Editorial Opinion
Ayers self-proclaimed Marxist/anarchist – let him speak!

by Bob Hoig, Publisher
Midlands Business Journal

Out of his own mouth, William Ayers, the Chicago rich kid turned terrorist bomber of the 1960s Weather Underground, has been part Marxist, part anarchist as he has gone about his career as an activist University of Illinois professor, specializing in using taxpayer funds and private grants to communize America from the classroom.
Should Americans listen to and understand such a guy? You bet!
Ayers, who has been in league professionally and politically with Barack Obama starting in the 1990s, was slated to speak Nov. 15 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
But university officials, under pressure from some regents, the university president, and some very big donors, cancelled Ayers’ lecture appearance last weekend, citing security concerns.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman denied that pressure had anything to do with the decision, and we believe him.
What we don’t believe is the excuse of “security” concerns.
A far more likely reason to dump Ayers is the university’s determination that affirmative action must continue in Nebraska, including within the university system.
A proposal to ban that practice is on the Nov. 4 ballot in Nebraska, and the last thing the university hierarchy probably needs or wants is to have voters stirred up any more than they already are by bringing a self-proclaimed Marxist and anarchist, who happens also to be an unrepentant terrorist, on campus to speak.
But is William Ayers, whose family runs the Woods Charitable Foundation of Chicago and Lincoln and who sits atop the social and economic pinnacle of the city, really as radical as the Obama critics believe?
Here is Ayers on tape from an interview April 12, 2002, on the private, student run KUCI radio station at the University of California at Irvine, replayed this week on the Fox News Channel:
Ayers: “I considered myself partly an anarchist then (in the 1960s) and I consider myself partly an anarchist now. I’m as much an anarchist as I am a Marxist, which is to say I find a lot of the ideas of anarchism appealing.
“Is it one of (my) regrets that I took extreme measures against the United States at a time of tremendous crisis? No, it is not.”
Interestingly, Ayers told the reporter that he is “very open about what I think and nobody here is surprised about what I think.”
Why interestingly? Because Barack Obama within seven days was scheduled to be on a Chicago area panel with Ayers. Ayers’ living room was the site of the kickoff of Obama’s successful run for the Illinois legislature. Obama wrote a blurb for a book authored by Ayers.
When asked last year about the various relationships, Obama described Ayers as just somebody “I knew from the neighborhood.”
The Obama-Ayers relationship continued when the two joined to hand out millions of dollars worth of grants under the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) project, Obama as project chairman and Ayers as operational director in the field.
Critics complain that the funds were used under a guise of “reforming” education to radicalize teachers and, through them, students in the classroom.
It would have been nice for UNL to bring Ayers to Lincoln well in advance of Nov. 4, instead of well after, to allow Nebraska voters the chance to learn how he defines education reform.
We would go Ayers one better, however, and have asked him to bring along Reverends Wright, Pleger and Farrakhan, Tony Rezko, and other Obama associates from the “old neighborhood” of Chicago.
Let ‘em all speak, that we may better understand them!

October 2008

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