Americans are fond of saying that we have a history of protest. From the American Revolution to the Vietnam War, we have staged protests from one credo group to another as the Revolutionary Blood has run hot through our veins. We have said accept our voices, we are not violent. It is our history, it is in our blood.
What we have not noted is the American—as in U.S. Government—response. That has not been a voice, loud or silent. It has been one of violence. The U.S. Government has not ever been one of quiet patronage and a “there, there, loud child,” posture. From behind-the-scenes investigations of Eugene Debs voters and followers to the overthrow of foreign governments, the U.S. government has spilled blood. Including that of its own citizens.
Today is an important reminder. Today is May 4. It matters. This is a reminder of how the U.S. Government shot down students. Students. Young people in peaceful protest. Remember the children who placed flowers in rifles which were pointed at them? Those kids. That’s who the U.S. Government killed and wounded. The nation should go dark and mourn. But it doesn’t.
Not many people recall or were there. The American Revolutionary Blood that has been spilled, not by another factious group, not by a foreign government, but by the U.S. Government. Some people still wear the scars.