Of Kent State’s Brick-Throwing Pacifists


Years ago, I made the mistake of asking an American student about her university, Kent State. Then, I made an even bigger mistake and mentioned the shootings – a lame pickup strategy, to be sure.  Anyway, she told me about the “massacre” from a lefty’s perspective. And if my memory serves me right, she talked about a cry-for-them memorial. Tradition has it that the pigs killed the hippies, man.

But there’s another version of events:

Previously undisclosed FBI documents suggest that the Kent State antiwar protests were more meticulously planned than originally thought and that one or more gunshots may have been fired at embattled Ohio National Guardsmen before their killings of four students and woundings of at least nine others on that searing day in May 1970.

As the nation marks the 40th anniversary of the Kent State antiwar protests Tuesday, a review of hundreds of previously unpublished investigative reports sheds a new — and very different — light on the tragic episode.

The upheaval that enveloped the northeastern Ohio campus actually began three days earlier, in downtown Kent. Stirred to action by President Nixon’s expansion of U.S. military operations in Cambodia, a roving mob of earnest antiwar activists, hard-core radicals, curious students and others smashed 50 bank and store windows, looted a jewelry store and hurled bricks and bottles at police.

Four officers suffered injuries, and the mayor declared a civil emergency. Only tear gas dispersed the mob.

The Washington Times, though, is not the first to question the Left’s narrative. Turning to other sources, the cultural critic Jonathan Leaf explored the “massacre” in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties. You see, while the incident took place in 1970, there were warning bells before the social explosion. Even in April 1969, we can read about the Columbia SDS leader Mark Rudd and his calls to shutdown and silence the school’s ROTC program. Other targets included crime labs and even law enforcement training classes, for some fishy reasons.

In truth, Kent State’s hippies were brick-throwing pacifists. Or pretend peacemakers. By Friday, May 1, 1970, students selfishly buried a copy of the Constitution—and then burned a draft card, in order to fuel campus divisions. A feral mob also tortured the American flag and set fire to the school’s Air Force ROTC building, without carbon credits. The peaceful arsonists then beat up a student for taking photos of them—and stole his camera. Even fire marshals trying to stop the blaze were assaulted. Their hoses were stolen as the building burned.

Others may question Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for writing the cry-for-them song “Four Dead in Ohio.” Or were they just testing out lame pickup lines?

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Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.