By Simon Hall
In the course of the Nineteen Seventies and past, political motives either left and right-the homosexual rights move, second-wave feminism, the protests opposed to busing to desegregate faculties, the tax rebellion, and the anti-abortion struggle-drew proposal from the protest events of the Nineteen Sixties. certainly, of their enthusiasm for direct-action strategies, their use of road theater, and their engagement in grassroots organizing, activists in these kinds of activities may be thought of "children of the Sixties." Invocations of America's founding beliefs of liberty and justice and different kinds of patriotic protest have additionally featured prominently within the rhetoric and photo of those hobbies. Appeals to the announcement of Independence and the invoice of Rights were made forcefully by means of homosexual rights activists and feminists, for example, whereas contributors within the antibusing move, the tax insurrection, and the crusade opposed to abortion rights have waved the yank flag and claimed the aid of the nation's founders. In tracing the continuation of quintessentially "Sixties" different types of protest and ideas into the final 3 many years of the 20th century, and in emphasizing their legacy for conservatives in addition to these at the left, American Patriotism, American Protest indicates that the activism of the civil rights, New Left, and anti-Vietnam battle hobbies has formed America's smooth political tradition in decisive methods. in addition to offering a clean substitute to the "rise and fall" narrative wherein the Sixties are frequently considered, Simon Hall's specialize in the shared dedication to patriotic protest between a various variety of activists around the political spectrum additionally demanding situations claims that, in fresh a long time, patriotism has turn into the protect of the political correct. choked with unique and insightful observations, and in keeping with vast archival examine, American Patriotism, American Protest transforms our figuring out of the Sixties and their aftermath.
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Additional info for American Patriotism, American Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties
2 In Jean’s formulation the gay rights movement was a “fight for the very promise of America . . a patriotic battle of the highest order, a battle to secure the principle that forms the bedrock of our society . . ”3 In invoking the Declaration of Independence and associating her movement with patriotic values, Jean stood in a long tradition of gay rights activism. From its emergence in the new, urban gay subculture fashioned by World War II4 through its mid-1960s experimentation with direct action, embrace of the revolutionary politics of the New Left, and evolution during the 1970s into a mass-based movement for equal rights, the deployment of patriotic protest was a cornerstone of the gay freedom struggle.
118 It would take another eight years for the national Democratic Party to endorse gay rights. ”119 Appeals to Americanism formed a central part of the GAA’s tactical approach. During November 1970, for example, Marty Robinson and Arthur Evans were invited to appear on ABC’s The Dick Cavett Show after the GAA had threatened to disrupt the show’s taping in protest at antigay remarks aired on a previous edition by the comedian Mort Sahl. Cavett, described by cultural commentator Clive James as “the most distinguished talk-show host in America, if sophistication and an intellectual breadth were what you wanted,” interviewed Robinson and Evans, along with Dick Leitsch of New York Mattachine, for the Thanksgiving night broadcast.
As D’Emilio has argued, “the militants’ rejection of the medical model, their assertion of equality, their uncompromising insistence that gays deserved recognition as a persecuted minority, and their defense of homosexuality as a viable way of living loosened the grip of prevailing norms on the self-conception of lesbians and homosexuals” and indicated the outlines of a new, positive gay identity. Partly as a result of these changes the movement grew significantly during the second half of the decade—reversing a period of decline.