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Fraternity sign likens football game to Kent 1970 shootings

3:02 PM, Sep 15, 2013   |    comments
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I'm all for a healthy gameday rivalry between college and NFL teams but an LSU fraternity crossed the line --  again -- Saturday when it scrawled on a bed sheet "Getting massacred is nothing new to Kent St."

That reference to the May 4, 1970, incident when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on about 2,000 unarmed students protesting the war, killing four and injuring nine, crosses the line of decency and has nothing to do with football.

Before I go any further, know that many of the LSU students and fans were also upset with the sign. It hung over the front porch of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, located on West Lakeshore Drive.

(UPDATE: Late Sunday, the LSU Zeta Zeta fraternity issued a written statement, apologizing to Kent State for the actions of their fellow LSU Greeks, saying, "...it was a poor attempt at humor..." No word yet from Delta Kappa Epsilon.)

And for those of you who weren't around in 1970 or were too young to know what was going on, know that the incident was considered a national tragedy and, after the incident, millions of students across the nation refused to return to their own college campus as a sign of protest.

I was among those who stayed away from my college campus in Indiana. I did participate in a peaceful, candlelight vigil on my campus for the students who were killed.

Kent State University released a statement after a photo of the frat sign went viral on the Internet. Part of the statement reads "...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 (Saturday) night who created an inappropriate sign and distracted from the athletic contest on the field...."

Kent invited "...those who created the sign to visit our campus and learn more about the event which forever changed Kent State and...visit our new May 4 Visitor Center..."

Delta Kappa Epsilon didn't just make this one error in judgement. Last year, a sign over the door read, "Like the Batman movie premiere, we're starting off this season with a bang!"

This was done only two months after a gunmen opened fire in a July 22 midnight viewing of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 59. It appears LSU officials weren't strong enough in their disapproval.  

OK, this is the time for LSU officials to reprimand the fraternity against the posting of such offensive signs.

Know that the DKE chapter at Yale was suspended from recruiting and from campus activities for five years starting in May 2012 after a DKE video was released showing misogynistic hazing rituals.

And DKE's across the country should make their voices heard and their opinions known that they are NOT that kind of a fraternity.

"Animal House" was a movie and I am sure there are antics at every fraternity but this is strike two against this particular chapter and they shouldn't be allowed to get a strike three.

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