Killing The Peaceseekers

On February 3, according to the Christian Science Monitor (1), Marquette County Republican Party Secretary Dan Adamini expressed his unhappiness with raucous liberal demonstrations at the University of California at Berkeley in a series of social media rants containing the following texts:

“One bullet stops a lot of thuggery”

“They do it because they know there are no consequences yet.”

“I’m thinking another Kent State might be the only solution.”

There is no place in a democratic government for Mr. Adamini.  He had to go, and in the wake of the outcry over his posts he resigned on February 8th (2). There is no place for language like his in civil human discourse at any place in our country, not among ourselves, not from our radio and TV personalities, not from politicians. Beyond that, it is important to understand that demonstrations just may occur because people are concerned about issues, and they become raucous and even violent when the consequences no longer frighten them, not because there are no consequences. Not because they are thugs, but because the situation is so intolerable that not to act is a worse alternative.

I wrote an article about Kent State in 2009 for a collection of short essays. I have included it at the end of this post. Kent State should wrench all our hearts.



Edited to note Adamini resignation, February 12, 2017, 15:46

The 2009 Essay

On May 27, 2009, The New York Times (1) ran an article about the killing of Benno Ohnesorg, student, poet, husband, father, in 1967 by a West German policeman, Karl-Heinz Kurras. There were later some interesting discoveries concerning the policeman’s German political loyalty. It is, however, only the central event about which I am presently writing, the question of political loyalty being irrelevant.

Ohnesorg’s shooting spurred on the subsequent 1968 German student uprisings, some of a very violent nature, but which ultimately produced a great good. The outrage was simply not allowed to die, as it should not have been allowed to do. It became the kinetic energy needed to create and build the social democracy present in Germany today.

Three years later, in the United States, we had our killing, too. In fact, we had four at Kent State, Alison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder, and two at Jackson State’s Alexander Hall, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, and James Earl Green .

But in the United States, tragically, the outrage died. We did not build our social democracy. I can remember that for many years after the Kent State and Jackson State murders (it is not enough to call them or that of Ohnesorg simply killings) and during the Vietnam war, I refused to honor the United States flag or to stand for the national anthem. I still will not recite the pledge of allegiance. But, for whatever reasons, I did not march in the streets as German students did. I did not take up arms as German students did. I think my country may be the worse for that.

I have learned that we must never fear nor fail to speak our minds and damn the consequences when it comes to our basic human rights. The consequences cannot be worse than Bush’s illegal wars and secret police, cannot be worse than our unprincipled (2) and broken economic system, cannot be worse than the anti-social, nuclear-armed, manifest destiny idiocracy our European neighbors thought, at least until the 2008 election, we were determined to create [What must they think in 2017].


  2. Yes. An economic system must be principled, and the seminal principle may not be the lack of regulating principles.

Suggested Reading

  1. Medsger, Betty, The Burglary, Knopf, 2014.
  2. Keiner, Joseph and James Munves, The Kent State Coverup, Harper& Row, 1980.