54 Years After Kent State, What’s Been Learned on US Campuses?

Monday, May 27, 2024 - 1:00pm
Bob Datz

The rhetoric and repression surrounding campus protest against the Palestine Genocide sound hauntingly familiar. Hopefully they do not lead to a fatal reprise of events from May 4, 1970 when 13 students were gunned down in 13 seconds by agents of the US and state governments responsible for the Vietnam War being protested. Events in Kent, Ohio before the massacre were complex and later heavily documented. Repercussions in the years that followed are less explored but can be seen as signs of a continuing cultural response and a budding security state that asserted itself into the Reagan years and beyond.

Bob Datz, the Center’s presenter for May 27 entered those years as a wide-eyed college freshman who entered KSU majoring in law enforcement. Developing a critical eye prior to the shooting, he honed that reflex over decades in journalism and, finally environmental science. He worked for daily newspapers in Maine and Massachusetts after leaving college to work in the once-lively alternative press until 1980. His street and rural activities over the decades have included activism for peace, human rights, sane technology and economics, labor justice and maintaining a habitable planet.