here is the other thing, Ohio State implemented while I was there, they implemented the early experiencing program that before you could declare your majors for the undergraduate, you had to have two years of volunteerism before you could declare your major they were just implementing that, okay. So consequently, that whole thing when you think about that, that sense of hope that I think that they the sense of commitment that they had, that they wanted to do something. But now guess what. The people, many of those people decided to get out of education, many of them decided to get out of social work. Why? Because it was not paying enough money.

SM: Right.

RJ: But now on the other hand, the enroll and we even start disseminating, we started on, say, actually dismantling colleges of education. And now we see we do not have any teachers. So now we are having to re- get a resurgence in education, again, resurgence in social work, and so forth, okay. And people now a want those jobs and want those majors. I had a child in here the other day to tell me that he was really considering which is very African American young a very smart, what have you, and his dad killed his mom. And that is one of the issues he is dealing with about six years ago, and he is still dealing with it, but he wants to be a teacher. You know, I mean, and that is unusual to find a child now that says, "I want to be a teacher" or "I want to be a minister," or that "I want to be, I want to major in criminal justice" or something. Everybody is, "I want a lot of money. I want to be a doctor, I want to be a lawyer." You see what I mean?

SM: Right.

RJ: Even my two children, remember that? Lisa is I told you is an MD at Merck now, she just moved up there last month and from-from Glaxo Wellcome. And Marcus is completing his MBA, with a baby then, is completing his MBA JD at Georgetown, one more year. Okay, look at what they chose.

SM: That was the son that I met two years ago, he was going to go to Berkeley or Stanford. What happened to?

RJ: He is at Georgetown.

SM: Oh, he is at Georgetown.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: Oh, okay.

RJ: Yeah, he is going, his MBA. He has finished in more year, he will have an MBA and JD.

SM: Wow. Two more questions, and I swear we are done.

RJ: Okay.

SM: Again, this might be repetitive when the best history books are written on the growing up years for the boomers saying 25 to 50 years from now, what will be the overall valuation? I think you have covered that in what you have said before, but as a history major, political science, which was my double major as an undergrad, one thing I was always taught is that the best history books on any era or take about 50 years. History books right now on World War Two, [inaudible] the best ones on World War Two are now. And so, we are only like, 25 years out from that era, that juncture there is a lot of books that are written, you feel that-that is, it is, it is too early?

RJ: 50 years?

SM: Yeah. But do you think?

RJ: Is it too early now to say it is some good lookout?

SM: Yeah.

RJ: Well, I do not think that is really, we have not run a full course, I agree. That I really think that is, you know, because we almost got what would be considered modernity and postmodernity within that group. I mean, that group right there. So now with the books that is going to come out and look at the transition from that, in terms of modernity, and postmodernity, which will probably be another 20 odd years, those are going to be the ones that will give us the best account of this generation, okay. The boomer generation, I think it has not- certain conclusive, let us say positions cannot be taken now. Because this in gestation, I mean that the children will say a lot about how successful the parents will be. The children's success on the children's behaviors is going to make it is going to give people the empirical data about what was apparently collectively happening with the parents.

SM: And [inaudible], could you comment on the generation gap in the (19)60s and early (19)70s and the generation gap if you sense one between the boomers and generation X. Obviously, I could talk all day, [phone rings] this generation gap when I was there. When I was a young person, I can remember this taking that sociology class at SUNY Binghamton before I arrived on the Ohio State campus, to see Wright Mills' book, White Collar, talking about fact that the IBM mentality of everybody with a top hat, with a suit, with a car out in front, the [inaudible] in the house, that was what we did not want to be. Because remember, that was when the Multiversity. I think it was-

SM & RJ: Barker's book.

SM: -Coming out there. And the revolt was that we were not going to be carbon copies of what the university or what society wanted us and we are all going to go our different ways. We are going to challenge the status quo. And that was obviously the tension between the generation, my generation and my parents’ generation. And now you see you I have raised a few things about tensions between the boomers and big things on Social Security. Every but thing's being written now that stayed in the (19)30s. Because there was an ongoing war. We have had people on our campus from [inaudible] to third millennia wars, alarming today's college students about the upcoming war on Social Security between boomers and today's children. I mean, they are saying a war is coming even before the war has happened. I do not like that terminology, "war." But I do not know. But would you- would you agree that the generation gap is any different now than it was back in the (19)60s?

RJ: Yeah, I think that is a very good point. I think it was on less serious issues back in the (19)60s, probably we thought that they were serious then. But in the (19)60s is a generation gap was pertaining to things like about whether you are going to go to college, who has the authority, and to make these decisions, and that older people out of touch in a more defiant- it was almost is we have an and say, diagnosis, we have an oppositional defiant disorder, then it was a more of an oppositional defiant disorder. But now, I think is structurally, I think that was what was happening now is that the very structure on which society is built, it is causing a rift in the generation in terms of, if you may, the issue of entitlement, okay. If you think about the issue of entitlement, what am I entitled to at 65, and-and going in my senior years, that my, my daughter will be entitled to or not entitled to and her- and my-my oldest daughter- and her children, she is a boom, a well, just yeah, she was born in (19)64. So then, in terms of her child, what will her child be entitled to? And then in terms of the workforce, you see, the older group, the older the-the boomers are going to be phasing out of the workforce. And the struc- and then with the global economy, and that issue coming in there, and what do we do with our older people and people in need? I think we are talking structural issues here. We are not we are not talk- it is analogous to, "Oh mom and dad, how late should I stay out" or "Should I in fact, engage in sex?" Now, there is analogous to that, to now it is much more serious. And that is, "what do you think about an abortion? As opposed to, "Should you not," as opposed to "Should I pit?" or "Should I be going steady?" Now the issue is, you see what I mean?

SM: Yep.

RJ: What should I be doing? What do you think about abortion as a political issue? People are now being, you see what I mean, and that this is a generational thing, or better yet not so much about what am I going to do in terms of my career, but whether or not we should in fact, be in allowing immigrants to come into the country. It used to be just, hey, you know, America, come on over. Right. But now we got much more structural issues here. I thought that-that is hitting that the infrastructure, that is actually having an impact about what our boomers going to do, as opposed to that children are going to do. And then how will we sus- how will we sustain this, the Social Security system, if, for example, we are outsourcing the making of Nike shoes to Malaysia, and we do not have those people in the in the Social Security system paying in anymore to take care of the boomers who are in fact getting older.

SM: I had not even thought of that. And I know about the social security issue. But you know, paying all the wages of people outside of this country. And this money could be coming into the United States, and that could be produced here. And that would help the divisions that could not [crosstalk]

RJ: That is exactly right but I think I am seeing something structurally happening in five years, the states will, in fact, have to, in fact, come up with- I noticed this in Wisconsin last, week before last. We saw an awful lot of young Black males working in hotels, you do not see that around here. I mean, cleaning up and everything, because Thompson out there is getting, in order to get certain types of benefits work- you got Workfare out there. Everybody is working, doing something in Wisconsin.

SM: Tommy Thompson.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: [Inaudible] writing a book out too right now. Is that Megatrends?

RJ: Okay, yeah, you know, he was being considered, he was not ready to be considered for vice presidents, but he is apparently doing something out there. His administration is, and that is what Clinton has supposedly, you know, tailored this thing. But now when you start thinking about the global economy, and then you start talking about the workforce growing, okay. I mean, workforce dwindling, and then outsourcing your-your jobs to, to whomever to the global economy. And that you know, like, I forget the name in his book, but you know, like we got we are going to have producers of information, and then we going to with the internet and everything- Maybe it is Megatrends. A female wrote it?

SM: Nope. Well, yeah. Male and female. The husband wife combination.

RJ: Okay, right. Okay. I forget who they are, they have written. Yeah, but you get where I am coming from. That is that right now you see, we are going to have different categories of who is going to be producing information, who is going to be the transportation to get the product to where it wants to go, and who is going to be the person to manufacture, and who is going to be the person to sell. That was what we got to do. And so when you think about this, think about this, at the bottom line is profit, you going to the cheapest person every time. So then, but what that does is unless you would have these centers, these-these type of centers or focus centers, you were going to get left out of the loop. And I think that is, what is getting ready to happen to the children of boomers, unless we in fact, began to reconceptualize it. But in the final analysis, we run a possible core shutdown of the whole thing. Because if the children of boomers are not paying into Social Security, then we got a problem. They do not have anything to support the people who are in fact seniors and dying out, and then they will not in fact, say like when they get a chance to move on until that, there is nobody to support them.

SM: It is pretty scary.

RJ: Yeah, it is.

SM: It was got to be addressed. It was got to be more vision, talk about the quality of vision. In a political, I am like, okay, we are talking, spending at least up to five, seven years down the road. Nine years?

RJ: It is going to be a major problem.

SM: (20)07 depending on the politician.

RJ: [inaudible]

SM: This is my last question. And again, the youth of the of that era believe they could have impact on society and government policy in the (19)50s (19)60s and (19)70s, Vietnam [inaudible] legislation. Certainly, they were involved in nonviolent protests. And the many movements, whether it be the women's movement, the environmental movement, and the-the gay and lesbian movement, the Native American movement, even the Hispanic movement at that time, and all were thrusting around that era. Although some of the critics of say the civil rights movement is not of that era, it was way before into the (19)50s. But why is society resisting this today? And why in your own words, were the sons and daughters of boomers feel less confident about their ability to have an impact on society, less desire and seemingly less opportunity? Am I wrong in assuming this question? [Inaudible] of opportunity, and by saying, less desire? I think we have probably gone over all of this already. But it is, it is something that is plaguing me. And because I- am I wrong and assuming that this is even a problem?

RJ: You are, I think you are onto something, I do not see the same commitment that they can bring about if I am understanding, that they can bring about change and wanting to get involved as readily as their parents were because now, we do have, we have a resurgence, if you may, of the media projection is one of individualism. The need is one of collective action. That is what we have, that again, creates another ambivalence. There is a need for people to collectively and altruistically be involved in things. And the, and the notion is that if I can acquire it is kind of a cybernetic social Darwinism, again, that, for example, the fastest growing businesses in the world right now in the United States anyway, are home-owned businesses, okay. And so therefore, we believe that by empowering people now, is to have a laptop and a modem. And a lot of people operating under the notion that if you have a laptop and a modem, you can in fact, work at home and do whatever it is that you want to do. So, if you got your inner sanctum there within your home, etc., you do not have to be concerned about anything else. You outsource that to somebody else to be concerned about. That is what the notion is all about. Outsourcing is the concept right now. I do not want this problem, get a private, privatize. Get somebody else to take care of it for you. Okay, and that is what our children- our children are more attuned to using me now. I mean, the boomer's children are more attun- they are not afraid to come to council. Some of them are resistant, boys tend to resist more than girls and etc. But they understand using that outsource of information they are not- they understand using agents. I mean, a good example of that, look at all these mega dollar contracts, basketball contracts that these guys got in this last year. They do not know beans about but how to go down and sort of jump the ball up, slam dunk, but they got these. They got these shrewd lawyers who are in fact working to get their money through these guys talent, outsourcing, you got some you got some talent, outsource it, get the person get your talent person and go ahead and get it.

SM: The term I [inaudible] "outsource-outsource." Is that a terminology of the (19)90s?

RJ: Yes. Outsourcing is what is turning DC around, man. Here is what it is okay. Like it used to it used to be the whole notion of make or buy, make or buy decision when you in business, do you make the product or do you buy? All right, a bakery. Do you, if you and say you own giant, giant food stores right over here, do you make this cheesecake, or do you buy it from somebody else to make it a [inaudible] or let a contract? See, here is the whole notion now. Everybody got a contract. Okay, now, just like another biggest purveyor of this concept is the Pentagon got the biggest budget in the federal government. But guess what, the Pentagon does not make one thing or manufacture one thing. Everything is outsourced to, to contracts.

SM: Senator Proxmire, remember?

RJ: Yeah.

SM: The whole fleece award or whatever [crosstalk]

RJ: Yeah, that is right. Everything is so now this down to this level right now, okay. And so forth. My son, musician, right. I mean, he also is into, he has his own band, and he is going into production, he was not going to entertainment law. Now, he has a couple of contracts on Department of Interior to put on concerts and parks in the DC area. Here, well he is doing one tonight and one tomorrow, everything is outsourced. When you in fact, say like need now, do you know one of the biggest businesses that are going on? Not owning a temporary agency to provide temporary accountants, you can provide temporary home care for your-your aging parents, you can provide temporary, a secretarial service, now you can do provide temporary anything. So, then the people do not have to run human resource departments anymore. You have not seen it probably at Westchester? Nobody, in fact, has a janitorial college. I mean, a university around here, or this building. This building does not have a maintenance person, it has, it outsources, it to a company that provides it.

SM: Yeah, that was what happened at Westchester.

RJ: Yeah, that was what happened at the university of DC. They do not have the same char-person anymore, taking care of who was on the staff. You do not have that overhead for the fringe benefits and all the rest of the stuff and you do not have to deal with unions.

SM: That is another thing that the children have to deal with. Because though even Sears Roebuck is hiring only part time people as opposed to full time.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: And all the money you are going to make is going to be based on what you sell.

RJ: Right, commission.

SM: And the dead days for all business. And then, but not giving coverage, medical coverage to employees, is one of the basic incentives for doing this, it is about cost saving.

RJ: That is right [inaudible].

SM: I have done here with the exception of the fact is, do you feel you have made an impact on American society? This question will be asked to all participants in the interview process. And as a follow up, do you feel you have made a positive impact in the lives of boomers and the members of the current generation called generation X? Some people said, you know, I cannot [inaudible]. Well, I will let you answer that. Just-just your own thoughts.

RJ: Well, by virtue of my former students, standing contact with me, the feedback that I get [audio cuts]. I fortunately am in a good position to get feedback from my people that I have been in contact with, I still stay in contact, believe it or not, I have a couple of youngsters that I was dealing with-with an Upward Bound project back at University of Illinois before I even got my PhD, that still stay in contact with me and attest to they are having gotten some from the way I operated and the way I operated, inspired them. I have undergraduates from when I was an academic advisor at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville of a few people whose still contact me, one young lady call me recently she got a doctorate and when she came into town. She was here for I think, a funeral. And she called me and I had her as an undergraduate student, and she was still talking about the way I operated as an academic advisor in these- one of the ideas developed a concept called intensive academic advisement for high risk students. When I was at Southern Illinois, at Edwardsville and she was talking about how that feel, how that helped her. And I was home for a class reunion, for my high school classroom. And a lady approached me at church and said that two of her sisters yet talk about me as being their academic advisors and both of them are very successful. And now and when they were there working on their, on their degrees at Southern Illinois Edwardsville about and when we were introduced in church that Sunday, she said that she heard my name and she wanted to come up and say to her sisters have told her about me. Now that is almost 30 years ago, right? And then of course you is an attest- you are in attestment to that. I think I have made a difference. Carl Harshman is an attestment to that, that I think I ma- made a difference. Mac Stewart is in attestment. Everly Bank, do you remember her?

SM: Was she there when-?

RJ: She was a heavyset young lady. She were-

SM: Was she there in (19)72?

RJ: Yeah, she was kind of quiet. And but she was kind of obese. She went on and went to University of Minnesota and gotten a PhD. And Everly has been at about 10 different university in the last nine years. She has gone away to California someplace now, but just loved the universi- Jackson State University where she was vice president of this type of thing. And she has I have kept in contact with her over the years, you know, and Bill Pickard, I do not know if you remember him. Bill Pickard was working on his doctorate there at Ohio State at that time. And he went into business and owns a couple of McDonald's in Cleveland, Ohio, and another one in Detroit. And get ready for this. Bill is the state chairman of the Republican Party for the state of Michigan, very wealthy guy now, right. He is in contact with me, right. [laughter] This I mean, he is extremely wealthy. I mean, I am not saying he just got a little money.

SM: Right.

RJ: He is making buku dollars, okay. So, then that is, that is how I get some of the feedback then around here. Since I have been in this area. A lot. I mean, hund-, literally hundreds of people who have gotten their degrees out of our department at-at-at UDC, and a Master's in Counseling Psychology, they are now in working in DC government, heads of departments, the chief of police in, for example, chief of police in New Orleans, is William Pennington, he got his degree out of my department, I worked personally with him setting up some programs and things when he was here over the juvenile division, right. And now he is chief of police in New Orleans. So then in that regard, and he got a lot of outreach, and he got the community policing thing going on here, you know, that type of thing. So yeah, I think I have made a difference.

SM: That is very important. And I can admit, the fact that I am sitting here that you have made a difference in my life, because I say, well, you know, when we were-were, I think the best thing that ever happened to me was when I broke my arm before I came to Ohio State and had to start late, remember I was supposed to start in the fall. And I was supposed to have, I think [inaudible] Silverman, I think supposed to be my advisor, but because I came in January, you became my advisor. And I will never forget some of the meetings we had during this. But I can never forget some of the meet- [audio cuts]. I am not sure where we were here, but you look at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, about the healing process. Do you feel that? From your own perspective, not only someone who's a scholar and intellect, a professor, but someone who has seen a lot of people and lived through that era of the (19)60s and (19)70s, the Vietnam War. Do you sense that the healing has taken place within the Vietnam veterans, and then within the nation itself between those who are for or against the war, the tremendous divisions that happened in the country at that time?

RJ: Now, we were saying and as I was saying, you know, like, I think the last term I use when the conceptual incarceration in the boomers, okay, and the same thing is true with respect to the Vietnam issue and healing. It will heal. Right now, the motives for it is not healing by people who control the media is that it is still, it raises a lot of controversy. So, then people in the media go after things that are and book publishers go after things where people are still struggling to get the healing done, cause that pain will cause them to pursue some remedy. Like you were mentioning a man who did not make the eye contact, that was a negative coping antidote that they have had, well, let us say interpersonal social skills, it is an antidote that they have had to develop probably to keep their pain down, okay. And it they have very idiosyncratic reasons for not looking at people and so forth. Now there are people who are hustling the Vietnam War thing. I still I mean, the memory of the other Vietnam War thing is still being hustled by a lot of people. And you got to understand this is a capitalistic society, we always talk about this being a democratic society. I believe that when Abraham Lincoln said in the Emancipation Proclamation, and that he was going to give everybody 40 acres and a mule that was not just for [inaudible] folk. What that was, is that everybody has really believed in a way, and I certainly believe that, when you do not get your 40 acres and mule that is promised to you in the form of a degree and a job and a, two hot, two cars with a chicken in the pot and this type of thing, people going to figure out a way to get that 40 acres and the mule, you understand what I am saying? So therefore, we have to look at some of the motives behind keeping the Vietnam War, as in fact, say aroused, arousing and as provocative as it is, were there not the media, the healing would take place. Like for example, in suppose we have Armistice Day parade of 1946. In New York, everybody still remembers that, that brought closure to when the boys came home, you remember that concept? There is a concept, when the boys came home, that brought closure to World War Two. But the fact, but if we did not have the television, the immediacy of the television, how many stories have been made even the whole doggone thing about that the guise of Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump was a takeoff on the Vietnam War, and the whole process of healing, and so forth. You just name it, you got so many different movies, and so many type books and everything. People are hustling that concept, okay. So then everything in America is about capitalism, find a way to capitalize upon. If you cannot, and a lot of people are driven by this, and this is a little dirty secret that we do not, in fact, say like, bring up. But any doggone thing that we do in this country, there is only one motive that a whole lot of people have in doing it. And that is their hustling.

SM: Making a buck.

RJ: Making a buck. Now, let us go back to whether or not- I have been down to the wall, and I went down to the wall with a group of people from home. That is the only other, that is the only time everyone that comes very [inaudible]. And the reason we went down there is because I had several friends who came to visit, they wanted to see the wall. And we knew some people who were killed. And so we wanted to see if we could find their names, which we did. And yes, so therefore it is very moving. It provokes in you, it arouses any emotion within you. But in arousing of the emotion, just like all memorials, that is what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to make you remember. And so then some people have discovered, just as people had discovered with respect to, some people have even discovered with respect to the China thing is it called the Turner Diaries, is the guy who wrote the book with respect to the whole thing about terrorism, and they believe that Timmons- Timothy McVeigh read this book, and this guy is a professor-

SM: I think it is Turner Diaries, that is right.

RJ: The Turner Diar-, okay, everybody got a motive. Why would you want to write a book like that? You see, you want to write a book like that because it sells. Okay, there could be no other real motives. I mean, so then you got to, and why does the publishing company publish a book like that, because it sells. It has no redeeming value. So, we got a lot of stuff out here, that is that is and the boomers are halfway responsible for this. Because the boomers do believe in this, obviously, they have been coopted into believing it. And that is, if it is in fact, about so called free speech. And if it is, in fact, a marketable commodity, you do it. But there are a lot of marketable commodities out here, that we are, in fact, say like, probably going down a blind alley on, that we need to begin to take a look at a little bit more. So, but now, as long as we have the time, the immediacy of the internet and the immediacy of let us say the cyberspace it is going to be very difficult healing the- this thing for the next 20 odd years or 20 or 30 year, but I think Senator Muskies point was very well taken. We are still fighting the Civil War. We are still fighting the revolutionary war in this country, okay, this type of thing. So that healing has never occurred, I mean, has never completely taken shape. Okay, and you know, there is one book out that has said, and turns that the Hare Krishnas of all people wrote "Dope Incorporated." Have you ever seen that book?

SM: No.

RJ: Okay, well, anyway, it came out about 25 years ago, and they said in no uncertain terms that Great Britain was one of the major problems, in terms- and documented it pretty well- of the major reasons why we had such a drug problem in this country, I mean a drug problem this country and Great Britain, while it does have a drug problem, not as bad as here. And they actually did some-some research to show this, okay, but now the point is, so now that means about what I mean there I am simply saying that America, Great Britain has suffered in the US of A and got it was fight and all over the country now, that it does not commit any major troops or anything like that. You see what I mean? So, they are still fighting the Revolutionary War by in fact, one analysis, allowing the US of A to in fact, go around the world and police the world, fuck them.

SM: Yeah, good point. Going to make sure this is working here. [audio cuts] What are your thoughts on these former leaders of the left who have now totally condemned their past, are writing books like Cora Witts and [Peter] Collier, who decided that what they did in the past was totally wrong. And so, they have written books like "Destructive Generation," basic, condemning anybody that was ever involved in the left in the movement. And we have seen, I have seen quite a few of these books coming out recently. It is part of the, I guess, a good way of attacking the boomers in that era, and those who are involved in those types of issues.

RJ: Well, but I think it is also a part of becoming, if you may, going from one stage of the realization stage into the examination stage it is a process of growing old. It happens that people think back and reflect on things that they have done. So psychologically, what is happening there is there is a kind of a catharsis that is going on, cleaning out one's mind, giving it a different giving some things that one has done, it is a kind of a repentance, okay. I do not think that it can ever be helped. I mean, as Muhammad Ali said, great philosopher, a man who thinks the same way at 50, as he did at 20, has lost 30 years of his life. Okay, so then in that regard, I think it is it is impossible for one not to completely alter one's thoughts, by virtue of the process of living is a process of change, and one who invite things identically and does ident- well, if you think identically the way that you did at 20, if you do at 50, as you will at 50, then obviously, you going to act the same way. But if you alter that, and then so then therefore, some people are feeling that same pain that we are talking about that some of the people from Vietnam have experienced, they [inaudible] for documenting it, now I am not against people writing books, but I do know that there are some people who do not let things die, because, for example, they are hustling, okay. And there are some people who do it for a legitimate healing purpose. And that book that that person is writing probably is-is beneficial to other people who are still feeling the pain, because they do not have the medium to say it. So when they read it, they can, therefore cathart themselves, they can vicariously cathart.

SM: Good point there, how am I trying to hustle with this book.

RJ: That is okay. [Inaudible]

SM: The basic premise I have in this book is, I had not even thought about that I just want to do something to create better understanding, where you get a wide variety of perspectives, and to not be judgmental toward any individual that I am speaking to, is to let the others read these interviews, and let them judge to know that people are still thinking about it trying to create a better understanding between those who are for and against the war. Also, to try to understand where conservative liberals think today and how they are somewhat judgmental toward an entire generation. Where in reality, there is much more, you can never generalize anything, because it is a very complex issue-

RJ: That is right.

SM: -As everything is. What I am trying to do here in this next segment is to just give you some names of some individuals who were obviously well known to all boomers, they may not be known to some of our gen X people. But just some basic comments on your thoughts, whether you feel these people were positive or negative influences in America. And also secondly, what your thoughts might be in terms of how boomers may look at these individuals, not only then and now, the first two are Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda.

RJ: Again, from one perspective, they, they were very important during the early (19)70s, and so forth. But now, they tend to add credence to my hypothesis that we are, in fact driven by the buck. Because especially Miss Fonda, who has married one of the richest men in the country and one of the most powerful men in the world, and so forth. And she has all of her little mechanisms- she is selling her name. She is, that is her hustle, okay. So then so then therefore, I do not hear her talking, she may be using her money I therefore I cannot say she may be using her money to support social causes, rather than her making trips to Vietnam and places like this. She could very well be doing that. I do not know. But demonstrably now what I see her doing all the time is in the ballpark eating ice cream with Ted Turner. So then, and I have incidentally, I have one of her treadmills in my house. Okay, which is a non-motorized one. So I think it was a good treadmill. I like it is somebody telling me my doctor was saying one thing about Jane Fonda's treadmill is that they do not have any motor to break down them. And that was absolutely right, it was a darn good investment. So then I do have that. But now and Hayden is now doing his political thing. Is that right? In California,

SM: He is going to be at the convention this next week as a delegate for California.

RJ: Okay, fine. So then he decided that he was going when we, as a child, you act as a child, and when you become an adult, you throw those childish things away. So, then I got to say that I that does not surprise me. For a person who is rational, I do not expect that they would not fight, c'est la vie. Hayden would be more of an example of a person who, in fact, in my judgment, decided to keep his-his cars out for public scrutiny. It is a little bit difficult when Jane Fonda marries for example, as I say, somebody like Ted Turner, but I do not know what they do behind the scenes. See, I just do not know that. And when she is out front with marring him, and then all of a sudden, she retreats, apparently, I do not keep up with her daily itinerary, okay, so I cannot say.

SM: How about Lyndon Johnson?

RJ: Lyndon Johnson will always be remembered with a positive legacy, in my judgment, in terms of giving the little guy a shot, okay. And I think that he will singly in history go down as a president, to have done more to try to give the African America before we had all the other minority- a shot at a piece of the pie. I think he will go down in history as being a great politician as well, there is no question about it. He was a great politician. I think Lyndon Johnson, however, though, will be used by conservatives. And as he has been used now, there will be programs of the Great Society, the two that I know is still going on are Head Start and Upward Bound, okay, the rest of them have just devolved, been all wiped out. And they were designed to give the-the less fortunate people in our society, the more oppressed people in our society, an opportunity to get ahead. There is nothing like that anymore. So he, Lyndon Johnson's the thought of him still for the boomers who were committed to civil rights, and to human rights, still has a very special place in their hearts.

SM: But he was also caught up in that Vietnam trap, you know, the Vietnam War.

RJ: Yes. Yeah. In terms of the Vietnam War, it was obvious that it-it caught it was a precipitating event that caused him to actually resign from the pres- I mean to not seek the presidency again, okay. It is no question, and I think his failing health as well. But I think in terms of the historical period, that he could only do what his advisers were telling him to do. So then, therefore, it is just a matter of taking it and placing Lyndon Johnson with anybody else, and they would have done the same thing.

SM: How would you put John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy?

RJ: Kennedy always, but well both of them gave the aura of, gave the impression that they, too were for change. That is what I think they will both be remembered by. And they were also they gave the aura of the emergence of the of the, the emergence of the importance of youth in making decisions and playing a role in our society. And I think that that aura has, in fact continued on because before JFK, age did not appear to be that much of an issue about Presidents. But now that is definitely an issue and it has stayed with us for a long period of time, okay. So then and again, it was hoped, because here was a Catholic and a young person, and someone from New England who in fact could get to be president. So they get and his, and also it kept, it certainly kept with the both of them the whole notion that nepotism is a reality.

SM: How do you, this is a brief takeoff. That, that John Kennedy in particular is more of a pragmatic politician, and unless he was [inaudible] political pluses getting involved, for example, in the [inaudible] that was initiated by Harris Walker, who basically made that recommendation, and then, and certainly African Americans linked up with him, but he did not make a whole lot of decisions unless they were pragmatic. And so that was- he has been criticized as someone who was more pragmatic, sometimes Bobby Kennedy is looked upon as someone who was really evolving at the time in (19)68. A true compassion was really in Bobby as opposed to John, who was more pragmatic. You see that in between the two?

RJ: Well, we, Bobby for was not, Bobby was not inside the beltway type of politician. And maybe in Boston, he was okay. He was getting a B, I think, operating at that level, but he was kind of a hatchet man, kind of cruel. You know, in other words, and crude, I should say, kind of crude, and supposedly very cool, too. I mean, for people who knew him that he did not pull any punches, and so forth. So consequently, I think you are right there, he was an idealist at that point in time. But now another thing, while JFK was said to have been very practical, if you take a look at history, JFK is actually-actually was the driving force behind affirmative action, you will actually find that in terms of, he was getting ready to sign the executive order. He had, in fact, I am trying to think- was it Shultz? Whom was in fact say like, working under him at that time. But in June of (19)93, he was getting ready to issue the executive order, in June 22 (19)63. And he was actually kicked off our formative action, they actually use that word. And, and three months, four months later, he was assassinated. Now, a lot of folks do not know that, that in fact, it came into reality in terms of affirming, believe it or not, under Richard Nixon, when-when it was actually signed, it has never been a law. That was when most, you know, everybody always says affirmative action law. It was never a law. It was an affirmative action, an executive order 110243 or something like that. Look it up. But now, but JFK was the impetus behind that, all right. And if you take a look at that, then, so he had a lot of ideals, that while he was he was practical, and so forth. And he was sage, and he knew national politics, itself. And he will always be questioned about some of the decisions that he made, especially the Bay of Pigs thing, right. And that type of thing. He is always going to be suspect in history. And I do not, I do not know if, for example, 50 years from now, I really do not know if history is going to be good to JFK, okay. Because of all of the things that we do not know about the assassination that is eventually going to be known.

SM: That is right. I think it is supposed to come out in the year [inaudible], a long way off.

RJ: That is a long way off.

SM: It will be revealed then though, if the family is okay-ed it to be revealed. In fact, I think Teddy Kennedy is now the subject, I think Teddy Kennedy knows more than anyone, but he is you know, not going to reveal it to the world.

RJ: That is right. So, then I really do not think right now, what our perception of JFK is going, is now is certainly going to change once all of that all we know and all is known about that. That assassination is revealed.

SM: A couple other people here and I got quite a few of them, Huey Newton and Angela Davis. Now let me reflect that at the end I have had different commentaries from different individuals. Some people's whole slogan, you have heard this term, "Everybody has their 15 seconds or 15 minutes" [inaudible] what you comment, I have had one person who said that [inaudible] society at that time [inaudible] radical and Angela Davis, even though she was smart, and an intellect, is a communist. And I think what the term is, they had their 15 minutes of glory and that was it. How would you rate both Huey Newton and Angela Davis?

RJ: I think to, they meant different things to the Black intelligentsia, the Black intelligentsia boomers now, okay, see them as heroes. I am not so sure that they made that much a differen- and-and that a white intelligencia saw them as hero. That is right, I think it is a class thing here. I do not think that the- and the media, of course, they were exciting to follow and this type of thing. And but obviously, Huey Newton had a lot, and we are going to find out something else about that, it is questionable as to whether Huey Newton was killed the way he was killed. Huey Newton had very significant political implications in the state of California, among the Black intelligentsia. Huey Newton was in fact, when he was killed, had just I am told now, had just received a PhD.

SM: Yes. within about three to four months, and I have the book-

RJ: Was he going to get it or had just received it?

SM: I think he had his PhD.

RJ: Yeah, he had jus- yeah.

SM: And he was caught selling drugs? I could not I could not see the contrast.

RJ: No.

SM: Does not make any sense.

RJ: No, that was probably that- that was probably, that was very suspect. Just like we were saying about, I cannot think of, AD was that Martin Luther's brother, AD King?

SM: Oh, yes, the yes.

RJ: Yeah. Yeah, there is something suspect about that. And there is something suspect about what happened to Huey Newton. But Huey Newton was a very recognizable name and face in the state of California. And with his getting that PhD, it would ascend him to possible to the statute of Willie Brown, it would have. Huey Newton had more name recognition in the most popular state in the country than Willie Brown, among the black intelligentsia, and people of East LA, and, and people of San Diego, that whole Boomer generation there. So therefore, it was a reason why Huey Newton was killed.

SM: Yeah, who drowned. Of course, he was living in Oakland at the time.

RJ: Yes.

SM: Yeah, I can remember that, I can remember reading that he was shot to death walking down the street, and that did not make a lot of sense. I just, I could not, I just made no sense. And that was where right and that was the end of it.

RJ: I mean, that is the way to go, okay. Did it pop?

SM: Oh, no, that was [inaudible]

RJ: Okay. Okay, so now-

SM: And Angela, she is teaching the University of California Santa Cruz. She is there now as a full professor.

RJ: Okay. Now, again, Angela Davis. First of all, if people never did completely understand communism, and they do not know just how much communism we have going on in this country right now, when you really think about I think they were making a move yesterday was a major move and moving further away from communistic, if you may, economic principles in terms of welfare, but it is still limited. Communism is-is what Angela was, in fact, advocating for that time. And what is actually going on in this country is not that far away. We have more communism right now in the USA than they do in Russia. Right now. Okay, with the state provides more to people right now. See, we take away one thing, and that is when the state is providing that is the communism right. So, when you take away for example, one day, you take a wel- when you change your welfare laws, and you take them and you turn them around, but the next day you provide for universal medical care, Medicare, a medical-medical insurance, so then for all intents and purposes, you are just trading off one for the other. But and then you say you actually going to give a block grant to the states to run their welfare system for the bill that Clinton signed yesterday, that is nothing but typical communism. Okay, so then in that regard, it is another one those conceptual terms that incarcerate people to bring about, they keep this this conflict going. That we must have to have democracy. Because if everybody start saying, fire up the furnaces, we got a problem. Okay. I mean, I am talking about people got [inaudible] five departments for all the liberals, [inaudible] no, we should not have a one. So that is what the Founding Fathers, I think, did do in that great constitution, which is not a voluminous thing. And that is it provides to ensure that there is conflict. There is conflict.

SM: That is, seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

RJ: But guess what, you can never have a totalitarian state like that.

SM: That is right.

RJ: As long as you can keep conflict going, you will never have a totalitarian state. So many of the Supreme Court decisions that have in fact, say precipitated the area of one constituency, made another one feel good, and vice versa. So then in that regard, that is really what democracy, the lifeblood of democracy is conflict.

SM: And I will never forget when I was in California, the Bakke decision when that came out, I think in (19)79. Wow. The conflict was out there in the press and everything that happened at that time. Or the affirmative action decision in California right now. Yes.

RJ: Okay. And that is, that is bringing about a lot of conflict. But you have to live a while to get to where you can understand these things, okay.

SM: Well, and there is this I think there is some truth to this fact, too, that the more you know, the less you know.

RJ: And the more questions you write.

SM: Yes, definitely. Timothy Leary. Anything, your thoughts on him?

RJ: Hustler. [laughter]

SM: He has got a brand-new book out by the way.

RJ: Bless his, may his soul rest in peace, you know-

SM: His ashes are going to space, I think.

RJ: Is that right?

SM: Yeah, part of his ashes.

RJ: That was his desire?

SM: Yes.

RJ: Okay.

SM: I saw, I think the next space capsule, well his ashes are going to be going up there, in a satellite [inaudible] will be permanently up there.

RJ: Well, I, now that, Timothy Leary never really appealed to me back there in the early (19)70s I guess it was. It never, he really never appealed to me because I thought that it was almost like carnal knowledge. Okay, that he was taking advantage of young minds. Okay, for a self-hurting reason. I cannot see how spacing out on acid was going to have any redeemable effects on anybody. Okay. I mean, even on a chimpanzee or on a cobra or what have you is just not going to in fact have any-any human- a Cobra differently. But if you just put him out in the wild and give him an acid it would not have he could not de- or she could not defend him or herself. So consequently, I just never really got into that. And I think people use that to actually as a subterfuge to-to be in denial. Okay.

SM: How about people like Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin?

RJ: I think they served a purpose. I really do. I think that they are being at that convention, and what have you in (19)68. That convention was very important. That convention made people look at law enforcement and the power of people like Richard Dale. Okay, and in terms of say, the they were part of democratic society, Students for Democratic Society, were not they? What were the-

SM: They were the hippies.

RJ: They were the yippies, okay.

SM: Youth International Party.

RJ: Okay, fine. I think that they made people again, in terms of the role that they played, not just for in fact, say, getting away and moving to the hills and things of this nature. And so far, I do not think that that was necessary. I think it made people think about the alternatives. But I really do think that the that Abbie Hoffman and Rubin and the kind, and the publicity, they got in New York-New York, Chicago, and in that (19)68 convention, I believe that it actually had some impact, because it got international attention.

SM: How do you respond to the criticism of them that they never grew up? For example, Jerry Rubin although did change and was actually doing quite well. And say Ronnie, that he died doing something illegal, jaywalking in Los Angeles, he got hit by a car. But Abbie Hoffman killed himself just outside of Philadelphia couple of years back and he only had 2000 in the bank. He should have been very rich with all the lectures he had done, books he has written, gave, had given all his money away, wrote a note that when they found them that "No one was listening to me anymore." And that was why he killed himself. Now, I when I saw that, I says, "Is that symbolic of the boomers?" or at least those who were involved, no one has listened to them anymore. Or, or maybe a lot of them have gone on with their lives, but a lot of just a lot of those issues. Nobody has listened to those issues anymore. Some of them that still exist. So when you look at the death of an Abbie Hoffman, he was more true to his cause than Jerry Rubin who went into making a lot of money, whereas Abbie Hoffman went underground.

RJ: [Inaudible]

SM: Yeah, and then and then he was a Hudson, he was doing [audio cuts]

RJ: He was a, his testament was, in his last will and testament, "I want you to remember me as a spoiled brat," you know, he, and "I get people to listen to me, so I have a temper tantrum," and the temper tantrum was, I kill myself.

SM: That is a good observation, because somebody said that. Another person said that too, that. But do you think that getting apart from him, that some of those issues that were happening in the late (19)60s early (19)70s, that he, that maybe that message signifies our truth, that no one is listening anymore. In other words, there is no more racism anymore, or it is not as bad as it was back then. So, let us you know, it is, it is still got a long way to go for improvement. But it is not as it is not a major issue today. So thus, let us not, so that I think that is what he was trying to say there.

RJ: Well, it is still a major issue. And unfortunately, probably what he had done was that he was playing to the same crowd. And the same, reading the same data and recognizing that there were other forms of, of these issues. And if you look, if he had looked carefully enough, these are universally issues, even the issue of racism biblical antiquity, literature will in fact say, show you that racism was a reality, you know, years before Christ. So consequently, it will be a reality years and eons after we are in Saigon. So then, provided there is a world. Okay, now, that is a question. I mean, in terms of the environment, that is a very significant issue. So then, but he was not getting the responses probably that he got at one time because people are so bread and butter right now. And that is by being bread and butter. I mean, people just are not articulating, it is just like being a subscriber to a cable channel. It is so much dog- I mean, to a cable network of televisions and satellite- you got so much to choose from now. So, it is no sense in talking about did you see I Love Lucy last night, because hey, that is a stupid question as anybody now, okay, why. Because it got so many darn choices.

SM: That is right.

RJ: But see, it used to be you had to, at one time you see mom and dad all looked at the NBC channel. But even I just think I am not even getting into ABC. I remember what it was only NBC. Right, then that was CBS and ABC. So you had three, then it was a UHF channel. But now, now, it is stupid, everybody got so many other things that they are consuming, that he missed the boat, that he had begun, he was still believing egotistically that he was the center of the universe.

SM: That is a good point. I got quite a few of these here, Richard Nixon.

RJ: Well, Nixon, interestingly, apparently is perceived as somebody very significant in history. And the reason I said that is when I looked along his gray side when they televised his film, first of all, he as the president was ostensibly disgraced. And when they had his funeral in San Clemente, they had all of those debates or dignitaries that he ever knew and who had ever been anything in Washington, and all the networks carried. Okay, now that says something about it, about Richard Nixon, the man. It is no question about it, that he was on an ego trip as well. But interestingly, from a perspective of an African American man, Nixon is going to, history will show in terms of the chronicle, that African Americans made more progress under Nixon than any other president. That data are available with respect to housing, with respect to jobs, with respect to money, with respect to the SBA with respect to the 8(a) project that was developed to give Black people, at that time that was before it was women and minority was for Black people. Okay, this section 8(a) of the Small Business Act of (19)69 or, I think it was or (19)71, it is going to show that, okay. Black colleges did better under Richard Nixon than any other president. A lot of folks do not know that. So he was so slick, that he could have he could have things going. And that was why he had the name Tricky Dick. Okay, he has things going that history is going to be good to Nixon on. And that Nixon also, in fact, is going to show that he did in fact, have, he started this whole thing of over coordinating dealing with China and the, the Soviet Union. Okay, he is going to get credit for that, all right. So then we look at it realistically and empirically, I think history is going to be good to Nixon. If you look at what it meant to Black people at the time, I am not sure that how much of this did not ride in on the crest of the waves from the residual of Lyndon Baines Johnson, okay, because, and I could have insights on that. But now in the way he was operating, apparently, in the White House, it was obviously criminal what he was doing and he knew it and that was why he had been invited to go ahead and resign rather than be impeached. Okay, so now there is no question about that, he overextended his power is no question. But it does appear as though he was actually making a resurgence. People were giving him a lot of credit and so forth for the things that, calling upon his ambassadorship, free will ambassadorship that he was-was capable of doing. But at the time that he was in office, most African American and significant number of American people really were suspect of him. He never was completely really trusted.

SM: Those enemies list, remember the enemies list?

RJ: Yeah, I know. [crosstalk] on there do we start talking about empirical growth and development and things that happened, history is going to be good to Nixon. Things happened when he was president.

SM: He had that amazing quality of [audio blip] all throughout his life and towards the end.

RJ: And given and giving and getting things done. Nixon, things got done under Nixon. That was just very interesting. I think history is going to be good to him.

SM: A lot of people here include George McGovern, your thoughts on him?

RJ: Too good. Okay. McGovern was seen as I mean, it was a backlash, that McGovern was always a very intellectually astute man. I think he had an excellent mind. Had was a, was a great senator, South Dakota, right?

SM: [agreement]

RJ: Great senator from South Dakota, excellent for representing his state. But not for in fact say like, I mean for, now this the way I saw him, but not in fact say, for representing where America was at that time. Americans were still ambivalent about the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was, it will be seen that it ended under Nixon, you know that. So consequently, Nixon was on a roll at the time. And McGovern was seen as too weak to middle cla- so I was in Ohio at the time. The people in Columbus, they just saw him as a very weak person, and I am talking about white and Black, predominantly white people. I saw him in my judgment as being very weak. And they did not want that perception of a leader at that time, okay. And they did not want an intellect that that at that time. The economy, or we were coming off of, it was unsure, and they were taut and nothing we had to wage and price stuff. Remember that? Yeah, when they froze wages and froze prices at the store, the inflation was zooming. You know?

SM: I was at the Columbus airport when he came there because I just graduated from Ohio State and was that my first job at Ohio University at Lancaster.

RJ: Okay, yeah.

SM: And I remember driving out to the [inaudible] driving out to that airport with [inaudible] I could not see him. He did not even hardly leave the plane area, got off, spoke and then he took off [laughs] but I remember that as plain as day. Eugene McCarthy. Intellect, extremely bright, too bright for the public. Or to understand. He was even a poet, you know? Yeah, he wrote poetry, lotta folks did not know that, okay. True. Good senator. For representing what was that- Wisconsin?

RJ: Minnesota.

SM: Minnesota. I knew it was one of them, okay. Right, [inaudible] this senator for representing that body of people. But the Americans could never buy into anybody that genteel. Let us see, Martin Luther King Jr.

RJ: History will be very good to Dr. King. He did he represented hope for the country. He is a, he is a credit to America will always be in a credit to America. His philosophies will at one time be quoted just as Mahatma Gandhi's or Chairman Mao, I think that there will become Qingyan philosophy school, that will eventually get there. And I think that is in fact, what were young African Americans will eventually open up in terms of nonviolence in everything that they do, that that is going to catch a hold. And he gave again, he had a lot of theological impact with respect to his outreach ministry, caused all churches to in fact be different and to put, and caused the Vatican to look at things differently. And also, his ministry. And the and his leading the ministry redefined what a minister is supposed to be about. And furthermore, he will always be remembered as the champion of human rights. I think that what he did for human rights, is-is probably not, is underrated in terms of, of the movement. If you look at solidarity, and if you look at the slogan, and if you look at the [inaudible] raids, and you know what I mean, and that type of thing, and if you look at their singing We Shall Overcome and things of this nature, that has become the battle cry for everybody who is perceived to have been say, oppressed. So the human rights movement was, was spawned from that Civil Rights movement which Civil Rights, and Martin Luther King will always be remembered synonymous.

SM: As I said, from going in his church down in Atlanta, the embodiment of what he was all about, and certainly what his dad is all about. I am sure a lot of churches had the same feeling. But the Ebenezer has to know that. We are all appreciated. We are all equal. There were no judging of anyone. And certainly, Reverend Robert could be proud, and certainly Reverend Victor, King has got to be in his glory. Seeing the Reverend Victor there, that young minister and [audio blip] coming minister, in fact there is several of them. Barbara Jordan when she died, you may have seen the funeral on C span. The minister in Houston, Texas, what a young man he is, the early (19)30s out of New York City, who was not, was her minister, and one of the most important qualities that she possessed is that when she came to that church as she was a, well, she was a well-known figure that could have sat in the front pew. But she wanted to be treated like [audio blip] that was what they came into. She had these great qualities about her, but she was a petite. [audio blip]

RJ: Wow.

SM: Queen of the people, she was of the people. So, just a couple other names, and we got a couple of questions that end it here. Robert McNamara, just a few thoughts on it, obviously some of these people are.

RJ: Well, Robert McNamara. Great rhetorician, had an excellent mind, will not be remembered as a great secretary of defense because of the Vietnam War. Okay. On the other hand, was extremely persuasive, had awesome power. Okay, with respect to the Johnson administration, and so forth, and Johnson, right? Yeah, he was the Johnson admin- he will, but he will not be remembered as a great secretary of defense because the Vietnam War, but had a lot, had the ability to handle a lot of information, which was persuasive and kept the American people kind of ambivalent about whether they ought to support the war or not support the war. You know, he was a, if you remember, the one thing I remember about him that he reminds me and maybe Ross Perot picked up some things from him was that he was so good with charts and graphs and things like that, you know.

SM: To the General Motors, because that was where he came from.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: And the- a whiz kid at General Motors.

RJ: Right.

SM: Of which, if you read that book, four of them killed themselves, committed suicide, of the original 10. [audio blip] Wizkid General Motors, where they came from, because he [audio blip] have the money in that position, why he went to, became Secretary of Defense to earn what? 50, 60 thousand, well he already made his money. But it was interesting that the four of the 10 killed themselves. [audio blip] Hubert Humphrey.

RJ: Great, again, great senator from Minnesota, too genteel for the country. At the time that he was coming out, people he, he was victimized by the ambivalence again, that people had about the Vietnam War, and so forth. He was victimized because he was trying to succeed I will say JFK, and I do not think that, you know, at that time, he just was history, the epoch in history where he was, did not allow him to in fact say, like, do what I think he has the potential to do. But then again, I do not think that he was ever, he was not electable in Calif- I mean, California was not going to be for him, Ohio was not going to be for him and things of this nature. He was a good senator, but he was not the one that dealt, he was not going to be able to operate on a on a national stage.

SM: How about George Wallace?

RJ: George Wallace, he repented, but I am not so sure he would have repented, if in fact, say like he had not been made a quasi, let us say, invalid. So then he did nothing good for the country at that time. I do not see any redeemable value that George Washington played for the country during that he was divisive-

SM: Wallace, not Washington.

RJ: I meant as I said, I mean Wallace. Yeah, you know what I meant, yeah, okay. George [laughter] George Wallace did at that time, okay, so consequently, that is one of the character traits that I would have to look at in terms of saying so called national leaders. And he was very divisive. He was a racist. Wherever he is now he is a racist, it is just that he is not, he is probably trying to in fact say, like, repent by virtue, obviously- he is still living right.

SM: Oh he is not very well.

RJ: No, I know, but just barely hanging on. Yeah. So then in that regard, wherever he is, now, he is at the core, I would like to think that he has forgiven himself and therefore is not a racist right now. Okay, he did make some statements that suggest, I read somewhere a few years ago, that he was not a racist anymore and this type of thing. But he was hustling, that was what he was doing. He found him a concept on which he could hustle and hustled that racist concept.

SM: Yeah. How about the Berrigan brothers and Dr. Benjamin Spock?

RJ: I think the priests- both of them were priests, right?

SM: Yeah.

RJ: Okay. I think they were committed to what they were doing because they took some real chances, in terms of being involved in actually violent demonstrations, were not there?

SM: Yeah, and they were responsible for burning the draft cards.

RJ: Yeah, I remember that. And then dumping blood somewhere, or at least some bolly blood, I do not know, if it really blood in some, one of the draft stations or something. I think they were very committed, okay, to what they were doing, and that they and to, in fact, go against the edicts of the church to do it, the Catholic Church. I think that they, that showed their commitment. They therefore would have to say, would be considered as somebody that did have an impact on ending the war. And but of course, you could say that they also had an impact on people having a bitter taste in their mouth about the war. Okay. Now Dr. Spock provided this catechism that insight, in my judgment, a lot of parents, he has reversed his field now. This permissiveness that he talks about and advocated. He has now run a recent talk shows as well, I have not read anything that he has done.

SM: He has a book out in 19, uh, came out a year ago, hardback.

RJ: Okay. Have you read it?

SM: No, I have not read it. They say he has, he has changed [audio blip]

RJ: I think that he was misguided. In terms of say, he gave people some real deleterious advice on how, about child rearing. There is no question about it. This permissiveness that we know of now, and what some parents are still hung up on, okay. Really did foster a lot of their misguided thoughts.

SM: How about Muhammad Ali?

RJ: Will go down in history as one of the greatest fighters, obviously, but a great humanitarian, who was extremely courageous. And because he was one of the first, he was the first public figure that spoke out and said he was against the ware, okay. So again, and that was very much, that was 19, I know I will not forget it, that was (19)63. When he was saying whenever he was drafted, he preempted the war. And when he was drafted, said that he was not going to go, if I am not mistaken, it was about that time.

SM: I think it was, I am not sure the exact time- you are right, though, everything- I am not sure the exact time he came to Columbus. When I saw him in Columbus. And when I was working at Ohio University, he had been stripped of his title.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: And he came to-

RJ: He came back.

SM: -the daycare center and he spoke at the Ohio theatre and what [inaudible], because man, the people of Columbus, well the sort of nature that that city was, they did not come out in large numbers.

RJ: No.

SM: I was there in an upstairs area, he was paid $5,000. It is a memory I will never forget. He spoke as a really good speech about his protest against the war in Vietnam. He did not talk hardly anything about boxing or anything, it was all about the war. And after it was all over, he took the $5,000 that he was paid and said, "I do not want anything here. You can take it." And that is the person he was.

RJ: And people never saw, they saw the flamboyant side that he was, but if you look at some of his history, and what have you, he had a heart of gold. Okay. And everybody saw him and but not everybody else has repented on him. History, the current contemporary history is being good to him and I think it is going to even be better to him, as was attested to his being selected to light the charge at the at the Olympics. Okay, I think that was symbolic of just how much the world loves Muhammad Ali.

SM: He is the most recognized person in the entire world.

RJ: That is right.

SM: John Kennedy is probably the second or third because they Kennedy and Muhammad Ali's pictures, like in villages all over the world in the smallest places. And when you think of it Kennedy, has been dead since (19)63. And Muhammad Ali has been out of the limelight since the late (19)70s. That is just amazing. I, you kind of wonder too what, if Muhammad Ali did not have Parkinson's disease, and he was able to speak, he would obviously be [inaudible] more mature, what he could be doing and helping today's society. I want to make sure I got a couple of key questions at the end and I want to make sure I do not use all of [ inaudible] getting down there. And that was my last, couple other names here, you can just, just a couple of brief words on all of them, Spiro Agnew.

RJ: Yeah [inaudible] No redeeming values [laughs] as I can see a whatsoever to the time that he was in office except to make people see how bad it could be.

SM: Okay. Sam Ervin.

RJ: Great man, I was very always intrigued by his simplicity. And that he could speak volumes with very, very parsimoniously and his use of a southern parable. And the way that he would always have kind of a self-demeaning type of humor about him, that lets you that will allow you to know that he has already seen where you are coming from.

SM: One of the important things, I got a couple of books by him and one of them is signed. And that is, that he was against integration.

SM & RJ: At one time.

SM: So, when you look at this, this senator who really no one knew about until sort of the latter part of his life, and see some of the people, there people always, that is another thing about today, you always got to find the negative in something, you can never, you cannot be perfect.

RJ: That is exactly right.

SM: John Dean.

RJ: John Dean was, he was at that time, I guess you could say, he was what you would consider where most boomers were at that period in their lives, and that is doing whatever was necessary to acquire power. And that was why I saw him, that he was being used, that he in fact cut a deal to save his neck obviously, as most people will do. So that is not anything that bothers me.

SM: [Inaudible] doing it now.

RJ: Yeah, that is exactly right. Cutting a deal to save his neck. And, but on the other hand, obviously very bright. Okay, but it was he had him a hustle and he was trying to get the best out of it.

SM: How about Daniel Ellsberg.

RJ: He had a lot of redeeming value in my judgment. He took he put his career on the line for what he was about, okay. And he knew that they were that there was going to be a backlash. The president cannot even get to a job in Washington, if you are blackballed. You know, it is just that powerful. If you blow the whistle, believe me, right now the president cannot get you a job. So then when a guy decides to do that, the only way the President gives you a job is that he says "Yes, I am going to put you on his staff or one of his [inaudible] staff, or get somebody somewhere else to give you a job" but you, it is hard to in fact say, once you a whistleblower, is difficult to get a job in the city.

SM: How about Barry Goldwater?

RJ: Goldwater I do not think was as bad as people thought he was when he came across as if though he was a, you know, a butthole. But I do not think he was as bad as people really thought he was at the time. I am not so sure history is going to be that bad to Goldwater, okay. When-when it was finally written, and people read it and do they interpretations. And if they look at the type of man that Goldwater was, and he did give a lot of himself to Arizona and things of this nature. He was very partisan, obviously. And that respect, he may not he was not-not going to be good for the country. But I think that is some stuff prior to his becoming Senator it is more speaks more about him, than when he became Senator. And his running for president was obviously about public relations disaster.

SM: [Audio blip]

RJ: Kind of say for example, I guess you can say that she was charming. She may got the she got the title of being kind of the, I guess you can say the maid of women's liberation and so forth, but in a way she was she was charming just enough to take away some of the credence from the women's liberation thing. I always thought that she was kind of manipulative, and that she really was not as staunch a feminist as she projected.

SM: And Ralph Nader.

RJ: I think Mr. Nader has done a lot for consumer protection. I really do, and for consumer causes. He lives what he preaches, he lives in a rooming house, you know.

SM: He does?

RJ: Yeah, he has.

SM: Where does he live?

RJ: I do not know where he live, but I know this. He lives in a boarding house. He has done this for the last 30 some years. He does not. I do not think he owns a car. You know, this type of thing. So, he is practicing what he is preaching, okay. So consequently, I got to in fact say there is some substance to a man that is practicing frugality, and right, and what have you, and living as I do not know what he does with the money that he makes, whether or not it gives it back to charity or what have you but he certainly does not seem to be in fact say-say [inaudible]

SM: I think that is all the names I had in the last, little area here is just mentioning Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and musicians of the year and the impact they had on boomers.

RJ: Well, I think it was a fad akin to rock music- I mean, rap music. I think that the youngsters nowadays, who will into rap music, is will always have an affinity toward it, because it was the music of their era. Just like for example, the Temptations and say the Four Tops and the Supremes were to me. You see what I mean. Therefore, I think it would be that affinity and drugs have always been a part of the modern musician's life, so then we do not really see it, and we almost kind of accepted that they are going to get caught up in the drugs and that some of our favorite heroes are going to in fact succumb to it, just like right now. Of all of the original Temptations are dead, okay. And-and I do not think any of them, Melvin Williams died last year, year before last, the one that had to base voice. And-and I do not think he was, I do not believe he was 50. He may not have been 50, but now okay, the rest of them all gone. And because they were alcoholics and things and Jerry, not Jerry but David rough and you know, was-was that is crack addicts up there, Philadelphia.

SM: Yeah, I remember that.

RJ: Yeah.

SM: Yep. Here, we got a little bit left and I still got another tape if we go over here.

RJ: I am going to have to cut it now see because, I mean after [inaudible] I am going to have to make it I got to get back home to my- I tell my wife I would be back by that time, okay.

SM: What is the lasting legacy of the boomer generation?

RJ: I think, I really do think it is going to be kind of the, probably it is going to be the, the freedom the "I" and the "me," is and that is the infamous one that it will have. The quest for the freedom. I think I think it will get a bad rap about how their children are turning out. I think that they will, the boomer generation is going to be overall seen as-as being a poor parental generation. I think they will be seen as being money hungry. You know, like yuppy. Okay. I think the yuppies is in that generation, is not it?

SM: Yeah.

RJ: Yeah. So, I think they are going to be seeing-

SM: Younger. The younger boomers.

RJ: The younger boomers?

SM: Not so much the older ones. Yeah.

RJ: Yeah, if you take [inaudible] from (19)46 to (19)60, right? (19)64. To (19)64. Those are the boomers. Okay, now, if you take that group, and if you take a look at them from what I have in fact saying, they are going to be yeah money hungry, money oriented. That is how I think we are going to see it, power hungry, self-centered.

SM: Is that the-the activism that took part in the boomer generation has transferred to their kids?

RJ: I do not think that children are active at all. Maybe the most sedentarian social issues of any generation. Well since-since Brown versus the Board- well, that is it, that is two generations [inaudible] they-they are they are the children are definitely less active, socially active than their parents.

SM: What do you think it is when their parents? What-what?

RJ: Parents, they have not had a need.

(End of Interview)

Date of Interview



Stephen McKiernan


Roosevelt Johnson

Biographical Text

Dr. Roosevelt Johnson (d. 2015) was a psychologist, counselor, educator, and administrator. Dr. Johnson worked as a professor at Ohio State University, University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC, and John Hopkins University. He also worked at private counseling centers in the Washington, DC area and Silver Springs, Maryland. He received his Bachelor's degree at St. Louis University and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana. 





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Binghamton University Libraries

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3 Microcassettes

Interview Format


Subject LCSH

Psychologists; College teachers; Johnson, Roosevelt--Interviews

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Baby boom generation; Post civil rights; Nineteen sixties; Nineteen seventies; Activism; Generation X; Kent State; Vietnam War; Black Panthers; Vietnam Memorial.


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About this Collection

Collection Description

Stephen McKiernan's collection of interviews includes more than two hundred interviews with prominent figures of the 1960s, which were collected between the mid-1990s and 2010s. The collection provides narratives of people who were actively involved in or witnessed events in the 1960s, an era which spurred profound cultural and… More

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“Interview with Dr. Roosevelt Johnson,” Digital Collections, accessed May 28, 2024,