As Ayers puts it in one of his course descriptions, prospective K–12 teachers need to “be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.” Ayers’s texts on the imperative of social-justice teaching are among the most popular works in the syllabi of the nation’s ed schools and teacher-training institutes. One of Ayers’s major themes is that the American public school system is nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony. Thus, the mission of all progressive teachers is to take back the classrooms and turn them into laboratories of revolutionary change.If there's anything to this issue, wouldn't you expect Hillary Clinton to pick up on it? She's long made children and education her special domain.
Unfortunately, neither Obama nor his critics in the media seem to have a clue about Ayers’s current work and his widespread influence in the education schools. In his last debate with Hillary Clinton, Obama referred to Ayers as a “professor of English,” an error that the media then repeated. Would that Ayers were just another radical English professor. In that case, his poisonous anti-American teaching would be limited to a few hundred college students in the liberal arts. But through his indoctrination of future K–12 teachers, Ayers has been able to influence what happens in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of classrooms....
The next time Obama—the candidate who purports to be our next “education president”—discusses education on the campaign trail, it would be nice to hear what he thinks of his Hyde Park neighbor’s vision for turning the nation’s schools into left-wing indoctrination centers. Indeed, it’s an appropriate question for all the presidential candidates.
Power Line notes the City Journal piece and provides the interesting info that Bill Ayers has a blog. Now, I don't like the blog because it's not bloggy. It looks like a dumping ground for occasional press releases. The topmost post is a reprint of a letter he wrote to the NYT back in 2001. I guess it's timely again, not that he bothers to explain its timeliness. But I'm going to read it anyway. The letter is a response to an article based on an interview with him. ("No Regrets for a Love of Explosives," published on the least propitious day for such a reminiscence: September 11, 2001.) Here's how he defends himself:
[Dinitia Smith] and I spoke a lot about regrets, about loss, about attempts to account for one’s life. I never said I had any love for explosives, and anyone who knows me found that headline sensationalistic nonsense. I said I had a thousand regrets, but no regrets for opposing the war with every ounce of my strength. I told her that in light of the indiscriminate murder of millions of Vietnamese, we showed remarkable restraint, and that while we tried to sound a piercing alarm in those years, in fact we didn’t do enough to stop the war....Now, let's remember what Barack Obama said at the last debate when he was confronted with his association with Bill Ayers:
Some readers apparently responded to her piece, published on the same day as the vicious terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, by associating my book with them. This is absurd. My memoir is from start to finish a condemnation of terrorism, of the indiscriminate murder of human beings, whether driven by fanaticism or official policy.... My book criticizes the American obsession with a clean and distanced violence, and the culture of thoughtlessness and carelessness that results form it....
Perhaps precisely because we have suffered [on 9/11] we can embrace the suffering of others and gather the necessary wisdom to resist the impulse to lash out randomly.
This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.So are you worked up about the Obama-Ayers connection? I'm not. I'm interested in the education issues that Stern writes about. Maybe that is a terrible problem. It just doesn't have anything to do with Obama (though it might be interesting, as Stern notes, to hear what Obama thinks on the subject of the use of public schools to indoctrinate children).
And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense, George.
The fact is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who, during his campaign, once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.
Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements? Because I certainly don't agree with those, either.
So this kind of game in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, that somehow their ideas could be attributed to me, I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't.