Turn­ing point?

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -


Last week’s vi­o­lence — the killings of five po­lice of­fi­cers in Texas, and be­fore that the killings of two black civil­ians in Louisiana and Min­nesota, and the videos viewed by mil­lions — brought to mind the 1970 killings of stu­dents at Kent State Univer­sity and the Pulitzer prize-win­ning pho­to­graph of a 14-year-old girl and her ag­o­nized face as she knelt over one of the dead.

These events at Kent State were called by some as the day the Viet­nam War came home to Amer­ica. There was a turn­ing point in the public con- scious­ness and po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship that was the be­gin­ning of a long process of na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The event and the iconic pic­ture cap­tured the sense of the na­tional tragedy this war had be­come, for our young men who were fight­ing and dy­ing there, for four stu­dents that felt pas­sion­ately about the need to end the war and never came home, and for law en­force­ment who were serv­ing on an­other kind of front line.

Per­haps the events and videos of last week could lead to such a shock to our sys­tem and a turn­ing point in the public con­scious­ness and po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship. Hope­fully, we can look back on this time as a new be­gin­ning and the day the fact of “lib­erty and jus­tice for some” came home, how­ever painfully, to Amer­ica.

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