The Spitting Image

In: Historical Events

Submitted By gallaxy77
Words 1992
Pages 8

In The Spitting Image Jerry Lembcke shows how this image is a myth that serves the interests of the powerful who led the U.S. to war. Lembcke is a sociologist at Holy Cross
College, a Vietnam veteran who was an active member of Vietnam Veterans against the War.
His book demolishes the myth that the antiwar movement was anti-soldier and that vets were spat upon.In this book, he argues that the common claim of American soldiers were insulted and spat upon when they returned home from the Vietnam War is a myth and nothing more. It was intended to discredit the anti-war movement and the protesters that were behind it. Lembcke stated that the Nixon administration was behind the propaganda and was using it to discredit the anti-war movement protesters. He theorizes that the reported "spitting on soldiers" scenario was a mythical projection by those who felt "spat upon" and was meant to discredit future anti-war activism. He suggests that the images of pro-war antipathy against anti-war protesters helped contribute to the myth. Lembcke argues that memories of being verbally and physically assaulted by anti-war protesters were largely conjured, arguing that not even one case could be documented. However, some news accounts that mention spitting do exist, although there has been no evidence to support those accounts.( Discover The Networks) It is hard to disprove a myth and hard to prove that something never happened. Lembcke acknowledges that he cannot prove the negative—that no Vietnam veteran was spat on—saying (Lembcke p. 68) it is hard to imagine there not being expressions of hostility between veterans and activists. Still Lembcke has extensive evidence showing that “the spitting image” is an illusion created by the Nixon-Agnew administration and the mass media (especially Hollywood…...

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