A Million Takes on Bill Ayers, Terrorist and Educator Extraordinaire

William Ayers, Scholar

[ Photo: William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, compares tattoos with a developing revolutionary. When asked the location of Ayers' tattoo[s], our young comrade replied, lemmie [sic] just tell you this, we both wear red underwear.” ]

I could write 100,000 words on this scoundrel – and, more interestingly, the pseudo-scoundrels and partisan hacks who have come out of the woodwork to support him. If I were Ayers and had relatively few defenders before this election, I’d think the current support a bit disingenuous.

But there’s no need for me to write that much. There are plenty of others who have weighed in. At the risk of appearing like I’ve created a Bill Ayers Blog Carnival, browse the following – it’s a roundup of some of what I’ve read over the last 24 hours.

Sherman Dorn points to Matthew Yglesias’s piece on Ayers. Yglesias writes:

“One thing you can say in Ayers’ defense is that it’s perfectly clear from his present-day conduct that he, in fact, realizes that unleashing a podunk domestic terrorism campaign would be a stupid and immoral thing to do. He could be going around setting off bombs. Instead, he’s a professor and a community activist. On the other hand, he seems sufficiently entrenched in egomania and self-righteousness that he can’t bring himself to actually admit that. And until he does admit that he was wrong, he’s hard to defend.”

Dorn says:

“That seems pretty close to Oliver North, if you’re looking for parallels—with North as a former talk-radio blowhard who has never apologized, but he’s just a former talk-radio blowhard who speaks to conservative audiences.”

They aren’t as similar as Dorn would lead you to believe, but to be more accurate, Dorn would have to burden himself with a bit more historical knowledge than he can likely handle.

NPR examines Ayers’ history and puts it in the context of Obama. I understand why they did this – it’s a hot issue – but it’s not that relevant to some of us. Some of us have opposed Ayers and his work since before Obama was on the national scene. The NPR report is deeply wrong about one thing:

“Regardless of his background, it was never a problem for anyone — including Republicans and Chicago’s most powerful business leaders — to work with Ayers on Chicago’s public schools. In fact, Ayers is widely respected in the field of urban education.”

In “The Bomber as School Reformer,” Sol Stern makes a strong case against Ayers – as he has on several occasions. His must-read piece includes this paragraph:

“As I have shown in previous articles in City Journal, Ayers’s school reform agenda focuses almost exclusively on the idea of teaching for “social justice” in the classroom. This has nothing to do with the social-justice ideals of the Sermon on the Mount or Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Rather, Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children with the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive. As a leader of this growing “reform” movement, Ayers was recently elected vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association, the nation’s largest organization of ed school professors and researchers.”

Scott Johnson at PowerLine sums it up:

“Stern reminds us that Ayers was a revolutionary driven by hatred of the United States when he was planting bombs in the 1970′s and he is a revolutionary driven by hatred of the United States now.”

American Thinker adds:

“In fact, Ayers looks at schools as nurseries to create a new cadre of children filled with an ideology that is anti-free enterprise and anti-American.  To this end he has long been engaged in efforts to change the curriculum of our graduate schools of education so as to train teachers to spread his message and ideology to young children (think of the Pied Piper, clad in revolutionary red).   Why should we be concerned? Barack Obama has a goal to “overhaul” our graduate schools of education.”

Dr. Camplin – one of the few education bloggers who is truly capable of taking an interdisciplinary approach – tells us why Ayers matters:

“Of course, Bill Ayers is now a Distinguished Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a professor of education, he has pushed for teaching for social justice (which is code for promoting a communist world view), urban educational reform (which has amounted to pushing schools to teach social justice — his organization, of which Obama was chairman, never put up a dime for math, science, reading, writing, or anything else associated with education, but did push for teaching social justice), and helping children in trouble with the law (mostly by pushing to eliminate any sort of punishment or responsibility for their crimes). Ayers primarily sees his role as teaching teachers to be advocates for the communist world view.”

Over at HotAir, John Murtagh, a name few know, weighs in as well – and he’s got reason to:

““When I was 9 years-old the Weather Underground, the terrorist group founded by Barack Obama’s friend William Ayers, firebombed my house… Barack Obama may have been a child when William Ayers was plotting attacks against U.S. targets — but I was one of those targets. Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family.”

Going to the Mat points to the Investors Business Daily editorial that speculates whether Ayers could be the next Secretary of Education:

“Ayers told the great humanitarian [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez: “Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions large and small. La educacion es revolucion.” It is that form of socialist revolution that Ayers, and Obama, have worked to bring to America.

Ayers, now a tenured Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, works to educate teachers in socialist revolutionary ideology, urging that it be passed on to impressionable students.”

Columbia’s BWog discusses the Ayers Loyalty Oath and its implications at CU.

Mike Klonsky touts his heroic pass on an invitation to appear on Bill O’Reilly’s show. A note to producer Dana Cash: If you quote from SmallTalk, be sure to have [sic] ready for liberal copy’n'paste duty.

Stefan Beck of The New Criterion has a theory – and a good one – about why Ayers is getting a lot of attention at the moment.

Hube at the Colossus looks at the Obama/Ayers relationship sensibly and succinctly.

P.U.M.A. points out that a man who went to Columbia and Harvard Law, then lived in Chicago for a spell, went decades without knowing a thing about Ayers. That’s weird – we knew about it by 11th grade here in Cooperstown. [hat tip: Solomonia and LGF]

Education Sector’s Kevin Carey comments on “Ayers et al”:

The current attacks appear a whole lot more like part of a pattern of one candidate saying stuff about another candidate in order to win an election.”

I responded to that entry with this comment:


You’d do well to point out that some of us were aware of Ayers and thought of him as a scoundrel long before Barack Obama was a blip on radar outside Illinois.

My opinion of Bill Ayers and his current/former work doesn’t have a thing to do with this campaign, and I’m not alone.”

The sooner everyone realizes this, the better – and if Ayers thinks he’s off the hook after November 4th, he’s wrong.

6 Responses to “A Million Takes on Bill Ayers, Terrorist and Educator Extraordinaire”

  1. Ayers scares the hell out of me. Rush Limbaugh was talking about him, and I was glad that someone was FINALLY talking about Ayers’ connection to Obama. Plus, Rush brought up ACORN.

    This election is going to be a nail-biter. I was disappointed in last night’s debate because they did not address any education issues. They also passed the huge hot immigration potato. I wonder how the next debate will go.

  2. I don’t really mind the lack of attention given to education. Actually, I appreciate it a great deal. There are most pressing issues right now, I think.

  3. Crimson Wife says:

    What I can’t understand is how such a large number of elites in this country can be so morally relativistic that they can’t acknowledge that terrorism is never justified. Even if they’re sympathetic to the goals of the attackers, why can’t they just admit that the means are despicable? Some things really ARE black-or-white, with no shades of gray.

    How many thousands of other Americans were fiercely opposed to the VietNam conflict during the 1970′s and frustrated with the government but still managed to act in a completely non-violent manner?

  4. Crimson Wife,

    I don’t consider terrorism [or murder, for that matter] a black-or-white issue. Having said that, there’s no reason to avoid assigning it the horrible status that it deserves. Even if one considers it necessary – even if the situation dictates it – that has no bearing on the horror of the thing. It is terrible, it is awful, and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. That’s one thing I’d like the elites to admit.

  5. Yeah.. I guess you’d be grateful for a break in education news right now. (wink) My head is about to explode from going to my sons’ school board meeting. Remind me again why I’m PTO president?

  6. Good, There a quite a few links there that I have not yet read. Sadly, my take is that the Ayers-type folks have already won. Then, I see youngsters like you who have survived the indoctrination and I have a bit of hope.


  1. Ayers Rocked at The Core Knowledge Blog - [...] passionately in the struggle for justice. The Freedom Riders. But the Weather Underground?”  Matthew Tabor, who along with Sol ...

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