Friday, March 14, 2014

Chapter 18

We opened class with many of you sharing your homework about Vietnam from last week, and I enjoy seeing how each of you take the assignments and make them your own. Thank you for the time you spend on these assignments!

After listening to Bob Dylan's Master of War, we discussed the meaning of the lyrics. Here they are again for anyone who would like to read them:

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

For next week, please read Chapter 19 and choose ONE of the following:

What is feminism? How did the movement begin? What achievements have feminists made? What gains remain to be made?


What are the similarities between the women’s rights, gay rights, prisoners’ rights, and Native American rights movements? How are they interconnected? Why do you think all these movements arose at approximately the same time? What was it about the 1960s that allowed, and even encouraged, protest?


Should prisoners be allowed to organize in prison? What do you think the role of the prison should be—rehabilitation or punishment? What are the pros and cons of each position?


Where is Pine Ridge Reservation? What conditions led to the American Indian Movement (AIM) confrontation at Pine Ridge? Do you think the actions of the AIM activists were justified? Why, or why not?


Compose a protest song or poem on a contemporary topic/issue about which you are committed. In your composition, be sure to provide clues about what you are protesting, why you are committed to this topic, and how you think things should be changed.


Learn more about the historical origins, goals, and activities of the Black Panther Party. How many of its goals was it able to achieve? How were its growth and actions influenced by white public opinion? By the FBI? What happened to the party? To some of its best-known members? What other groups have been involved in an organized black-power movement during the latter decades of the twentieth century? What have been their goals and accomplishments?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chapter 17

In class today, we discussed the Civil Rights movement, and I was very impressed with everyone's homework assignments.

For next week, please read Chapter 18 and the passage from Daniel Ellsberg’s Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers and choose ONE of the following:

Listen to and read the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War.” What lyrics did you find most effective? Why? Who are the “Masters of War” in this song? What is the significance of that title? What role did music play in the Vietnam War—both for the soldiers and those involved in the antiwar movement? What songs were especially influential?


Some people have argued that racism played a big role in the Vietnam War. Do you believe racism was a key element in the Vietnam War? Why, or why not?


Take a position for or against the Vietnam War, using evidence from your reading and at least one additional source to support your position.


Create a political cartoon that clearly illustrates one of the arguments for or against the war in Vietnam.


Compose a song or poem that expresses an emotion associated with the Vietnam War.