It’s been 48 years since Kent State
tags: Ohio National Guard; Kent State College; the Cold War; Polner
Murray Polner, formerly HNN's senior book review editor, blogs at There's No There There. He is the author of No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran, Branch Rickey: A Biography, and co-editor of We Who Dared Say No To War.
It’s been 48 years since Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970 aimed their M-1 rifles at unarmed Kent State College students and killed four and wounded nine others. You have to be at least 55-60 years of age to have a vivid memory of the events.
Despite several trials, a presidential commission, articles galore, a flood of books and protests, and the creation of a splendid archive, the May 4th Collection at the KSU Library, no one was ever really punished but for the imposition of a very small fine. But to me, the bloodied campus represented the way things have always been done here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave: Shooting and killing striking workers, African Americans, radicals, religious dissenters, Native Americans, antiwar people. Gun 'em down, mythological cowboy style, and get away with it.
The truth as a handful of intrepid historians have pointed out is that had there not been a Cold War mentality there would never have been a Vietnam. And had there not have been a Vietnam War there would never have been a bloodbath at Kent State.
comments powered by Disqus
- Lawrence Otis Graham, 59, Dies; Explored Race and Class in Black America
- How Negro History Week Became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now
- A Harvard Professor Called Wartime Sex Slaves ‘Prostitutes.’ One Pushed Back
- African-American Sacrifice in the Killing Fields of France
- The Future of the Middle Class Depends on Student Loan Forgiveness
- A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored: The Flight Of Runaway Slaves To Mexico
- For Many, an Afro isn’t Just a Hairstyle
- With Free Medical Clinics and Patient Advocacy, the Black Panthers Created a Legacy in Community Health That Still Exists Amid COVID-19
- With a Touch of Wisdom: Human Rights, Memory, and Forgetting
- New Exhibit Reckons With Glendale's Racist Past as ‘Sundown Town'