Fred Hampton, 1970 Kent State victims weren’t murdered, they were murdered by the state

SO the tail-wagging-dog Twitterverse is aflame with indignation about an Urban Outfitters vintage Kent State University sweatshirt because its stains recall the 1970 bloody attack on antiwar protestors by the Ohio National Guard. As usual, objections of bad taste hinge on the notion that unofficial recollection of the tragedy is disrespectful to the memory of the victims and their families, overlooking that it was official speech stricture that caused the student deaths. How convenient for the state to embrace national tragedies to obscure its murderous role. The memorializing of state murders habitually sheds their context. The term “execution” used to distinguish murders committed by the state, now it encompasses the brutality of point-blank murder, perhaps once a monopoly of the state. Now recalling the “murder” of Fred Hampton for example, and not his execution at the hands of Chicago policemen, truncates accrediting his assassins, as if Hampton was killed by the brutality of his times or the confused racism of law enforcement back then, and not the state. The four students murdered at Kent State were murdered BY THE STATE, by in fact, KENT STATE. Instead of condemning Urban Outfitter’s awkward sweatshirt as obscene, KSU could acknowledge the blood on their logo is INDELIBLE.

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