Monday, May 04, 2015

Four dead in Ohio, two in Mississippi

On April 30, 1970, US president Richard Nixon announced that the US would launch a military operation in Cambodia, together with South Vietnamese forces, supposedly against North Vietnamese camps there. “This is not an invasion of Cambodia,” Nixon said.

But for many of us this was an invasion. In fact, though, it was not an invasion but the first open admission of US intervention in Cambodia. The US and South Vietnamese had already been undertaking military actions in Cambodia.

Many of us responded – including many university students. I was in my last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Scranton. We demonstrated, sat in the streets, called a student strike, and more.

I'm the guy with hair at the front left.

Ours was a peaceful resistance to an expanding war.

In other places the protests turned violent, in some cases with bottle-throwing and lighting of bonfires.

But what I remember was the killing of four students at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970 – 45 years ago today.

But what many don’t remember was the killing of protestors at Jackson State University on May 15, 1970. Jackson State was a largely African-American University.

Why are these two deaths not often recalled?

Could it be our failure to see those who are not white?

Could this be related to our inability to see the other, those unlike us, who are victims of violence and injustice?

What I think we need is an openness to see all victims of war, injustice, and poverty – not just those like us, not just those who agree with us, not just those who support us or our positions.

Could it be that we need to learn how to “love” one another and, even, the enemy?

Four dead in Ohio, two in Mississippi, 
and thousands in Viet Nam and Cambodia.

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