The problem with the hippies was that there developed within the counterculture itself, between those who had, like, the equivalent of a trust fund versus those who had to live by their wits. It’s true, for instance, that blacks were somewhat resentful of the hippies by the Summer of Love, 1967, because their perception was that these kids were drawing paisley swirls on their Sam Flax writing pads, burning incense, and taking acid, but those kids could get out of there any time they wanted to.
They could go back home. They could call their mom and say, “Get me outta here.” Whereas someone who was raised in a project on Columbia Street and was hanging out on the edge of Tompkins Square Park can’t escape. Those kids don’t have anyplace to go. They can’t go back to Great Neck, they can’t go back to Connecticut. They can’t go back to boarding school in Baltimore. They’re trapped.
So there developed another kind, more of a lumpen hippie, who really came from an abused childhood—from parents that hated them, from parents that threw them out. Maybe they came from a religious family that would call them sluts or say “You had an abortion, get out of here, go away.” And these kids fermented into a kind of hostile street person. Punk types.