With Rice, university demonstrates to inclusion

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen killed four students Bill Schroeder, Sandy Scheuer, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller and wounded nine others at Kent State amid protests of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. 

Each year, Kent State honors the memory of the dead students. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Black Lives Matter: Long Live the Memory of Kent State and Jackson State.” The keynote speaker is Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in a park in November 2014, sparking protests across the nation.

In the 1970’s, young people across the country called for a stop to the United States’ expanded involvement in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The movement highlights the concerns of members of the African-American community amidst acts of police brutality, violence and underrepresentation in today’s society.

This year’s May 4 ceremony serves as a platform to bring the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront ensuring we remember our history and advance the discussion about racial equity.

Connecting the May 4 protests to the current Black Lives Matter protests shows there are still unresolved issues in society 46 years later, and we must continue to call for change and acceptance.

We believe selecting Samaria Rice as the keynote speaker illustrates the university’s attempt at ensuring the campus is inclusive while addressing the bigger issues continuing to plague our society.