Bill Ayers was a weatherman (a terrorist revolutionary) in the 1960s, and a friend of Barack Obama (the future president of the U.S.) in later years. Stanley Kurtz’s book on Obama has a chapter on Bill Ayers, and its worth looking at for understanding what radicals believe and how they try to implement their vision. In Bill’s violent incarnation, he participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. 15 years later he worked as a professor of education at the University of Illinois.
From the Kurtz book we learn that: in Ayers eyes schools should be “sites of resistance” to an oppressive system. The point, Ayers says, is to “teach against oppression,” against America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
Kurtz talks about the “shared desire of Obama and Ayers to funnel a very large pot of money to the city’s most radical community organizers”
Money began to flow as well to Bernardine Dohrn’s Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law. Dohrn had been a weatherwoman. She is Bill Ayer’s wife. Bernadine thought of the American justice system as a modern version of the “slave ship” and the prison system a veritable political “gulag”. Dohrn also thought that violence is less the fault of criminals than of America’s structurally racist society. Welfare reform laws were a form of “state violence”. Even low wage jobs were a form of “state violence”.
Bernadine’s husband (Bill) compared America’s juvenile justice system to the mass detention of a generation of young blacks under South African apartheid.”
Bill also believed that America’s prison system is a racist plot to clear the streets of the kids most likely to make a socialist revolution.
Kurtz once appeared on a radio talk show to talk about the relationship between Obama and Ayers, specifically that Ayers worked directly with Barack Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and had a role in appointing Obama to the board. Callers to the show demanded that Kurtz be barred from speaking. Supposedly Kurtz was a “right wing hatchet man,” a “smear merchant,” and a “slimy character assassin,” perpetrating one of the “most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.”
But Kurtz shows in the book that the “smear” was well documented.
Ayers once told an interiewer that the notion of the United States as a “just and fair and decent place… makes me want to puke.” This leaves me with a question. When I see the U.S. I see a place that had (and has) flaws, but has attempted over time to correct them. I see a country where blacks have equal rights under the law. Unlike Bill, Bernadine, and Barack, I do not have a dream of a socialist alternative that makes a favorable contrast with the current situation. I see countries that socialists like, (such as Cuba) as unpleasant places to live in, where people’s potential is wasted, and free thought is not allowed. Why is there such a divergence in what I see, and what Bill Ayers sees? Why have many of his ideas become mainstream among the left?
Its not that I don’t see systemic problems with the U.S. Just the National debt, which jumps by a trillion during some president’s terms, is enough to prove a problem exists. And “cancel culture” and the breakdown of the family, and a host of other ills. Perhaps the world is divided into people who want to patch their rowboat, versus those who want to burn it in the belief that the ocean will disappear from under them!
Bernadine and Bill