Pages from Michael Butler's Journal
KENT STATEWhen the students were shot at Kent State. I was in Los Angeles. It is difficult to explain the extent of the reaction. A shudder of horror went through the country and after that a feeling of hopelessness. Of course the media was full of it and the oracle's were pontificating right and left about the incident. Still most people I knew were stunned and deeply fearful. Fearful of what would come next, America was on the verge of a revolution. Anything else would put us over the brink. HAIR was in an unique position of being seen by the many and vilified by both the radical left and the radical right. I personally had received death threats from the Birchers and the Weathermen. Neither extreme wanted a dialogue, they were only into the monologues of their own persuasion. HAIR, and all of us involved with it, were telling our audiences "where the kids were at" freedom was our byword. I was summoned to the White House. I flew to Washington. The President was concerned. He did not understand why the youth of America did not believe him and in what he was doing. In his paranoia, Nixon was not capable of seeing the other side. How so many did not agree with the Vietnam War. The young did not believe him because they perceived that he was not telling the truth. When asked for an example, I was nonplussed for a moment. Then I said: "Why is he jailing people for marijuana when heroin can be bought in most school playgrounds. Marijuana is a cottage industry while heroin is controlled by organized crime. Naturally with this reasoning the kids feel that Nixon is in league with the Mafia." My comments were not welcome at the White House. I was later listed twice (two different addresses) on Nixon's Enemies List.
Entry added April 23rd, 1998
Copyright 1998, Michael Butler http://www.michaelbutler.com