Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose wants Kent State University (KSU) to “rescind” its speaking invitation for actress Jane Fonda at an event commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the KSU shooting where the Ohio National Guard killed four students and injured nine others who were protesting the on-going Vietnam War.
“There’s still time to make the 50th anniversary commemoration of this awful day one that can be inclusive and educational for Ohioans, Americans and the world. I urge Kent State University to immediately rescind their invitation to Ms. Fonda,” LaRose said.
LaRose considers what the actress did during the Vietnam War while visiting North Vietnam soldiers “treason.” In 1972, Fonda took a photograph sitting on a North Vietnamense anti-aircraft gun. Once this photo became public, Americans were outraged and started calling the actress “Hanoi Jane” because they viewed her as a traitor.
Years after the photo, Fonda called it something she will “regret” to her dying day.
“I served 10 years in the US Army, and eight years in the Ohio Senate before becoming Secretary of State. I certainly understand that people disagree on policy issues, especially matters of war — and that’s ok,” LaRose said. “What’s not ok is providing aid and comfort to the enemy and willfully serving as a propaganda tool for those engaged in hostilities against the United States.
Ohio’s Secretary of State referred to May 4, 1970 as one of “Ohio’s darkest days.” LaRose thinks the 50th anniversary can serve to heal a “deeply divided” country, but Kent State’s decision to “to pay Jane Fonda $83,000 to speak at their commemoration event does the very opposite.”
KSU will also have Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe and historian Eric Foner as speakers during the school’s four days of events commemorating the tragic event.
Here is a list of events:
Friday, May 1 – The Vietnam Anti-War Movement
Saturday, May 2 – Impact of Student Activism
Sunday, May 3 – Remembering the 50-Year May 4 Legacy
Monday, May 4 – A Commemoration to Honor and Remember
“We were committed to finding meaningful ways to recognize the significance of student protest in 1970 and its direct relation to the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia,” said Chic Canfora, shooting survivor and member of the commemoration committee. “While our personal experiences and points of view varied, we shared a common belief in the vital role of dissent in a democracy and the university’s responsibility to promote and protect freedom of speech.”
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