Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4th Anniversary - Hippie Hunting Day

Today is another one of those anniversaries I am so fond of pointing out, but this one isn't mine. At the time the event in question occurred, I was six months old and seven miles away.

I am, of course, referring to the day the National Guard opened up a can of Hippie Punch at my Alma Mater, Kent State, on May 4, 1970.

I'm not sure how funny this is going to be (my guess: not very), but I thought I'd share a few observations.

Growing up in the area, it's generally thought of as a tragedy, and when you're young, all you hear about is the people who were shot by those horrible soldiers. Well, that's not the whole story, and while you're not going to get the whole story here (if you want it, James Michener has an excellent non-fiction book that goes into great depth), I have to tell you, as a young boy, I pretty well bought the official line.

The whole incident is kind of woven into the fabric of Kent State to the point that they are almost proud of the whole thing: Kent State: Where the Sixties Died, or something. They are even opening a Visitor Center this year, complete with Celebrity Guest Oliver Stone, which should tell you something about the political tilt of the place (We also have a real-life jihadi as a tenured professor. No, really!). They even marked off the places the kids died in the parking lot, taking up two centrally located parking spaces. So that tells you how much the school values the incident. Enough to sacrifice two $150 a semester parking places, anyway.

The basic story is pretty simple: Three days of riots throughout the city, with lots of property damage and looting followed by the National Guard being called in, climaxing in the shooting of numerous students, four of whom died. Unfortunately, two of the students killed were innocent bystanders and at least one of the other two was likely just there because it seemed like a hoot.

Interestingly (or not), as a kid, I always thought I would have been out there with the protestors, protesting. And I probably would have been. And had I survived, I would have been highly embarrassed at what an idiot I'd been, later in life.

Oddly, the final step in that change came as a result of a class I took while a student at the University. Ever since the shootings, Kent State has considered themselves Masters of Conflict Resolution. Which is odd, considering the way the shootings ended up, but there you go. Anyway, I took a class in Conflict Management to satisfy what they call a "diversity" requirement. Yeah, I know.

Anyway, as part of the class, we got to tour the site, guided by a local celebrity who just so happens to be one of the people shot that day. One that wasn't killed, obviously. A couple of things stick with me from the tour: First is that this poor guy had spent the last forty plus years trying to "prove" that the National Guard deliberately fired on unarmed students. The latest "evidence" to surface was an audio of someone allegedly shouting "Fire!" Which had an interesting effect on a bunch of soldiers armed with automatic weapons, and a pretty negative effect on the students.

The assumption here is, obviously, that it was the National Guard ordering fire in the students, which is pretty hard to prove. I think, contrary to his belief, that it was not the guard ordering fire, but a "protester." This seems far more likely, as leaders of the Weathermen and Students for a Democratic Society  (SDS) were in town leading up to the shootings. He can't seem to get his mind around the idea that a bunch of Alinskyite radicals would have any possible reason to yell "Fire" in the midst of a group of armed soldiers during a tense riot situation. He apparently thinks it's as unlikely as a U.S. President ordering weapons smuggled into Mexico for the purpose if undermining the Second Amendment, or a Secretary of State covering up a terrorist attack to further her own presidential ambitions while hiding her incompetence.

The second thing that got me was that he thought the riots were justified and in no way should have precipitated a violent attack. The concept he kept alluding to was the idea that all the rioters did was "violence against property" and that it did not justify "violence against persons," which belies a typical liberal ignorance of the nature of property and money that still boggles my mind, even though it shouldn't at this point.

By the end of the tour I was convinced that not enough people had been killed that day. Unfortunately, the ones who needed killing had simply riled up the crowd and slunk of like typical liberal cowards, allowing others to die in their place. And, sadly, these are the people we now have running our government in Washington.

Fun Fact: The Governor of Ohio at the time, who called out the National Guard, was James A. Rhodes. Kent State's crosstown rival and archenemy The University of Akron (Less than ten miles away) named their sports arena the James A. Rhodes arena. Think that's a coincidence? Me neither.
Good thing, I was such an expert shot with the national guard back in Kent state. I bagged four that day, there's nothing Like hippie hunting!
-Sleazy P. Martini, Slaughterama

1 comment:

  1. I could not have said it better. I once believed the official story until I did a little digging myself...