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Ohio secretary of state urges Kent State to rescind its invitation to Jane Fonda to speak at 50th commemoration

Posted at 9:37 AM, Feb 18, 2020

KENT, Ohio — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has called on Kent State University to rescind its invitation to actress Jane Fonda to speak at its campus during the 50th commemoration weekend of the May 4 shootings.

LaRose, who served 10 years in the military, voiced his opinion on Twitter Sunday.

Linking to a longer statement on his Facebook page, LaRose called the university’s decision to invite and pay Fonda as a speaker a “disgrace.” Read his full state here.

“I certainly understand that people disagree on policy issues, especially matters of war -- and that’s ok. 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. And Ms. Fonda did that – the very definition of treason,” he said on Facebook.

Last week, it was announced Fonda would speak as one of the weekend speakers during the anniversary. The university is paying Fonda $83,000 to speak, according to LaRose.

According to News 5 media partner The Akron Beacon Journal, Fonda drew criticism when she was photographed on top of an anti-aircraft gun during her visit to North Vietnam in 1972.

In a statement released to the Akron Beacon Journal, the commemoration advisory committee “developed three pillars that guided the planning: honoring and remembering those killed and wounded; educating about May 4, 1970, and the dangers of polarizing rhetoric and divisive discourse; and above all, inspiring current and future students to be leaders in peaceful conflict resolution and reconciliation.”

RELATED: Actress and activist Jane Fonda to speak during Kent State's 50th commemoration of 1970 shootings