I remember thinking when I heard the news of Kent State, “So now they are going to start killing us.”
Because in that era, there was a “they” and there was an “us.”
In that time in our country’s history, the country was riven, torn into two irreconcilable camps. I had many a discussion with student friends about the advantages and disadvantages of dissolution of the union. The fear and loathing between the two sides was that bad, that seemingly hopeless.
Yet reconcile the nation did.
Once again, the country is riven, although this time, thankfully, without bullets. I would like to think that the Kent State viciousness would serve to remind us that reconciliation will always be possible, maybe even probable.
Mike Jones-Kelley is a lecturer in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure Univetrsity.