On May 4, 1970, after days of unrest on and around the campus of Kent State University, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of protesters.
After around 13 seconds of gunfire, the approximate 67 rounds spent left four students dead and nine wounded, marking one of the darkest moments on the home front of the Vietnam War.
In the days and weeks that followed, millions of students and young Americans took to the streets to protest the killings and America’s involvement in Vietnam. While many of the protests were peaceful, a tension had grown between generations that had never been seen before.
At New York University, banners were hung that read “They Can’t Kill Us All,” and across the country, four million people marched off their high school and college campuses. Riots, strikes, and protests would rack the nations for weeks after the shooting before things finally calmed down.
Friday on “Morning Joe,” former presidential candidate Howard Dean compared the election of President Donald Trump to the Kent State shooting as a sort of political “wake up call” for this generation.
He also compared the moment to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous civil rights march across Edmund Pettus Bridge:
“I’m hoping the next presidential candidate is under 50, or at least under 55, in our party. We have go to transfer this over to the next generation. The Trump election, I think, was in a sense, their generation’s Edmund Pettus Bridge or Kent State.
Their principles have been violated as a whole generation, but they’re going to have to fight through this for themselves. Obama can’t do it. He is not the president anymore.”
The moment did not go over well with Mark Halperin, who looked visibly pained by the remark:
Luckily we’ve had no government-controlled mass shootings of protesters in the U.S. so far since the election of Trump. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?
Watch the full video below: