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May Fourteenth and Fifteenth 1970 @ Jackson StateLucas Easter Salem-News.com
More than 450 bullets were fired by police at a group of black students.
(LOS ANGELES) - In looking back at the violence that has plagued America's college campuses over the years, we see a phenomenon that has never gone away, only changed faces.
We see a problem that was based in rebellion in the 1960's and 1970's, when the United States was engaged in a bitter, seemingly endless war. Students stood up and asked questions, then they demonstrated, and this is when the violence took place. At this point the danger for students was the government itself, absolutely murderous in its intent and actions.
Most know what happened May 4, 1970 at Kent State, there are songs about it, tributes, photos, many stories and even published recollections of that day, and there should be.
But ten days later, when black students rioted in Mississippi, under already explosive racial inequality, they came under fire as no students have, or ever should have.
More than 450 bullets were fired by police at a group of students. Police tried to pick up shell cases to hide the evidence, but the FBI became involved and learned that the number of rounds were outrageous in number.
It was the equivalent of a turkey shoot; there were no defenses, the students were unarmed, they were attacked and shot down in cold blood. Two died, over a dozen were shot.
I am honored to present Luke Easter's poem about these tragic historic events.
To read the reports:
Jackson State May 14-15, 1970 & Kent State 10 Days Before
It’s Jackson, Mississippi in the middle of sunny May,
They gathered, created fires, overturned cars 9:30 P.M.,
Seventy-five armed & trained personnel it’s 12:05 A.M.,
Believing the sniper to be in a window on an upper floor,
And if the responding units were in fear of sniper fire,
Only two city cops, one officer from the highway patrol,
Some of the patrol guys used shotguns from 30-50 feet,
Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green are dead,
Twelve others were wounded but there is a slight catch,
I’m sorry, why places other than the scene of the crime?
That’s it? There were many rumors about throwing rocks,
There were no reports of any injuries or students being armed,
Memorial’s at Gibbs-Green Plaza, multi level brick & concrete,
Isn’t it amazing, today we can Google Jackson or Kent State,
To witness death and destruction via the news in Nam was hard,
The Beach Boys, yeah those guys of the 60’s & 70’s Rock & Roll,
Mid-Western Whites of Ohio and Southern Mississippi Blacks,
Allison Krause, Jeffery Miller, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer, KSU,
But wait, couldn’t of been a sniper taking place at 12:24 in the afternoon,
One click from the camera of Kent State photojournalism student John Filo,
Three less suffered lead poisoning at Kent so, are all wounds heal by time?
A Pulitzer Prize winning photograph now an enduring image of the conflict,
By Luke Easter & Tim King
Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.
We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.
Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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