In Zinn’s chapter and the two YouTube videos, we learned all about the Vietnam War. There were two things that stood out to me most. The first was how much people protested the war, yet it still continued. The second is how many people were against the war.
The protests began with drafts. No one understood why we were in the war and no one wanted to be drafted. There were loopholes such as no one in college could be drafted, but these loopholes separated certain groups, such as the rich from the poor. Along with this, many protested the actual war, because they didn’t understand why we were involved. Even college students started protesting. Specifically from the video, we learn about Kent University protests, which ended in 4 students who were shot and killed and many others injured by the national guard. The national guard just said they felt threatened when the students started throwing rocks, but I bet the students could have said they also felt threatened when the national guards started coming closer with rifles. Zinn also discusses when he was a professor at Boston University and students there were protesting. It took years for Americans to gain trust in the military, government and White House again.
The other part that stood out to me was in Zinn’s chapter, “The Invisible Victory,” was when he discussed the extent to which Americans were protesting. I think one thing he mentions that really shows how badly people didn’t want to be at war, was that everyone had the same opinion. Different classes of wealth, different political parties, and even different races all came together to protest. From Lewis Lipsitz’s survey, a popular theme among blacks and whites in the south was, “The only way to help the poor man is to get out of that war in Vietnam… These taxes – high taxes- it’s going over yonder to kill people with and I don’t see no cause in it” (492). What this view shows is that the rich actually didn’t care that they’d be giving some of the money to poorer people, as long as it wasn’t going to the war, they’d be happy. Zinn also states, “most of the antiwar action came from ordinary GIs, and most of these came from lower-income groups – white, black, Native American, Chinese, and Chicano” (495). I think this quote, and the idea of people coming together for one mutual belief, stuck out to me most because it’s something we still rarely see today.