KENT STATE

Forty five years ago today, four Kent State students were shot dead by Ohio State National Guardsmen. The students had been protesting the Vietnam War.

I was 35 years old at the time. The TV film of the shootings chilled me. TV showed a large number of screaming college students running across a large grass field and the guardsmen shooting at them. This was the United States. What I was viewing did not happen in the United States.

I had lived through the time of the 1960s New York and Rochester black riots. I was in the middle of the New York one the first night.

The anti-Vietnam demonstrations concerned me. Citizens against a war our country was involved in. Parents sending their children off to Canada to avoid the draft.

To a 35 year old attorney, husband and parent, none of these happenings were consistent with the United States I knew or thought I knew.

The Kent State shootings were the worst. There was no valid reason for the students to be shot at. Apparently some guardsman got nervous and others followed.

This past week we experienced the Baltimore protests. There have been others in recent months. All over the same issue. Police shooting of blacks.

What am I saying? Merely that all these events bother and bothered me. Kent State especially. And now the police/black shootings. Not the country I grew up in. Not the lessons I was taught about the United States in my formative years.

I spent several hours yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. A strange title. 99 44/100 % Pure. The story of Ivory soap. Interesting, as well as a bit checkered.

After finishing the column, I hustled over to Salute’s for a little Louis time. I sat outside in the shade, had a drink and enjoyed a fish sandwich. Read the Sunday papers. Sometimes looking up to view the bikini clad ladies.

Then to Publix. The cupboard almost bare. A comment re prices. Grocery prices continue to rise. Like gasoline did. A little bit at a time. You do not notice until you are at the check out counter and are paying more than normal for the usual amount of groceries.

Wind is blowing strong this morning.  From the northwest. Sunny and cloudy. Maybe rain at some point.

Some local group involved with the homeless did a recent study. One of its findings was that there were 339 homeless children in Monroe County (Florida keys) as of January 27. Three hundred thirty nine is 339 too many!

Physiotherapy this morning. Have to hustle.

Enjoy your day!

9 comments on “KENT STATE

  1. The first black killing in such an event that I’m aware of was free black man Crispus Attucks
    during the Boston Massacre of 1770 along with 4 others. This has been going on long before Kent State.

    Actually the wind last night and this morning was brisk out of the north east.

  2. I don’t know the facts about what happened in Baltimore so withhold judgement. If the police withheld treatment to an injured person in their custody they should be in trouble. When I was a patrol supervisor for my squad I always impressed upon them that taking a suspect’s liberty meant you were personally responsible for their welfare. I took many suspects to the ER for clearance before heading to jail, most had passed out during sobriety checks. That was protocol, though our jurisdiction hated it due to the costs involved. A cost of doing business to me so I could have cared less.

    That said, look at FBI Table 43 (infamous Table 43) one day to see a racial breakdown of arrests by crime. By and large the largest number is for African-Americans. Period, those are the facts. Therefore, there are many interactions between Caucasian police officers and Black citizens. 99.995% of them you never hear of cause nothing happened other than an officer doing the job the taxpayers pay them for and fighting criminal behavior. I had many interactions with African-Americans, and whites and other groups as well. To me, race was totally meaningless, any human could kill or hurt you, especially when doped up. As once Heraclitus’ once said, character is destiny and if suspects were cooperative and didn’t try to kill me things went fine. I would even put a good word in with the magistrate for their early release. Their racial color or gender was irrelevant, their actions and attitude very relevant. When I retired nobody was after me as I treated everyone fairly and reacted to whatever stupidity they had done or were doing. Few police officers retire with no enemies.

    I know that America’s brutal history, the screwed-up and entirely corrupt government and corporate system we have in the US has marginalized these people, ruined families, and forced some into crime. But to demonize law enforcement who are the tip of the spear defending everyone’s rights to live free and unmolested by others is flat out wrong. And dangerous, soon police will be afraid to act or mad to act. Who wants to answer a 911 call or deal with a dangerous, unruly, possibly armed and packing lunatic knowing that the former will become a “Saint” and the officer ruined should force have to be used. We are establishing a dangerous precedent, and ultimately, anyone with any sense will never go into a law enforcement career. We will be left with the idiots, power hungry wannabes and outright thugs and criminals with badges. In other words, a banana republic which we are well on the way to becoming.

    Not a smart move. Yes, police must be held accountable. Totally accountable for their actions and inactions. Just as the suspects need to look in the mirror before committing crimes, hurting other people and stealing. But the officers’ job is hard enough now without jumping to conclusions, convicting through the TV and corrupt mainstream press out for a sensational story to fuel the flames. It makes one start the believe that some of those wacky conspiracy theories aren’t so strange and off mark after all.

  3. And actually I see no mention here of the recent assassinations of white police officers. I believe recently there have been more white officers murdered by blacks than the other way around. These posts are coming up as anonymous for some reason.

  4. I do not know why your posts are coming up anonymous. The problem is at your end I believe.
    end quote

    I think it is on my end too. Maybe I found it. I didn’t think you’d try to block me even though I think you would like to. [smiley face]

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