Monday, February 19, 2018

Silently Sacrificing our Children

Photo credit: Johanne Rahaman for HuffPost
We’ve done nothing since 4 May 1970.*

That’s when our leaders sanctioned the murder of four students and wounding of nine others. 

Many other students died before KSU, thousands died after, and more die nearly every day.

To this very day our leaders are willing to sacrifice our youth for their own benefit.

Sculptor George Segal’s, In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac
It’s a story as old as Abraham and Isaac - the one told in the Bible. Except, today, we the Abraham (s) are not killing our children to prove our love to God. We are killing them, letting them be slaughtered… for… what? Some false sense of security? For money? Or, is it because we really don’t love them? Better our children die than we die?

The Kent State Massacre was a tipping point that sparked outrage on hundreds of college and high school campuses throughout the nation. May 4, 1970 pushed “clean-shaven-short-haircut, youth” into protesting for fear of losing their lives while at school.

Because their kids were fearful of “death on campus”, a multitude of “silent majority” parents and grandparents became fearful, too. Together they melded into a tsunami of change that forced the heartless, bought-out elected officials and unelected war hawks into withdrawing from Vietnam.

Still, the kids made it happen.

We were the kids then.

Today, our grandkids are forced to fill the leadership and moral vacuum we have neglected.

Please, dear God. Please help these young people. Please give them the strength and determination to do what we have failed to do. Please help them stop the carnage.

“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours,” Novell said. “It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings. This IS about guns and this is about all the people who had their life abruptly ended because of guns.” - Carly Novell, 17-year-old Stoneman Douglas high student.

“Now is the exact time to talk about gun control, say students from a high school near Parkland.”

“They’re furious about political stonewalling, and most of them aren’t yet old enough to vote.”

“Two days after a gunman used an assault-style rifle to kill 17 people at a nearby school, the students of South Broward High School protested in solidarity. Just a couple of dozen miles down the road in Parkland, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was still sealed off as investigators pored over the horrors inside.”

“About 50 teenagers gathered on the street Friday, rallying around the common causes of gun control and school safety ? two issues politicians continue to ignore even though polls show most Americans support them.” Please go here for more of the story.

In the Trumpian era of “alternative facts” and demagoguery we are ever slipping and sliding deeper and deeper into our own Fascist-American quicksand where our leaders mislead, confuse issues and make up “facts” to feed their narcissistic addiction and never-sated power and wealth appetite.

Kent State offers one more jarring lesson for us here, as well, built on a foundation of innocent blood. It is one which the KSU administration displayed for all to see and hear, if only we had eyes to see and ears to hear (a wish I fervently make for Dan Adamini, disgraced former Marquette County Republican Party secretary and "conservative" radio commentator). That is their decision not to accept sculptor George Segal’s In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac. 

Segal’s sculpture is a contemporary version of Abraham and Isaac “in an allegory for the May 4, 1970, tragedy at Kent State University. A poignant visualization of humankind's struggle between ideology and paternal love, it mirrors the conflict that led to the death of four students at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.”

In other words Segal is mirroring our willingness to sacrifice our own children to our gods, whoever or whatever they are. I fear many will continue the practice, cheerfully following the whims of our current president.

After commissioning it in 1977, Kent State refused the sculpture in 1977, saying that it “depicted violence”.

It is now on display outside of the Princeton University Chapel as part of the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, funded by a partial gift of the Mildred Andrews Fund.

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