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John Willson: Forever Young: Kent State, “Ohio”

John Willson reflects at The Imaginative Conservative on the turmoil of the 60s and 70s:

Kent State was in fact a complicated event, ugly as chaos is always ugly, the chaos brought on by the separation of generations in a manner and with a speed that had perhaps never happened before in all of human history. One can witness in less than a decade a culture moving from civil rights to the savaging of cities; from students graduating from college never having heard the word marijuana (like me, 1962) to the celebration of drugs in everything from Peter, Paul and Mary songs to the altars at Woodstock; from colleges being places of relatively peaceful studies and parties to politicized battle grounds where thugs and ideologues could bring down administrations and buildings seemingly at will. It would have been impossible for anyone at Kent State in 1960, a second-rate branch state university growing under the liberal demands for universal education, to have imagined what would happen there in 1970. It is up to us, however, to remember it, not as martyrology but asĀ anamnesis.

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