Positive and Negative Impacts of the Sixties Counterculture
? Positivity ?
Hippies represent the ideological, naive nature that children possess. They feel that with a little love and conectedness, peace and equality will abound. It is with this assumption that so many activists and reformers, inspired by the transformation that hippies cultivated, have found the will to persist in revolutionizing social and political policy. Their alternative lifestyles and radical beleifs were the shocking blow that American culture– segregation, McCarthyism, unjust wars, censorship–needed to prove that some Americans still had the common sense to care for one another. The young people of the sixties counterculture movement were successful at awakening awareness on many causes that are being fought in modern American discourse. If not for the Revolution that the hippies began, political or social reform and the Peoples voice would be decades behind.
While the hippie movement has subsided, as it became too “cool” and entrenched in mainstream society, the spirit of the Hippies lives on, as their work was only the framework for decades of reform to come.
The work that hippies did, hand in hand with African-Americans, was very powerful in striking the discourse on racial equality in the US. Demonstrations reached their inspirational peak in 1964 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched with 250,000 people in support of civil rights and racial equality. They were successful politically with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. The fight for equal rights has not been won, however, as most of the hippies battles continue to be fought by the veterans and new recruits of the movement.
Racism and inequality ensue today as the discrimination, prejudice, and hate crimes occur at an alarmingly frequent rate. Rita Sehti, in The State of Asian America, explains that “media