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Reply #49: Eerie parallel in my life to your mother's comment. [View All]

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vickitulsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-03-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. Eerie parallel in my life to your mother's comment.
I wonder how many times that same retort was spoken that day?

When my family watched the scenes of the protest-turned-riot in Chicago 1968, I started shouting to the TV: "WHY are the cops beating the protesters senseless?! Look at them -- they're bloody and staggering and they can't fight back! They're UNARMED! Why don't they STOP?!"

I just completely lost it, I was crying ... and my dad went off on me, claiming that REPORTERS "set up" such scenes, hiring kids to protest and to deliberately provoke cops to violence, then get pictures of cops beating kids. I swear, that's what he believed.

Then when Kent State happened, he couldn't fall back on that favorite mantra of his because there weren't reporters all over that scene until well after the shootings. John Filo, whose photo became the one we think of as a visual of that day (and which won him a Pulitzer Prize), was an undergrad at Kent State.

This is the snapshot I'm talking about:

Since my dad couldn't claim this time that reporters organized the demonstration, he simply said about the students, "They deserved it!" Didn't even have the grace to insert the "must have" -- he was certain of it.

And I wondered afterwards the same thing you did. When I was holding an anti-war sign in the streets of Oklahoma City and watching warily as cops patroled nearby glaring at us, I thought, "Wonder if they're going to shoot us, and if my dad will think I deserved it."

The rift between us never really healed. Dad seemed to forget all about the words he'd thrown at me, but I never could.

As for the "quieting" of student protests after Kent State, I do agree that happened -- and I DO think that was the intent of Nixon's cadre. The lyrics from Neil Young's song "Ohio" captured our feelings brilliantly:

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Peace, I say. Just Peace.

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