I started writing a journal when I was 13 years old. I still have that raggedy old spiral notebook.
Here’s what I said about Viet Nam. Please don’t hate me for my prodigy-like brilliance:
I wonder when World War III will be. I’m almost sure there’ll be one, because of all the fighting going on in Viet Nam. You see, it all started because we didn’t want South Viet Nam to become Communist (a form of government where the government owns and controls everything) so we fought the Communists so that Viet Nam would be a democracy (an individualistic government, where it is run by the people, for the people).
Well so far, all that has happened is a lot of killing! Also, Presidential elections are coming up in 1968 (November). I sure hope Johnson isn’t re-elected. I’m rooting for Bobby Kennedy or McCarthy! (Even though I can’t vote, I’m only 13 years old!)
I wish that wars wouldn’t “be.” We have such a short time to live, why does it have to be spent in fighting?
Yes, I was quite the historian and governmental expert! lol
Two days after the assassination, I wrote this:
Two days ago, Martin Luther King a Negro “non-violentist” was assasinated[sic]. He truly believed in non-violence, and he was going to lead a peaceful protest march, when he was shot and killed.
So his Negro followers, instead of carrying on his wish for non-violence, started rioting. The worst rioting was in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Of course, I am not cutting down the Negroes, or reprimanding them, but I don’t think that they should riot, at least for the sake of their departed leader! Of course, the Negero has been a scapegoat like the Jews (which I am, Jewish, that is) and I guess if I were a Negro, I’d riot too!
Gosh, what difference does the color of their skin make? Prejudice[sic] people are really crazy when they condemn any race!!! Maybe if they were perfect or something, but they are far from that! You know, the world is such a mixed up place, I wonder if it will ever improve!?
As you can see, I didn’t understand that this struggle was my struggle as well. I didn’t even know the history of what black Americans had gone through since the days of slavery.
In my mostly white Midwest school we were told about slavery, oh sure. We were told it was not a very good thing, while seeing photos of happy looking black folks in the fields, and how wonderful Lincoln was to free the slaves.
I didn’t even know what “Jim Crow” meant. Or lynching. Or much of anything else.
So it was “them,” and “their leader.”
I hope I’ve progressed a bit since then.