Mr. Ayers primarily spoke about the educational system and made several comments regarding class size and funding from what I was able to listen to. All good things I suppose.
I do sense that many, many people seem to condone or at a minimum sympathize with his radical behaviors of the 1960's. This seems to be a thread running through a younger generation having not lived through the Vietnam era nor the social ills associated with it. Sad that much of our history has been so distorted. I digress.
Nonetheless, Mr. Ayers still intentionally destroyed the property of the Federal government which is a felony I for one can never forgive. I wonder how many within this audience have ever been in close proximity to a terrorist bomb, especially one to detonate on US soil. If so, I think the perspective of that individual would be less than sympathetic to Mr. Ayers and the Weather Underground no matter what their political philosophies.
"All good things I suppose". Come on Azariah, is that the only comment you can make after an intelligent, well reasoned, insightful, and often inspiring interview. Perhaps you should try to step outside your belief system and listen to interview again.
Secondly, having lived through the "Vietnam era" I have personally witnessed an intimidating line of riot control police officers marching toward a peaceful anti war demonstration in the summer of 1967. As the demonstrators were dispersing, one of them fell and I witnessed two of these heavily armed officers, ruthlessly and without mercy, beat this demonstrator, spliting his head open. They claimed self defense. This was common place during the sixty's.
This was a time when students were involuntarily drafted to fight a war which was entered into under false pretenses. The time of the My Lai massacre and the vilolence at the Democrat convention in Chicago in 1968. The carpet bombing of Cambodia in the spring of 1970, followed by the Kent State massacre in which the National Guard opened fire on college students during an anti war demonstration killing 4 and wounding 9 others. This was the atmoshere that Bill Ayers was caught up in.
Enter the "Weather underground". After many years of the US Government violently controlling desent, in an effort to be heard, they set off bombs to destroy government property beginning in 1971. Warnings were sent to evacuate the buildings and no innocent persons were hurt.
This is a very brief and selective synopsis but perhaps it will shed some perspective on the "Vietnam era."
You have some really good points.
What part of the Vietnam and Civil Rights era do you think is distorted? Certainly protesters probably did things which were not necessarily the most effective and ethical ways to getting a point across, but if you look at many of the activities the U.S. government were engaged in, I can't say I wouldn't have been tempted to do something I would later come to regret, as well. What if you were a black man and risked your life fighting in WWII, yet were denied basic civil rights after the War?
I honestly don't quite understand viewpoints which either demonize everything the U.S. government does, or which say our government is the shiniest angel on the block. Both perspectives strike me as acutely dishonest, myopic and totally absurd.
I don't think the government has done much to earn the trust or good will of the American people the past 50 years. Both corrupt parties have taken us for the biggest ride in history as they shipped our jobs overseas, allowed unfettered immigration, engaged in pointless unpaid for wars, undermined individual liberty, and given countless billions to their bankster friends. It's almost like the political class in this country has been trying to destroy it. I guess I have to vote for the demon government point of view. Compared to our own government Mr.Ayers doesn't hold a candle.
Didn't get to hear the whole interview, but did get to hear him being questioned about his past behavior in protesting the Vietnam War. It was confusing to hear him say that his parents taught him the sanctity of life, which I assume compelled him to protest the Vietnam war, because of lives being lost. It seems contradictory then, to protest lives being lost by bombing buildings and taking the chance of even more lives being lost. He said he had paid his dues for his past acts, yet I still detected a hint of defending himself for doing what he did. I do appreciate the fact that you did question him about it, and he seemed willing to discuss it.
From my understanding, the group purposely set off the bomb when the building (at least the area it would impact) was empty. The intent was to damage property in order to make a political statement.
I agree, the target was property damage to make a statement about the killing going on in the war.. I have to ask back in the 60's and 70's, were kids who flushed cherry bombs called "Terrorists" ? I don't agree with what he did but basically he did the same thing on a larger scale in order to draw attention to a cause.. It's sad to see how many people will support war, and jump on the "I'm doing it to be patriotic" band wagon.. Killing the sons and daughters of people in foreign countries is not patriotic in my opinion.
This was also my understanding. From what I know it was more akin to glorified vandalism, not to say it wasn't stupid or dangerous.
I believe they also made it known beforehand, making sure no one was in harms way.
Unfortunately, it was not just buildings that they struck. Check out the info on the Haymarket Statue in Chicago that they blew up in 1969, that blew out almost 100 windows in the neighborhood, and scattered pieces out onto the Kennedy Expressway. They were very fortunate that no one was hurt or killed. The statue was rebuilt, and the Weather Underground blew it up again in 1970. Even though their intention was to never hurt anyone, when you are dealing with bombs the risk is very high that someone will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially when you blow up a statue out in the open. It still seems they were protesting violence with violence.
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I thought the interview was great -
After reading Bill Ayers response to the cancelling of his speech I was pleased that you decided to have him on your program. I thought the interview was excellent and even inspiring. I think those who invited him to speak have been done a disservice by the University.
After reading many of the previous comments, I wondered if any of those who disagreed with his view point actually knew what his view point was. I imagine most were just echoing the right wing rhetoric of the last election.
Congradulations to Sheridan Media for obtaining the interview.