Transcibed for WWW by Lisa Whalen
May 6, 1997
I'm not from Ohio, but I moved here just a few years ago. And I wasn't alive on May 4th, 1970. But, when I moved to Ohio, I, of course, living near Cleveland, I -- I heard about May 4th and everything. And interestingly enough, I had Alan Canfora's sister as a teacher in high school. A lady who I very much respected, and to this day I still do, and she was a very good teacher. And a lot of what I believe, or what I learned about May 4th, I learned from her.
And it was very interesting to come to Kent after learning about May 4th, and see -- see so much new information. It was -- it was a shame, because she always talked about the fact that, in the case and in the courts, that it had been proven that no one ever was actually throwing rocks at the guards who fired, and that -- that maybe the guards' lives were in danger. But, being here now, I've realized that, probably one of the most important things about May 4th was the National Guard was here. That they -- they -- I mean, they were called in because the situation was violent, they weren't called in because it was just, you know, they're trying to put down what the students were saying. And the students -- it was just like a direct kind of -- it was just an error that the students didn't realize what -- what they were getting themselves into. And I feel really sorry, I think that it never should have happened, but I think that it taught -- it taught the stu -- probably a lot of America, that you can't protest violence with violence. And that -- that like what Martin Luther King probably made more changes with his peaceful message, even though they were slow, in civil rights, than were made by every other protester -- or every other active leader, since then. Because the peace brought about the change. And it was slow, but you just can't protest violence with violence.
And I think that a lot of people who aren't here at Kent now, They don't know. All they know is that the students were protesting, and saying what they believed, and that they were shot for it. And that it was just -- it was a war situation, and that it was probably more of an accident than anything. And that's what I have to say.
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