This year, Kent State University will commemorate the 50th anniversary of May 4, 1970.

It was my dream that the university would see this as a golden opportunity to offer healing and reconciliation to a nation that is even more divided today than it was 50 years ago. This was a dream of healing for Vietnam veterans who suffered through the pain and misery of the Vietnam War, healing for the families of the students who were killed on May 4th, and healing for our society.

In order to accomplish this dream it would have been necessary for Kent State University to have scheduled speakers and guests whose motives are as pure as their goals — a selection of people in our nation who are loved and trusted based on their gift of bringing people together in unity and compassion.

In opposition to my dream, the university made the incredibly irrational decision to select Jane Fonda, who is one of the most divisive people in American history, as their main speaker. Her history of divisiveness is indisputable.

The problem is that these decisions are made by members of Kent State’s administration, faculty, and advisory board without any regard for public good or democratic consent. It is a wall of oligarchy with a one-track mind. It is obvious, once again, that they are using May 4th to promote their own political agenda, just as they did in 2013. During the 43rd May 4th commemoration, the main speaker was Bill Ayers, a leader of the Day of Rage and the violent Weather Underground which terrorized people in the 1970s.

This is all indicative of an even greater tragedy — the tragedy that people who misuse their power learn nothing from history because of their own obsession for more power.

In 1970, four students were killed. In 2020, a dream was killed.

George M. Solan. Jr., Cuyahoga Falls