An LSU fraternity knows their history. The Louisiana State University fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon made a tasteless choice to reference the 1970 Kent State shooting via a banner hung over their dorm house, and are quickly backtracking after the pic went viral, reports UPI on Sept. 17.
Delta Kappa Epsilon members hung a banner the week past in preparation for last Saturday's LSU-Kent State football game that said, "Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent State,” a clear reference to the 1970 incident that shocked the nation and left four students dead.
On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college students who were protesting the Vietnam War and an upcoming invasion into Cambodia authorized by President Richard Nixon. The guardsmen sprayed close to 70 rounds in less than 15 seconds, killing four and wounding nine others. One of those wounded suffered permanent paralysis.
Eric Mansfield, executive director of university media relations at Kent State, released a response to LSU’s choice of banner.
“May 4, 1970 was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever. We take offense to the actions of a few people last night who created an inappropriate sign and distracted from the athletic contest on the field.”
His statement then reaches out to the LSU students to obtain some perspective on their foolish prank.
“We would invite those who created the sign to visit our campus to visit the May 4 Visitor Center and learn more about the event which forever changed Kent State and America.” -- Eric Mansfield, Kent State Media Relations
The frat bothers decided to apologize by, how else, hanging another spray painted bed sheet. This time, the sign read: “We would like to apologize to Kent State for our inappropriate sign.”
A one-time error in judgment by some drunk frat kids? It’s tough to make that argument.
Earlier in the month the frat house hung up a sign joking about the chemical weapons attack in Syria that said: “LSU vs. UAB It’s gonna be a gas. Syriasly.”
If the fraternity can take college games so far as to make a play on words about recent tragedies that killed over a thousand humans in the most inhuman way, then one can see why they also find it acceptable to joke about the Kent State shootings.
Hopefully, we won’t see any more signage hanging over the doors at LSU.
A spokesperson for LSU said that the school’s “Dean of Students Office and Student Life are aware and are looking into the matter,” and stated the students responsible could face disciplinary actions.
What do you think of LSU’s signs? A media overreaction on freedom of speech or an over-the-line lapse in common sense? Leave your thoughts below.