Ayers in 2006: Weather Underground a "great teaching moment"

For those still unfamiliar with the “mainstream” William Ayers, as Barack Obama described him on his campaign web site, this 2006 interview with Venezuelan socialist Luis Bonilla-Molina, founder of the Centro Internacional Miranda (CIM). In this clip, Ayers speaks about how the Vietnam War forced an escalation of tactics to violence and notes the terrorist Weather Underground as a “great teaching moment” — a telling description for this professor of education:

3:20 – The particular crisis we faced with the Vietnam War was a crisis that called on us to escalate, to resist in more intense and, and, uh, uh, in more extreme ways. But one way of looking at it is that the Weather Underground was a great teaching moment. And, to the extent that we didn’t fully realize what we were trying to do, we were bad teachers, and to the extent that we did good things, we were good teachers.

5:42 – I mean, to go from underground, when we really thought we were in a revolutionary crisis … and there’s no question that when we left the underground, we lost something valuable — we lost our treasure.

Note the Che picture in the background, too. It goes well with the mission of CIM, which is “to create critical thinking and raise consciousness to advance the idea of 21st Century Socialism,” according to the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, a British apologist group for Hugo Chavez and his regime. Bonilla Molina himself co-authored a history of the “Bolivarian Revolution” with Chavez’ personal aide, Hairman el-Troudi.

Ayers explains that America forced him to become a terrorist, and that leaving the terrorist life was a setback to him and the movement. That hardly sounds as if Ayers repents of his former life; in fact, he believes he made a mistake by leaving it. In other words, the “great teaching moment” wasn’t that political violence was wrong — it was that he should have kept it going.

The Weather Underground wasn’t a “great teaching moment” for anyone interested in normal political activism. It only “taught” violence and terrorism. The long association of Barack Obama and the Daleys with this radical doesn’t make Ayers mainstream — it puts Obama and Daily out of the mainstream, and squarely among radical sympathizers. Who else would work with such an unrepentant terrorist and fringe radical for years on two different projects?

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David Strom 8:31 PM on November 29, 2022