Lots of folks are remembering Kent State

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Brian VanDeMark illuminates the Kent State analogy[2] that so many have made as politicians threaten force against protesters.[3] For me, it’s just astonishing that people seem to have forgotten.[4]

Tensions spiked late Tuesday [April 30] following an operation by New York Police Department surge teams to reclaim the Columbia University campus from pro-Palestinian demonstrators and followed scuffles, arrests and cancelled classes on at least 25 campuses in 21 states. . . .

The campus protests are so far not close to the scale of Black Lives Matter demonstrations and marches in cities in the US and abroad after the murder of George Floyd by a White police officer in 2020. And they are not yet in the same league as the civil rights and Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and 1970s. But those national movements were tiny to begin with, so there is precedent for student protests growing, and now there is the convening power of social media that can create a sense of common purpose among marchers hundreds of miles apart.

David Farber, a history professor at the University of Kansas, told Paula Newton on CNN International on Monday that Vietnam-era protests “often started small. They were often dismissed as marginal folks … crazy people, but that anti-war movement did catch fire and students played a major role in it. And eventually the tide turned against the war in Vietnam in US public opinion.”[5]

There will be a temptation to dismiss Stephen Collinson for “bothsidesism.” It might even be correct to do so. I’d suggest you read his article anyway as he effectively warns us that the Gaza War protests may backfire in the short term. One point, ironically, is white Christian nationalists complaining about anti-Semitism.[6] I saw an uptick in Zionist trolling on social media and responded:

Oh, and the additions to my pinned post keep coming.

Zionists are committing genocide in Gaza and ethnically cleansing the West Bank. Israel has been an ethnic cleansing project from the beginning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/03/colonial-history-britain-israel/

If you’re invoking a charge of anti-Semitism in response to this, your priorities are completely backwards. I believe the term for it is “red herring.” This is a blocking offense.

If you’re defending politicians who fund and arm this genocide, you are defending war criminals. This is a blocking offense.

War crimes are on par with fascism. If you vote for one to avoid the other, you will get both.

There are still a few people left who meant it when we said, “Never Again!” to the Holocaust. There are many more who will invoke the Holocaust, itself a genocide, to rationalize the genocide they commit against others.

The aggressor is pretty reliably wrong. Using aggression to rationalize aggression is still pretty reliably wrong. War is inherently a crime, indeed “collective punishment” against civilians, particularly where “economic targets” or any other targets in populated areas are involved.

I am not a lawyer, let alone one with expertise in international law. I interpret the term “war crimes” broadly. If you support war crimes or war criminals in any way, that’s a blocking offense.[7]

When it is “anti-Semitic” to say, stop the killing, anti-Semitism is not the problem.[8]

Abby Sewell, “Hamas official says group would lay down its arms if an independent Palestinian state is established,” Associated Press, April 25, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/hamas-khalil-alhayya-qatar-ceasefire-1967-borders-4912532b11a9cec29464eab234045438

David Jesse, “Why Encampments Scare College Presidents,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/why-encampments-scare-college-presidents

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel could still force an exodus into Egypt,” Washington Post, April 26, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/04/26/gaza-egypt-exodus-rafah-invasion/

Brian VanDeMark, “The grim history of using troops against student protesters,” Washington Post, April 26, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/04/26/kent-state-killings-lesson-protests/

Claire Parker et al., “In war-battered Gaza, residents grow angry with Hamas,” Washington Post, April 27, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/04/27/gaza-hamas-public-support-israel/

Rachel Siegel and Christian Davenport, “Campus arrests spread as students press on with pro-Palestinian protests,” Washington Post, April 27, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2024/04/27/protests-campus-arrest-northeastern-upenn/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “5,000 miles away, a Michigan mayor at the center of the Gaza storm,” Washington Post, April 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/28/5000-miles-away-michigan-mayor-center-gaza-storm/

Deutschewelle, “UN court rules German military aid to Israel can continue,” April 30, 2024, https://www.dw.com/en/un-court-rules-german-military-aid-to-israel-can-continue/a-68956989

Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” Cable News Network, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis

Ishaan Tharoor, “The delusions behind Biden’s plan for Middle East peace,” Washington Post, May 1, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/01/middle-east-peace-biden-plan-delusions/


Neoliberalism

Work


Fig. 2. The spectre of Death, in the form of a large skeleton, rises with the smoke and flames of the burning Asch Building during the Triangle fire, as people jump and fall to their death. Artist unknown, from International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) at The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

A job seeker refused the unpaid labor that is increasingly a part of the hiring process. They didn’t get the job but they’re finding a lot of support for their stance.[9]

Orianna Rosa Royle, “Gen Z job seeker refused to do 90-minute task because it ‘looked like a lot of work’—now the CEO who complained about it is being slammed,” Fortune, April 29, 2024, https://apple.news/AMlixI-ziQvO6kjfFGhgvJw


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Hush money


Fig. 3. Cartoon by Jesse Duquette, undated, via “Minneapple23” [pseud.] on Imgur, April 1, 2023, fair use.

Kara Scannell et al., “Donald Trump fined $9,000 for violating gag order in hush money case,” Cable News Network, April 30, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/donald-trump-fined-usd9-000-for-violating-gag-order-in-hush-money-case/index.html


Electric vehicles


Fig. 4. “A Toyota bZ4X electric sport utility vehicle: EVs currently on the market are fitted with batteries that use liquid lithium-ion electrolytes.” Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota, n.d., via Financial Times, fair use.

Michael J. Coren, “I found a $2,100 EV. Here’s how you can, too,” Washington Post, April 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2024/04/30/cheap-electric-cars/


Cannabis

Michael Scherer et al., “Attorney general moves to reclassify marijuana as lower-risk drug, officials say,” Washington Post, April 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/04/30/marijuana-restrictions-loosen/


Human Science

Inquiry

Quantitative
Artificial intelligence idiocy


Fig. 5. Meme of unknown origin (possibly In Otter News) and date, fair use.

My mother thought I might appreciate the meme in figure 5. She’s right.


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 6. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Brian VanDeMark, “The grim history of using troops against student protesters,” Washington Post, April 26, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/04/26/kent-state-killings-lesson-protests/
  3. [3]Rachel Siegel and Christian Davenport, “Campus arrests spread as students press on with pro-Palestinian protests,” Washington Post, April 27, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2024/04/27/protests-campus-arrest-northeastern-upenn/
  4. [4]Joe Napsha, “The day ‘all hell broke loose’ – Local lives lost, forever changed in Kent State shooting 50 years ago,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 2, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/the-day-all-hell-broke-loose-local-lives-lost-forever-changed-in-kent-state-shooting-50-years-ago/
  5. [5]Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” Cable News Network, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis
  6. [6]Stephen Collinson, “Student unrest ratchets up an already tense election year,” Cable News Network, May 1, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/politics/student-protests-election-year-analysis
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Oh, and the additions to my pinned post keep coming,” Mastodon, April 30, 2024, https://infosec.exchange/@benfell/112357801438333601
  8. [8]David Benfell, “When it is ‘anti-Semitic’ to say, stop the killing, anti-Semitism is not the problem,” Mastodon, May 1, 2024, https://infosec.exchange/@benfell/112364939098656181
  9. [9]Orianna Rosa Royle, “Gen Z job seeker refused to do 90-minute task because it ‘looked like a lot of work’—now the CEO who complained about it is being slammed,” Fortune, April 29, 2024, https://apple.news/AMlixI-ziQvO6kjfFGhgvJw

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